10 May 2005

Cook Islands mayor says government should finish projects lying around

2:47 pm on 10 May 2005

The mayor of Manihiki in the Cook Islands says there are too many unfinished projects lying around that the government should have completed by now.

Kora Kora says the harbour, the construction of which was funded by NZ AID, the hospital and other projects have been started but left uncompleted by the office of the minister for outer islands administration, or OMIA.

The comments come as the audit office conducts a review of OMIA's capital projects on Manihiki, and follows their report last year that OMIA is overstaffed, wasted public funds and mismanaged crown assets.

Mr Kora says he's been to Rarotonga to appeal to the government for a green light to get the projects finished.

"The harbour's only been blasted and there's about 80 percent of work to be done. There's no concreting work started. Basically, it's a brand new harbour to be done. And, you've got tons of cement just sitting, and also steelwork, frame work, it's all been left here for over a year, or close to two years now."

Mr Kora says he wasn't given the green light and doesn't know when things will be completed.

The manager of NZ AID on Rarotonga, Matthew Paterson, says when they have the audit office report, which is due next week, they will take action to ensure the harbour project is completed.