15 Aug 2019

Te Vai Ora Maori petitions for free water in the Cook Islands

4:43 pm on 15 August 2019

A group in the Cook Islands says the government must not make the people pay for the water they use.

Te Vai Ora Maori is currently circulating a petition calling on the government to stop plans to use chemicals to disinfect the water.

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Photo: 123RF

This comes as the island of Rarotonga prepares for a huge new water reticulation system to come on line.

The government has also revealed its intention to charge for water use, possibly after allowing for a free daily water allocation for each person.

But the spokesperson for Te Vai Ora Maori, Anna Rasmussen, said water sustains life and should be kept free.

"It should be the one thing in government that is subsidised by other agencies. Now what we are hearing here is that To Tatou Vai is a limited liability company that has to show some sort of monetary profit," said Anna Rasmussen.

"I don't think that is right for our water. I don't think our water should be a commodity or that it should be subsidised. I don't think any country's water should be like that."