Prime Minister Bill English has announced New Zealand support for a range of infrastructure projects that will benefit local communities and sustainably support increasing tourist numbers in the Cook Islands.
“New Zealand is committing $15 million of funding towards the Manatua submarine cable between Samoa and French Polynesia. When completed it will link Rarotonga and Aitutaki to faster, low-cost, internet that is essential for economic and social development,” Mr English says.
New Zealand has also signed an $8.8 million funding agreement with the Cook Islands for the design of a new reticulated wastewater system for Muri and Avana.
“Well managed, modern wastewater services are important for public health and to protect precious lagoon environments.
“More than 140,000 tourists are expected this year, and infrastructure needs to be robust to ensure that the impact on local services and the environment is sustainable.
“Both internet connectivity and clean, safe water are also vital for the Cook Islands’ tourism industry,” Mr English says.
The Prime Minister made the announcements in the Cook Islands as part of the 2017 Pacific Mission.