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Prime Minister John Key today welcomed a new partnership between the Cook Islands, China and New Zealand that will deliver an improved water mains system in Rarotonga.
“This major infrastructure project will improve water quality and address health and sanitation issues in Rarotonga,” Mr Key says.
“Ensuring communities and businesses have access to clean drinking water is critical and will improve livelihoods and promote economic growth.
“It will mean a better quality of life for the people of the Cook Islands and provide an improved tourist experience for visitors.
“The project is the first time New Zealand has worked with China to deliver a major development initiative in the Pacific.”
The total cost of this new project, which will see reticulated water mains laid across Rarotonga, is approximately $60 million. New Zealand is providing $15 million to assist the Cook Islands Government. China will provide approximately NZ$32 million by way of a loan (RMB 165 million).
“The project is part of an on-going commitment by the Cook Islands Government to improve its water and sanitation infrastructure and builds on the work New Zealand has already carried out to improve the water quality of the Muri lagoon,” says Mr Key.
New Zealand will provide on-going support for both water and sanitation and has earmarked a further $10 million for related initiatives in the Cook Islands.