19 Apr 2004

Cook Islands government considers joining private fishing venture

3:01 pm on 19 April 2004

The Cook Islands Government is considering investing nearly one million US dollars in a local fishing company after two New Zealand shareholders withdrew their investments.

Sealord and Hawkes Bay Seafoods have pulled out of Cook Islands Fish Exports, claiming the fishing season was too short.

The remaining shareholder in the company, local businessman Brett Porter, says Government officials have approached him and are considering buying half of the companies' shares, worth nearly one million US dollars.

Mr Porter says that he met with the Prime Minister Robert Woonton and the Minister of Fisheries Robert Wigmore and has put a proposal to them.


They've approached me and said that in order to keep this factory open that they are prepared to use a Forum Fisheries Agency Fund. And I've said fine, this is the information on the company, this is what we are proposing to do, these are the budget cashflows, let me know if you're interested.

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He says the Government is to appoint a committee of independent private sector representatives to assess the viability of the investment.