28 Nov 2009

Residents on Rarotonga could be charged water user rates

12:16 pm on 28 November 2009

Residents in Rarotonga could be faced with the likelihood of being charged for their water use to help repay a loan.

The Cook Islands Government has been given a 27 million US dollar concessional loan by China to fund the replacement of Rarotonga's main water pipeline and to upgrade the roads.

The Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning Taukea Raui says the government is now considering how to meet the loan repayments.

"Cabinet is deciding on a user charge for water. We have a programme starting in January to go out and provide information about user charges to the public."

Taukea Raui says the government has a five year grace period before making repayments which he expects to be complete within 15 years.