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New Zealand to give $11m for submarine cable between Samoa and French Polynesia

Staff Writer |
The New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English has made his first funding announcements on his three-nation Polynesia tour, committing just under $11 million towards a submarine cable between Samoa and French Polynesia.

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Speaking in Rarotonga at a press conference with Cook Island prime minister, Henry Puna, Mr English said once completed, the cable would offer a faster and cheaper link between Rarotonga and Aitutaki, which are the country's two main tourist destinations.

He said he had also signed an $6.3 million funding agreement with the Cook Islands for a new reticulated wastewater system for Muri and Avana.

This follows long-standing commitments with China to improve the water system on Rarotonga with their Te Mato Vai project.

Mr English said the infrastructure needs to be robust to ensure that the impact on local services and the environment was sustainable.

Tourism has been booming, and the Cook Islands annual tourists arrivals exceed 140,000.