Are we really making progress on Rarotonga?

Thursday May 16, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor

Driving through the village of Muri I was deeply saddened to observe what Rarotonga calls progress.


The roadworks aside, it reminds me of a backstreet in a Third World country. The proliferation of advertising signs in all shapes, colours and state of dilapidation announce the wares of the commercial entities lining the road.

There appears to be no town planning order to the many developments that have grown up over the past 30 years.

In and around Muri on the back road and in other places on the island there is an explosion of small accommodation units in the main provided by local residents on their own land. It would seem to me that the growth of such accommodation units is fast approaching saturation point.

As a guess I would say that the majority of these accommodation places are financed largely by the local banks and that the loan commitments could well be in excess of the potential rental income particularly in the non-peak season.

Coupled with the fact that often there is little maintenance carried out on these units the whole concept is a recipe for financial disaster to the landowners.

The infrastructure of the Muri area is inadequate for the growth in building both these accommodation units and the more established motels and hotels and as all Cook Islanders would be aware Muri Lagoon is the jewel in the crown of Rarotonga.

It has a very, very fragile eco-system and is close to drastic pollution. This is despite the efforts of many well meaning Cook Islanders who have been campaigning tirelessly over the years to protect this asset, without which tourism in the islands would die.

As a permanent resident I have watched this so-called progress over 30 years.

The lovely people of the Cook Islands deserve a better and more forward thinking leadership where their land and family assets are protected and enhanced for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.

Michael Innes-Jones


1 comment

  • Comment Link Roger Dieudonne Friday, 17 May 2019 10:00 posted by Roger Dieudonne

    I agree with the comment above
    Raro is destroying himself for couple dollars
    The infrastructure of the island is not made to support any increase of tourists
    I have come three times to the island and noticed the wear and tear of this beautiful place
    Maybe the authority should start charging the tourists arriving at the airport with a fee to keep the eco system at its best
    Otherwise the island would loose is soul and beauty in the not to distant future
    Kia with love. Roger

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