The commissioning of the new Atiu crusher project last Thursday sets the foundation for future economic development for the island of Atiu.
This aligns with Infrastructure Cook Islands’ (ICI) long term plan to produce their own aggregates for infrastructure developments in the outer islands such as Mangaia and Aitutaki.
The crusher project is an important investment and has been in progress since 2014.
A New Zealand company, Sanland Limited was given the contract to supply and install the machine, which has the ability to crush three to six different size of aggregates in one go.
The Cook Islands Government delegation was led by Deputy Prime Minister Teariki Heather and his associate Infrastructure Minister Toa Isamaela of Aitutaki and other officials from ICI.
The delegation was greeted by the Atiu MPs Nadi Glassie and Rose Toki Brown together with the mayor, executive officer, councillors, Aronga Mana and religious leaders.
Heather congratulated the people of Atiu, the Aronga Mana of the land, religious leaders, and the island government for their support in making the crushing plant possible.
He also acknowledged the landowners of Iotuaika who gifted eight acres of land for the project.
Heather highlighted papa Moetaua Boaza’s comments in portraying the machine as a symbol for a “new Atiu” in economic development.
Landowners were supportive of this project and any project that will bring economic benefits to the people of Atiu will be given the go-ahead, says landowner and strong supporter of the project, Tereapii Porio.
Brown couldn’t hide her emotion when she pressed the button for the machine to start “...I felt very emotional and proud. We have been waiting for a long time and I certainly would like to see urgent upgrade to our road to reduce the dust going on to the children and people’s homes.”
Minister Glassie also acknowledged those behind the project, especially his Cabinet colleagues in Government who had given the green light for the crusher to be installed.
His speech pointed to the need to have an operational and maintenance plan for the machine to be able to sustain future capital project for Atiu.
“..E tai kiore i mate and there is more capital project to come for our new Atiu. We would need to get our strategic island plan in place and work and achieving together in unity.”