8 Oct 2012

Remapping could open up Pacific's more remote destinations

6:44 am on 8 October 2012

The cruise ship company, P&O Cruises, is talking to authorities in New Zealand, Australia, and the South Pacific about the need for updating old mapping charts, with a view to opening up new destinations in the region.

Some of the maps date as far back as the 18th century explorer, Captain James Cook, who was responsible for mapping New Zealand, the east coast of Australia, New Caledonia, Tahiti, French Polynesia, Vanuatu and a range of smaller islands.

A lecturer in British history at the Australian National University, Alex Cook, says developing more accurate maps could enable cruise ships access to places they've never been before.

He says while that would bring economic opportunities, it could also cause environmental and social disruption.

"It will be much more possible for not only cruise liners like P&O but also supply vessels to reach some of the more remote places in the Pacific and I'm sure that would have all sorts of effects on the way in which groups interact and on culture and society in some of these islands."