22 Aug 2007

NZ signals willingness to help with Cooks infrastructure

3:50 pm on 22 August 2007

The New Zealand Government has indicated it will look favourably on requests from the Cooks Islands for help with a wide range of infrastructure projects.

A delegation led by the Cook Islands Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Terepai Maoate, is in New Zealand this week laying out its plans for a comprehensive upgrade of ports, roads, sewerage systems and airports.

Much of the work is needed as a result of destruction caused by cyclones two years ago while there are increasing concerns about the threat to tourism posed by an inadequate sewerage system on the main island of Rarotonga.

The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Winston Peters, says they are now looking over the request.

"I expect the response to be significantly favourable. Obviously there is as substantial amount of money involved and we have got to look at how we can with other partners in other countries bring some of those plans to fruition."

Winston Peters