29 Jun 2015

Cooks calls for disaster-ready buildings

8:03 am on 29 June 2015

The Cook Islands Finance Minister says because of climate change, key infrastructure needs to be built with the expectation it will be hit more often and more severely by natural disasters.

Cook Islands Finance Minister Mark Brown

Cook Islands Finance Minister Mark Brown Photo: Phillipa Webb / Cook Islands News

Mark Brown has been in Fiji for a high level forum facilitated by the International Monetary Fund on disaster risk reduction.

He says they're looking at the impact disasters have on the economy and how quickly they are able to rebound financially.

Mr Brown says preparation is key, like having emergency response plans in place beforehand, and key infrastructure built and maintained to withstand more frequent disasters.

"To take into account the impact of stronger storms, things like airports, roads, ports, all have to be built with the expectation that they will be hit. But if they're built and engineered to be able to withstand severe disasters, that helps the country get back and rebound faster."

Mr Brown says the Cook Islands has established its own emergency response fund, and has ongoing significant investment in infrastructure upgrades.