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Flooding a big worry

Thursday May 09, 2019 Written by Published in Local
The low-lying areas on Rarotonga usually gets flooded after a heavy downpour, mainly due to poor drainage system. 19050815 The low-lying areas on Rarotonga usually gets flooded after a heavy downpour, mainly due to poor drainage system. 19050815

Flooding was one of the major concerns raised by Rarotonga residents who attended consultations on the Infrastructure Bill 2019.

 

The consultations, which recorded a “moderate turnout”, were held in all three districts of Puaikura, Takitumu and Teau-o-Tonga. It concluded on Tuesday night at Sinai Hall in Avarua.

An Infrastructure Cook Islands (ICI) staff member said among the issues raised were questions on how the bill would address the flooding issue on the island.

The low-lying areas on Rarotonga usually gets flooded after a heavy downpour, mainly due to poor drainage system.

Parts of Avatiu, Muri and Titikaveka are regarded as flood-prone areas.

ICI staff said land accessibility for public projects was also another key issue raised during the consultation.

“This is in regards to land needed for drainage, storm water system, water system, new roads ... There are massive challenges at the moment when acquiring land for such projects and people questioned how the bill would look into this issue,” the staff said.

The Infrastructure Bill consultation moves to the southern group today, starting with Aitutaki before heading to the remaining islands.

Members from the select committee in charge of the bill are part of this consultation tour.

The Infrastructure Bill select committee comprises Infrastructure minister Robert Tapaitau as the chairman and Tingika Elikana, Albert Nicholas, Patrick Arioka, Tamaiva Tuavera, Agnes Armstrong and Tina Browne as members.

Consultation on the northern group was carried out last week.

ICI is optimistic of completing the discussion and getting a report ready before Parliament sits in mid of June.

The new Infrastructure Bill is expected to provide a long-overdue review of law and practice in the delivery of infrastructure.

In summary, the bill ensures that the installation, operation and maintenance of infrastructure is co-ordinated efficiently, adopting a “dig once” principle.

The bill will require that all infrastructure is built to an appropriate standard to ensure resilience to the impacts of climate change.