15 Jul 2008

Cook Islands northern group gets cheaper fuel from Tahiti

1:19 pm on 15 July 2008

The government of French Polynesia has agreed to sell some of its fuel and diesel to the Cook Islands after a one-off deal was reached between the two sides.

The Cook Islands Foreign Minister, Wilkie Rasmussen, says the agreement to purchase 16,000 litres will be just for the people in the northern island groups - some 700 kilometres from the main island Rarotonga.

He says purchasing the fuel from Tahiti would see the cost drop from around three dollars New Zealand to 62 cents a litre.

Mr Rasmussen says the deal will also benefit the private sector.

"We will purchase from the private distributors there for them and for us they'll receive a bit of profit but not all that much, but for us it will be cheaper fuel."

Mr Rasmussen says the ship Tahiti Nui will deliver the fuel on the 26th of this month.

The ship will also transport performers to the main island Rarotonga for the annual constitution day celebrations, in which 15 islands take part.