21 Aug 2015

Cooks Govt struggling to get Pa Enua teams home

6:47 pm on 21 August 2015

The Cook Islands Government is running out of money to transport the remaining people home to the outer islands after this month's celebrations.

Many Pa Enua teams attended the 50 year anniversary commemorations of the islands' special relationship with New Zealand in Rarotonga.

An official in the Office of the Prime Minister, Pua Hunter, says besides a lack of money, the transport vessel, Tahiti Nui, is having engine problems.

Aitutaki, Cook Islands

Aitutaki, Cook Islands Photo: Ewan Smith

He says engineers are working to get replacement parts installed and tested before sailing.

An additional factor is the quantity of cargo the Pa Enua team members are trying to take back to their home islands, and this has reduced the space available.

Pua Hunter says it will always be a feat to please everyone in terms of cargo, so it is people first with their allocated cargo allowance before any additional cargo.