3 Feb 2005

Consultant to review Cook Islands fuel pricing system

2:28 pm on 3 February 2005

The Cook Islands is considering changing the way it prices petrol and has brought a regional petroleum adviser in to review the country's distribution and pricing system.

Cooks Finance secretary Kevin Carr says that Alan Bartmanovich will put together recommendations but it will be up to the government to consider them and decide how it is going to implement them.

Mr Carr says the reason for the review is that it has been recognised that the present system is not necessarily the best.

He says the Cook Islands is a relatively small user of fuel with two major suppliers which results in the price of fuel to be higher than what it probably could be.

"The present pricing system that we have is using a template and it's what I would normally call a cost-plus basis. And if you remember New Zealand had price control, used to be on a cost-plus basis and effectively what it found was it was causing the cost to be higher and there wasn't the incentive there for businesses to be more efficient."

Kevin Carr.