The Honourable Mark Brown, Deputy Prime Minister is pleased to announce the very generous donation of 600,000 litres of diesel fuel to the Cook Islands from Triad Pacific Petroleum. The Deputy Prime Minister advised this fuel will be donated to Te Aponga Uira, who have, and will continue to provide discounted electricity to consumers in Rarotonga amidst the hardship households and businesses are experiencing arising from COVID-19.
Mr Chris Vaile, Managing Director of Triad, said “the economic impacts of COVID-19 on the country’s economy are for all to see. I was impressed at the initiative and generosity of Government in relation to its electricity discounts to Rarotonga households and businesses, an unprecedented step here and unmatched around the globe. This 600,000 litre donation is my contribution to the Government and the Cook Islands people, to give back and to help everyone get through these times, as one nation.”
The Deputy Prime Minister pointed out that this Triad initiative was a clear example of the private and public sector coming together and finding pragmatic and innovative solutions to overcome the adversity we are all facing in the COVID-19 landscape. The Honourable Mark Brown said this gesture is nothing short of substantial and was pleased that a number of agencies were working together to coordinate this donation including the Cook Islands Investment Corporation, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Internal Affairs, Te Aponga Uira and the Ports Authority.
Mr Michael Henry, Chairperson of the Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC) endorsed the Deputy Prime Ministers sentiments and noted the unprecedented and substantial nature of this donation. Mr Henry would like to advise Rarotonga households and businesses that the CIIC Board was working with the Te Aponga Uira Board on the next three months of discounting arrangements (the existing discounting arrangements of 100% for households and 60% for commercial customers, is due to expire on the 19th of June). The extension of the discounting is currently being finalised and will be advised to consumers by the end of May. Mr Henry noted that the Te Aponga Uira discounting for the first 3 month period, aggregated to approximately $4 million dollars of savings to households and businesses. He further noted that Te Aponga Uira Board Chairperson, Mr Mata Nooroa had indicated that the discounting for the following 3 months will be lower than the first 3 months and will likely have a means testing component. In addition, households and businesses will be encouraged to be economical with regard to usage and full charges may apply to those consumers who are using more than their usual average usage.