18 Oct 2004

Cook Islands public radio plans continue

9:13 pm on 18 October 2004

The Cook Islands National Broadcasting Corporation board says it's pushing ahead with plans to set up a public radio station.

Deputy chairperson Florence Syme-Buchanan says that the status quo remains for the proposed station but no date has been set for the launch.

Ms Syme-Buchanan says that initial funding for the new radio service is still in place and the board's plans will only stop if instructed by the broadcasting minister to do so.

She says critics of the planned station are overlooking the critical need for the service in the country's outer islands.

"You know, that seems to escape a lot of people - we do not have a radio service that covers the entire Cook Islands. And people up north do not hear any news, any information, do not get any newspapers. We're entering now our cyclone season and how are they going to get warnings if they don't have a radio service?"