New Zealand’s decision to block a proposal to use telecommunications equipment made by China’s Huawei because of national security concerns will have little impact on the Cook Islands, says Bluesky country manager Phillip Henderson.
A frustrated customer of the local telecommunication and internet provider is crying foul at what he describes as “unexpected chewing of data” from his monthly plan.
The Chamber of Commerce is still communicating with government regarding the Manatua Cable in spite of their differences of opinion over cost aspects, says the organisation’s president, Stephen Lyon.
The Chamber recently issued a statement criticising the Manatua Cable’s design. The statement claimed Manatua would supply broadband at a much higher cost than a new option involving installing a branch cable from American Samoa to the Manatua Cable.
However, the government’s response came in a press release last week announcing that it was going ahead as planned with the Manatua Cable project The release said that while supporters of the American Samoa TeleCommunications Authority (ASTCA) had made an approach to the Cook Islands seeking support to consider a new branch cable from American Samoa, no formal offer from ASTCA with pricing details had been submitted for consideration.
“Concerns raised by the Chamber of Commerce on this proposal and the Manatua cable are being considered carefully and the government looks to further discussion on those issues,” the release said.
In an email to CINews, Lyon said the Chamber of Commerce was not satisfied that the government’s press release allayed all the concerns the Chamber had raised in its original statement.
This was particularly the case with costing for options now on the table with a connection that involved a branch to American Samoa connecting with Hawaiiki, he added.
“We are also concerned that potential conflict of interest issues regarding the fact that Samoa is both a member of and supplier to the Manatua consortium have not been sufficiently addressed.
“Government is privy to reports the Chamber has not seen and we are hopeful that (it) will share these in the interests of transparency and public interest, so that we may all make better informed decisions on the matter.
“We also hope government will take heed of these issues, and hold off any payment that will execute the cable-laying contract until such time as better dialogue and understanding takes place.”
An app designed by a New Zealand-based former gang member turned policeman turned social entrepreneur to help migrating Pacific families – including Cook Islanders – adjust to their new lives is now being used by thousands.
Cook Islanders Liam Kokaua and Joshua Baker received a 2018 Young Pacific Leaders Small Grants Programme Award to fund the project at a special ceremony held last week in Auckland.
Te Aponga Uira’s new computer system went live this week, the culmination of a two-year process that saw the replacement of all the power company’s hardware, servers and software.
Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) systems analyst Anonga Tisam is encouraging more Pacific youth to pursue careers in technology and contribute to regional projects.