25 Oct 2010

Mixed reaction to Chile's $270 million investment plan for Rapa Nui

8:16 pm on 25 October 2010

There's been a mixed reaction on the island of Rapanui to Chile's 270 million dollar investment package for its remote territory.

Chile's Vice President's announced a plan to improve infrastructure, boost tourism, regulate migration and resolve ancestral land issues during a visit to the island last week.

Sally Round reports.

"Rodrigo Hinzpeter spoke of Chile's outstanding debt to native people like the Rapa Nui which it wanted to repay. The package comes after long-running protests over ancestral land and a beefed up security presence by Chile. But one Rapa Nui representative Raul Teao likened the land initiatives to pills and the head of the Rapa Nui parliament Leviante Ariki said underlying issues have still not been addressed. Tourism operator, Conny Martin, says the investment's long overdue with roads a mess and Infrastructure in sore need of funds. She welcomes an extra tax on tourists who come in their thousands to view the island's ancient giant sculptures. Protestors held up Mr Hinzpeter's flight home but Ms Martin says they were kicked out by other islanders wanting to ensure Rapa Nui's reputation as a tourist destination."