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Yacht charges OK, says port manager

Wednesday August 10, 2016 Written by Published in Local
Visiting yachtie Jane Keen makes her way back to the yacht Nora J. She says the cost of visiting the Cook Islands is too high. 16072511 Visiting yachtie Jane Keen makes her way back to the yacht Nora J. She says the cost of visiting the Cook Islands is too high. 16072511

The DAILY fees the Cook Islands Ports Authority charges yachts to berth at Avaitu are significantly lower than in French Polynesia.

 

They are also in line with or lower than fees charged in other countries around the Pacific.

That’s according to Cook Islands Ports Authority general manager Nooroa (Bim) Tou, who was commenting on a feature story published in CI News recently.

The story was about a New Zealand couple who are sailing back to their home country after many years of sailing around the world.

In it, yachtswoman Jane Teen claimed port charges in the Cook Islands were prohibitively costly for yacht owners.

Teen who sails with her husband, said they had met up with many sailors while in French Polynesia and most of them had said they wouldn’t be making the Cook Islands their next stop.

“I would say that it’s because the cost for yachties is very expensive compared to French Polynesia, Fiji and everywhere I can think of,” said Teen.

“In fact, this (Avatiu) is one of the most expensive wharves we have ever stayed at.”

 “We would really love it if the authorities would consider the costs, especially for yacht owners like us.”

But Tou said the couple’s boat, Nora J’s last port of call had been French Polynesia where their daily charges for the yachts are much higher than in the Cook Islands.

“In the case of the Nora J, the cost was $2.20 per metre per day based on the length of yacht which is 12.20 metres. This meant they had to pay $26.84 as port charges daily,” said Tou.

“However, there are other associated border costs such as quarantine, customs and health clearance. These all charge for their services.

“In French Polynesia the daily charges for yachts at a government marina mooring are about $NZ91 a day and for the private marina they are around $NZ112 a day,” he said.

Tou said other Pacific ports also charged daily berthing fees. He disputed Keen’s claims of  the Cook Islands being too costly.

“Maybe when other border agencies costs are added, the total cost become expensive.

“But our charges are definitely reasonable compared with Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Tonga and other Pacific ports.

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