17 Dec 2010

McCully to discuss aid parameters with new Cooks government

2:34 pm on 17 December 2010

The New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, says he wants to reach a broad agreement on the aid programme with the new Cook Islands government during talks this weekend.

Mr McCully says over the past six months little progress had been made because of the fractured nature of the previous Cook Islands administration.

He says in talks with the new prime minister, Henry Puna, and his cabinet, he hopes to agree on the parameters of the assistance.

Mr McCully says he expects there'll be a concentration on tourism infrastructure and ongoing issues such as the poor quality of the water in the Rarotonga lagoon.

"It's been an area that I have been concerned about for a few years now. Need to undertake some quite major works in the areas of sanitation, waste water, that sort of thing to make sure that the tourism jewel that is that lagoon is protected into the future. And that is going to be a major undertaking going forward."

The New Zealand foreign minister Murray McCully.