11 Mar 2019

Cook Islands water project flowing forward

11:49 am on 11 March 2019

Work on the second stage of a major water supply system in the Cook Islands is due to wrap up by the end of the year.

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

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

The update comes as the government continues to mull legal action over earlier work done on the system, Te Mato Vai.

A three-phase $US60 million project, Te Mato Vai is billed as bringing a safe water supply across Rarotonga.

On Friday, the Cook Islands water supplier, To Tatou Vai, said almost half of the second phase had been completed, with 6.5 kms of water mains laid so far.

The remaining work would be finished by the end of December, it said.

But the first phase of the project remains in dispute, with the government insisting a Chinese contractor is to blame for shoddy work.

Last month, deputy prime minister Mark Brown said steps for legal action against the company were still being worked out.

In December 2018, the government said 17 kilometres of pipeline needed replacing after an independent review it had commissioned found problems with the workmanship.

The contractor, the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) has denied any wrongdoing.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs