29 Jan 2004

Cook Islands leader says work on the Vaimaanga hotel completion should start early February

6:26 pm on 29 January 2004

The Cook Islands Prime Minister, Dr Robert Woonton, says a misunderstanding between the parties to the Vaimaanga Hotel project has been cleared up after talks in New Zealand today.

The Prime Minister hopes ground reassessment work can now start early next month.

Last month the developer, Tim Tepaki, the landowner Pa Ariki and the Government signed an agreement in principle to complete the hotel, which was started more than ten years ago.

The Cook Islands News has reported that there had been delays in signing off on the financing of the project which also involves a hotel on Aitutaki.

But DR Woonton says a misunderstanding between the parties over their relative percentages from the eventual sale of the completed hotel has been cleared up.

He says the project is on track.

"I hope when I return to Rarotonga, I will be going with the redevelopers and his engineers and quantity surveyors and finally assess how much to be done on the hotel."