The equipment was donated by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as part of its Pacific Maritime Safety Programme.
It was presented by the New Zealand High Commissioner to the Cook Islands Tessa Te Mata. Deputy prime minister Mark Brown received the gift on behalf of Transport minister Robert Tapaitau, who is currently in Penrhyn.
The oil spill equipment was one of the recommendations in the maritime risk assessment that was done in November, 2017.
Te Mata said ocean was an important part of Pacific life and deserves every effort to remain preserved.
She said the New Zealand government was committed through its Pacific Maritime Safety Programme to help countries such as the Cook Islands keep their part of the ocean safe from disasters like oil spillage.
“When it comes to oil spills, there is no second chances to get it right, so it’s important to make this investment,” Te Mata said.
“We are very pleased to see the kind of output from the current phase of the project (programme). We are now in phase three with the oil spill equipment here … we are working on safety of domestic vessels and support for education and training of seafarers.”
Te Mata also thanked Maritime New Zealand for sending over officials to run training on the new equipment this week with the Ports Authority officials.
“As we know a $60,000 worth of oil spill equipment is simply worthless if we don’t have the necessary training to go with it. So that’s why I’m really pleased that Maritime New Zealand has allocated this week and working with the officials here to make sure that an investment like this is well used.”
DPM Brown thanked New Zealand government and the other parties involved in facilitating the equipment.
“This is just really another example of the close relationship our country has with New Zealand,” Brown said.
He said the port was vital to the country as it brought over 90 per cent of all imported goods.
Brown said the water around the port area was also used by Rarotonga residents for swimming and fishing.