The budget estimates tabled in parliament last week explain that the buildings constructed in 2004, 2006 and 2009 respectively were built by way of grant and concessional loans from the People’s Republic of China.
But over time the buildings have needed various repairs and improvements, some of which have been addressed by the Cook Islands government and the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).
Cook Islands Investment Corporation Chief Executive Officer Tamarii Tutanga said a proposal had been submitted for repairs and improvements to be made in the third or fourth quarter of 2014/2015.
He said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration were currently in discussions with the Chinese government to provide the money appropriated in the budget.
Work would not start on the buildings until this was accepted, he said.
Tutanga said the different practises and materials used did not work with the Cook Islands tropical climate.
The courthouse has been in a bad state for more than four years and the air-conditioning system would be replaced if the aid money came through.CI News previous reported that former Secretary of Justice Mark Short had said the courthouse was not built to suit a tropical climate – when it rains, the front steps are dangerously slippery, parts of the office flood, and the building quickly shows rust.
Tutanga said the government had already done some major repairs to the courthouse.
But repairing leaks in the roof of the Telecom Sports Arena would be a “major undertaking”, he said.
“We are hoping [the aid] will come through”.