Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC) is pleased to report that the Environmental Impact Assessment process for the dredging component of the Arutanga Harbour Project in Aitutaki has now been completed and project works are progressing well.
CIIC’s application for a permit to dredge the Arutanga Harbour channel, basin and reclaim areas was approved by the Aitutaki Environment Authority on 15 December 2021.
CIIC CEO, Allan Jensen, said, “we are pleased with the work completed under the trial permit, work is proceeding to plan and we are now keen to deliver the full entire work programme for the Aitutaki community, with the Aitutaki Island Government and the Ports Authority, with our Aitutaki team.”
Aitutaki Mayor his Worship Tekura Bishop said he is “pleased with progress and it is great to see our people and fishermen casting for trevelly every evening from the new causeway, a key feature and benefit that this project has created for Araura enua”.
Jensen is confident that the project will be concluded in August 2022, despite setbacks due to adverse weather systems in recent weeks.
This permit approves the following activities:
- Dredging the southern basin and reclaim to Ports Authority area.
- Dredging the northern basin and reclaim to the Fishing Club side.
- Dredging the main harbour basin and reclaim to pier and main harbour.
- Dredging the main passage channel and building associated causeway access.
As per the provisions of the permit, CIIC will ensure that the following key conditions are met:
- That the local Aitutaki community, especially those living in the town area – namely Arutanga, Ureia, Reureu, Nikaupara and Amuri – are kept well-informed of the work being carried out.
- That the reclaimed area from the Fishing Club to the north will be dealt with appropriately to prevent flooding along that beach during high tides or high seas.
- That sufficient tunnels are installed to allow the free flow of seawater in and out of the southern, northern, and main harbour basins, including the causeway access.
- That all machineries working on site shall be operated in a manner that will prevent the spillage of any fuel, oil, or similar contaminants.
In addition to these specific conditions mentioned above, the Arutanga Harbour Project dredging operations will also follow all of the usual rules and regulations normally required and otherwise stipulated as per the project permit.