16 Jun 2009

Mini Games organisers in Cook Islands abandon plan to remove coral

3:06 pm on 16 June 2009

The organisers of the Pacific Mini Games in the Cook Islands have decided they will no longer endeavour to remove coral outcrops from Muri Lagoon.

The Games organisers had originally wanted the coral removed to ensure an unobstructed course for the outrigger canoeing events but after meeting the Muri village chiefs and leaders, the idea has been abandoned.

The CEO of the Pacific Mini Games, Mac Mokoroa, says the people of Muri gave permission for the vaka races to go ahead, but would not allow any coral to be removed.

"There's other ways that we can carry out the races. We've already went to international federation to ask if we can reduce the course from 500 metres to 250 metres and instead of six canoes racing, we've reduced the course so that we can have four canoes. And also having the races during high tide."

Mac Mokoroa says although there have been suggestions to move the canoe races to Aitutaki, this option is too costly.