Cook Islands Government and Cook Islands Investment Corporation State Owned Enterprise Sector to offer additional support to the Cook Islands Economy during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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As the COVID‐19 coronavirus spreads around the World and its effects continue to have a
profound effect on the Cook Islands economy, the Cook Islands Investment Corporation, and its State Owned Enterprises (the Airport Authority, Avaroa Cable, Bank Of Cook Islands, Ports Authority, Te Aponga Uira, Te Mana Uira o Arauara and To Tatou Vai) would like to continue re‐assure the Cook Islands public, that essential public services will continue and is continuing to develop various support initiatives to assist the Cook Islands public and businesses during these times.

The Honourable Mark Brown, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister responsible for the Cook Islands Investment Corporation is pleased to share with the public that “our State Owned Enterprise sector is being well managed, is well placed to withstand turbulent times and will be instrumental in the economic recovery ahead. I am happy with how our State Owned Enterprise sector has supported the wider economy, which has been decisive and profound, including substantial electricity discounts to consumers, rental relief programmes to tenants of public assets and loan repayment holidays to its BCI customers. I look forward to the Government and the State Owned Enterprise sector working together expeditiously, on initiatives including capital expenditure projects, to provide stimulus to the wider Cook Islands economy and creating employment opportunities.”

Michael Henry, Chair of the Cook Islands Investment Corporation, is pleased to announce the following rental relief initiatives in conjunction with the respective State Owned Enterprise Boards, effective 1 April:

  • All Cook Islands Investment Corporation, commercial and domestic tenants (including Banana Court tenants), who can validate hardship, will be entitled to a 3 months rental holiday or discounted rental arrangements, effective 1 April.

  • Punanganui Market huts, who choose not to operate and/or are affected by the restrictions announced will receive a 3 months holiday, effective 1 April. For those hut tenants or vendors who are permitted to and continue to operate at the required reduced hours, discounted rental arrangements can be discussed with Punanganui Management, effective 1 April.

  • Airport tenants (including concessionary tenants) and car parking will receive a 3 month rental holiday, effective 1 April.

  • Port’s boat operators and tenants will receive the following:
    • Charterboat operators mooring at Avatiu Marina and Avarua harbor – 50% discount on their mooring fees for three months effective from 1 March 2020.
    • Small boat operators mooring at Avatiu Marina and Avarua harbor – 60% discount on their mooring fees for three months effective from 1 March 2020.
    • Land space tenants (owns the buildings) – 50% discount on their monthly rentals for three months effective from 1 March 2020 and subject to submitting application to the Ports Authority.
    • Private business renting Ports sheds and office buildings – 50% discount on their monthly rentals for three months effective from 1 March 2020 and subject to submitting application to the Ports Authority.

Mr Henry said that the Cook Islands Investment Corporation and its State Owned Enterprises are collaborating extensively and innovative solutions are required during these unprecedented times.

Mr Henry shared that the Cook Islands Investment Corporation and its State Owned Enterprises is looking forward to working with the wider Government and private industry in terms of providing support and stimulus to the Cook Islands economy. Mr Henry said the State Owned Enterprise Group was looking at various capital infrastructure projects which will ensure industry continues and provides additional employment opportunities, and will be making announcements in the near future.

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