Pacific radio news

Northern Cook Islands voters want better, cheaper transport

By Lisa Williams-Lahari -

Voters in some parts of the Cook Islands are calling for greater government intervention in the transport sector, and they have support from the country's airline. 

People in Pukapuka, Palmerston and Manihiki say they want better shipping services and cheaper flights.

Some have suggested if New Zealand's government can underwrite Air New Zealand, the same can be done for Air Rarotonga's costly airfares to the Northern Cooks.

Air Rarotonga's managing director, Ewan Smith, says some government intervention makes sense in such a small market.

"It's so isolated, very very small population levels you know, 100 to 200 people so there's very little economic activity," he says.

"In the normal sense of things the market is not going to fix that so it does require some sort of intervention if there's going to be an acceptable level of transportation there."

Advance and postal voting is underway as the country nears election day, June 14, or Friday (NZT).

Candidates from the three parties and the independents are in the final stages of campaigning. 

Incumbent Prime Minister Henry Puna is in his last week of campaigning for the general election. Photo/ PMN.

Campaign managers are now doing the huddle on numbers.

The Democratic and Cook Islands Parties both say they are out for the majority win.

Meanwhile the independents and One Cook Islands are giving nothing away as to what they will do once the final votes are in. 

Tags: Cook Islands,