11 Sep 2009

Owner of Cook Islands stalled hotel development quashes curse rumours

1:42 pm on 11 September 2009

The owner of a more than 20 year old stalled hotel development in the Cook Islands has quashed rumours of a curse over the property, saying she's simply had bad luck.

Work on what began as the Vaimaanga Hotel in 1987 stopped in the 1990s after a series of financial problems.

Pa Ariki, the paramount chief of the Takitumu people, says she terminated the lease of the current developer, Tim Tepaki, because he failed to honour his commitments.

Pa Ariki admits she's been unlucky with investors.

"It wasn't because there's a curse on the land or on the property, no, there's no such thing as a curse. It was just that the Italians run out of money and the ones we dealt with from Hawaii run out of money and now Tepaki has run out of money."

Pa Ariki says other investors are very interested in taking over the hotel project and terminating the lease means she'll now be able to talk business with them.