12 Mar 2015

Cooks governmentt not phased by opposition to project

9:42 pm on 12 March 2015

The Cook Islands government says it's not concerned that landowner objections have stalled progress on the country's biggest undertaking, a 46 million US dollar water infrastructure project.

Finance Minister Mark Brown says it didn't matter if the Te Mato Vai project took a couple more months to get back on track.

The Cook Islands News reports that several objections involving stage two had been made to the High Court by landowner groups.

Stage two involves upgrades to existing intakes and trunk pipelines and new treatment and reservoir storage facilities.

All 12 intakes are on privately owned land, but many of the landowner groups are angry at the lack of consultation or compensation for the use of the land.

But Mr Brown says some landowners have been militant in their approach and their demands are selfish.

He says he hopes the government will be able to fast-track the objections and they can be settled out of court.