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Cook Island environment struggling under high tourist numbers

Staff Writer |
A Cook Island environmentalist says the increasing number of tourists is putting pressure on the environment.

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The ambassador for the Marae Moana Marine Park, Kevin Iro, was speaking after a call by MP, Sel Napa, for a cap on tourist numbers, saying the country's infrastructure couldn't cope, Radio NZ reports.

Iro said he knew certain areas in Rarotonga were struggling.

"I believe we're just about at capacity now, so it is a case of the government putting in these measures. They want to be really concentrating hard on getting our water up to scratch.

"Really getting a reticulated sewerage system in place. I know that the phase one of that's going to happen in Muri, which is the main tourist hub.

"They really have to put some work into the recycling and the solid waste because while they're doing that, obviously if they are going to allow more tourists accommodation to be built, it's got to be balanced."

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