10 Mar 2015

Cook Islands water project stalls over land compensation

5:21 pm on 10 March 2015

The Cook Islands water project, Te Mato Vai, has been stalled with landowners making demands for compensation.

The Cook Islands News reports the $47 million US dollar water infrastructure project has extended its stage two tenders by four weeks, amid concerns over appeasing landowners.

Last month, the Takuvaine water catchment committee of landowners put an objection to the Minister of Infrastructure, Teariki Heather, and the High Court, in order to gain time to discuss the use of their land for the project.

They were also planning to seek professional advice.

Stage two of the project involves upgrades to existing intakes and trunk pipelines and the installation of new treatment and reservoir storage facilities to help improve the quality and reliability of the water supply.

However, each of the 12 intakes is on privately-owned land, and the project has not made allowances for compensation.

Cook Islands News reports objections have also been made by several other land owner groups at Avatiu, Tupapa, Avana, Taipara, Totokoitu Ki Uta, Turangi and Papua.