20 Sep 2006

Cook Islands developer looking at building small hotels in northern group

2:13 pm on 20 September 2006

A prominent property developer in the Cook Island, Tim Tepaki, says he would like to set up several small hotels in the northern islands.

Mr Tepaki, who is Wellington based, says he is seriously concerned about the de-population of the area.

He has just returned to Rarotonga from a trip to the northern islands and says he wants to provide opportunities and employment for the local people.

"What I was thinking of was a twenty to thirty room hotel on each island, now in Pukapuka and Manihiki, here's where I've floated [the idea] and they've grabbed it with both arms saying OK lets do it, we'll give you the land to do it."

Mr Tepaki says he has also been talking to Air Rarotonga about the possibilities of providing air links to the area.