8 Apr 2015

Aitutaki mayor against Sunday flights

1:12 pm on 8 April 2015

The mayor of Aitutaki in the Cook Islands says Sunday flights between the island and Rarotonga should be canned as Sunday is a holy day and businesses should not operate.

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Photo: supplied

The prime minister Henry Puna says he will organise a referendum as soon as possible on whether to maintain the flights, as they had been causing tension since being introduced six years ago.

John Baxter says a referendum is long overdue, as it was promised by the previous government.

He says many people on the island want the flights to stop.

"For the last six years every Sunday, when the flights come in, there are protestors at the airport. That can't be good for the tourists coming off the plane. In my opinion, Sunday should be respected as a holy day and the flights shouldn't be coming in. It's the same with ships. When ships come in Sunday, we don't work the ships, we wait until Monday. So it should be the same with aeroplanes."

John Baxter says he has not seen a significant increase in tourist numbers since the flights were introduced.

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