1 Mar 2006

Chinese team in Cook Islands in connection with aid project

4:12 pm on 1 March 2006

A Chinese team is in the Cook Islands to discuss the upgrading of the back road on the main island of Rarotonga as part of an aid project.

The secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Edwin Pittman, says if it's feasible, an agreement will be signed in April and work may begin next year.

He says it's a high priority because the road which borders the sea is at risk of damage during cyclones.

"The logic behind that, is in the event of cyclones, where the coastal road suffers damage from time to time, access to places like the hospital, in particular, and other emergency services, can still be accessible because the road is further inland and hasn't been damaged by high seas."

Mr Pittman says the construction of a sports facility, using Chinese aid, is a project that is very much in the exploratory stages only.