16 Aug 2012

Penrhyn leaders incensed over Cooks shipping woes

3:14 pm on 16 August 2012

The mayor of Penrhyn in the Cook Islands, Tini Ford, is threatening a protest if the shipping situation is not solved before the Pacific Leaders Forum summit later this month.

For the second year running, the island has been asked to forego either cargo or people and on Saturday the group, spearheaded by Tongareva MP, Wilkie Rasmussen, boycotted the sailing of the ship.

A meeting with the Prime Minister Henry Puna early this week left the Penrhyn mayor feeling that a voyage to the island by next week was unlikely.

Mr Ford and the other 59 people, who are now marooned on Rarotonga, are planning decisive action.

He says if the situation is not resolved he will march in front of the Forum meeting in protest.

Mr Ford says he might also seek help from the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who is expected to attend the Post-Forum Dialogue.

He says after the delay last year the Penrhyn islanders' perishable goods were rotten when they finally reached their destination.