13 Sep 2012

Cook Islands Government faces big bill for outer island charter flights

1:55 pm on 13 September 2012

Cook Islands taxpayers will be more than 80 thousand US dollars out of pocket after Penrhyn Islanders were flown home last month in a series of charters.

The islanders, returning home after the Te Maeva Nui celebrations, had refused to travel on a government chartered vessel because they were not able to take their cargo.

After protests the Government agreed to send some by the Lady Naomi and to fly the remainder in a series of flights.

The Finance Minister Mark Brown says this will mean a blowout on the budget for the celebrations and will require a separate appropriation.