23 Sep 2003

Cook Islands call for single agency for consents

4:10 pm on 23 September 2003

There's been a call for a single agency in the Cook Islands to take over control of the issuing of building and environment consents.

The secretary of works, Ata Herman, says people currently have to go to Public Health, the Environment Service and the Ministry of Works for three separate consents before they begin building.

The call has come after it was found that seepage from septic tanks was a major factor in the high levels of pollution in the lagoons on Rarotonga.

Mr Herman says he would like to see building inspectors take control

"I feel that it should be amalgamated into a one-stop shop so that everybody can obtain these permits whatever agencies they are in. At the moment there are three agencies that everybody comes in and sees these three agencies that issues these consents. It should be one agent that deals with the whole thing and the others maybe undertake the monitoring."

The secretary of works, Ata Herman.

The prime minister, Dr Robert Woonton, has said it's up to ministries to review their own standards and decide who should have the final say in the country's building industry.