12 Feb 2008

Cooks look at more possible solutions to outer islands shipping woes

4:52 pm on 12 February 2008

The Cook Islands government is considering allowing another private shipping operator to service the outer islands.

This comes after one of the two ships that serviced the islands became stranded.

Apii Piho says a purpose built boat is earmarked to be ready in 18 months as a long term solution but the Northern group needs servicing now.

"Looking at the other operators, private operators could be very favorable and as well as the Samoan government who may have a boat available to us, maybe on charter basis - these are all options that government will be looking at."

Apii Piho says a select committee is currently looking into the needs of the outer islands and will be making it's recommendations to cabinet.

He says with access to the outer-islands reliant on shipping, he's grateful government is addressing the issue.