6 Dec 2018

Miles of pipes in Cook Islands' Te Mato Vai project need replacing

12:30 pm on 6 December 2018

The Cook Islands opposition Democratic Party leader says the Chinese company that has laid substandard water pipes on Rarotonga is refusing to do anything about it.

Contractors work on the Te Mato Vai water project in Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Contractors work on the Te Mato Vai water project in Rarotonga, Cook Islands Photo: Phillipa Webb / Cook Islands News

Terepai Maoate also said the government was keeping people in the dark about the appalling state of the multi-million dollar Te Mato Vai water system upgrade.

He said a report, by New Zealand infrastructure consultancy Opus, showed at least 17 kilometres of water pipes laid by the Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company, or CCECC, needed to be replaced.

Mr Maoate said it appeared the company was refusing to acknowledge any liability which leaves Cook Islanders facing a massive debt with nothing to show for it.

He said the Opus report, which followed an independent investigation into Stage One of the project, should be made public in the interest of transparency.

Mr Maoate said a request by the Democratic Party for a copy of the report was refused by the government on the premise that legal action against CCECC is now being considered.

He said it was incredible that no one in government was listening to warnings made by experts on the materials used, pipe laying methods and unsuitable water pipe joint connections, going back to its start point in 2014.