2 Mar 2009

Cook Islands discusses proposed seabed minerals policy

7:10 am on 2 March 2009

The Cook Islands is a step closer to deciding how the vast manganese reserves on the ocean floor within its economic zone might be exploited.

The Commonwealth Secretariat's legal Adviser has made a presentation on the country's proposed seabed minerals policy.

The policy will guide the proposed legislation on any development of the resource.

Opposition MP Teina Bishop recommended that the Government legislate the policy into the seabed mining bill to safeguard it from being changed by a future Government.

"I am one of those who believe that this bill should not be taken like any other bill. That there should be a law that will be taken on board not only by the Government and the Opposition in a bipartisan manner, that is why we are putting the bill through a Select Committee, but it should be taken on board by the whole of country so that people take on board the policy and also the bill."