3 Mar 2017

Cook Islands inter-island shipping difficulties laid bare

From , 6:04 am on 3 March 2017

A Cook Islands shipping operator, Tapi Taio, says the only way any inter-island shipping service can survive is if subsidies are given.

Mr Taio was speaking amid local reports that the government is in talks with a local businessman who made link up with French Polynesian interests.

Mr Taio's company, Taio Shipping, has provided inter-island services for years, and one of his three vessels has out of action for more than a month, after running onto the reef at Nassau.

He told Don Wiseman the sector is uneconomic without subsidies and he is sure the government must be dangling the possibility of subsidies to any new operator.

Taio Shipping owner Tapi Taio

Taio Shipping owner Tapi Taio Photo: RNZI/Florence Syme Buchanan