8 Nov 2006

New deal on Cooks' hotel completion promises compensation for landowner

2:57 pm on 8 November 2006

The developers planning to finish building the Vaimaanga Hotel on Rarotonga in the Cook Islands have been given more time to do the job and the project is now likely to be finished in stages.

The hotel's construction was begun more than ten years ago but never completed.

The land owner paramount chief Pa Ariki contracted with developers Tim Tepaki and Dan McEwan to finish the hotel by late next year but they have asked for an extension and offered an additional incentive.

Tim Arnold, Pa Ariki's lawyer, says the hotel is still expected to begin operation in December 2007 but it will now be a staged development and the developers have until August 2008 to finish the job.

He says under the new arrangements if the hotel is not fully open in 13 months' time, Pa Ariki, will be compensated.

"That is to say, if it were open she would receive one and a half percent of the income generated by the hotel. The lessee has said well if the hotel is open or not as of december next year, we will compensate you as if it were open."