8 Mar 2012

Search and rescue agreement between Cook Islands and NZ vital

2:05 pm on 8 March 2012

The Police Commissioner in the Cook Islands says the renewing of a search and rescue agreement between his country and New Zealand will lead to better exchange of information.

The two countries have renewed an agreement whereby Maritime New Zealand will carry out search and rescue missions in Cook Islands waters when necessary.

Maara Tetava says the renewing of the agreement will ensure both parties will communicate better and learn from past mistakes.

"One of those mistakes was the linkage between RCC New Zealand and the Commissioner of Police who is the national disaster controller in the Cook Islands. Just some technical glitches there, the contact was made to the police operations centre and human error prevented that call from getting to the Commissioner of police on time."

Maara Tetava says the Cook Islands search and rescue teams need to work on capacity building and training.