17 Aug 2012

Cook Islands protest over shipping resolved

7:43 am on 17 August 2012

A protest over shipping from Rarotonga to Tongareva in the Cook Islands appears to be resolved.

58 islanders refused to board a government chartered ship last Saturday because the heavily laden vessel couldn't accommodate all their cargo.

Opposition MP and member for Tongareva, Wilkie Rasmussen, says the same thing happened a year ago and on that occasion when the cargo was eventually delivered much of it had spoiled.

But he says the government has now outlined a scheme for a series of charter flights to Tongareva taking the women and children, while the men will travel with their cargo on another chartered freighter, the SV Kwai, on Wednesday next week.

"If the plan goes according to plan the flights will start leaving this Friday Cook Islands time, and one every day - Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and the last one on Wednesday and Wednesday is also the day when the Kwai will leave, supposedly with all the cargo on board."