25 Oct 2012

Cook Islands atoll of Manihiki avoids crippling fuel shortage

5:39 am on 25 October 2012

The isolated Cook Islands atoll of Manihiki has avoided a crippling fuel shortage by buying fuel off foreign fishing vessels in the area.

Delays in the shipment of a 15,000 litre supply of diesel from Rarotonga meant the island has had to borrow close to 2,000 litres of fuel from neighbouring Rakahanga over the past month.

But this supply started running out so the Secretary of Marine Resources, Ben Ponia, contacted any fishing boats in the area that would be willing to sell fuel to Manihiki.

Two vessels delivered 4,000 litres of diesel on Saturday.

Half of that delivery was donated by the fishing company company, but the island will have to find a way to pay for the rest.

The Manihiki mayor, Ngamata Napara, says this diesel should last the island until the bulk fuel from Rarotonga finally reaches them.