30 Nov 2005

Bond required of developers in the Cook Islands for Vaimaanga

2:14 pm on 30 November 2005

A bond will be required of the developers planning to lease the controversial Vaimaanga property in the Cook Islands.

The lawyer acting for the landowner, Pa Marie Ariki, says the developers, known as the Investors Forum, have arrived in Rarotonga and are expected to pay the rest of a deposit, amounting to a total of 700,000 U.S. dollars after paying an initial 175,000.

The lawyer, Tim Arnold, says if this occurs within the next week, it will clear the way for the lease to go to the Lease Approval Tribunal and the High Court to get the green light.

Mr Arnold says a bond on top of the deposit will be required because there have been several failed attempts in the past to get the hotel development completed.

"The position with regards to this lease has been of ongoing non-performance and breaches of the lease by various people. We certainly will be wanting a bond. So far as timetabling is concerned, the current asking date in terms of a further extension, has been the 30th April."

Mr Arnold says he is cautiously optimistic that the deposit will be paid and that work can commence on the development.