1 Jul 2005

Calls for zoning in Cook Islands land management

4:01 pm on 1 July 2005

There are calls for the Cook Islands government to introduce zoning in land management in order to better protect the country's natural resources.

Environmental consultant, Petero Okotai, says the country is losing money because of damage to the environment.

Mr Okotai has prepared a report which puts the economic cost of watershed pollution on the economy of Rarotonga at over 5 million US dollars a year.

He says the country needs to make a start on more effective land management.

Another local environmental consultant, Tom Wichman, agrees with him, and says the government needs to start viewing land management and economic development in environmental terms...

"There's no zoning. You can build a factory anywhere, you can build a farm, houses, anywhere. Whereas in New Zealand you've got zoning - there's industrial and all the other places where you can put up certain buildings. You can't just put a building anywhere."

Tom Wichman