Let's hope they don't proceed with that idea. Why not? Because once the freshwater groundwater is exhausted, seawater will seep into the space created. The locals are aware of that possibility already.
I have visited Aitutaki a couple of times in recent years, and it's very pretty, but the water supply tasted brackish (freshwater and seawater mixed) to me.
The homes do however have water tanks which provide them with lovely drinking water. Our hosts at the time also provided us with plenty of nu as refreshments.
As for the proposal, the local engineer on the news clip noted the possibility of seawater intrusion but said it in Maori. He was probably too polite to contradict his papa’a counterpart by airing his reservations in English.
Please let's take note of our traditional or local knowledge in these matters and not inadvertently ruin the limited freshwater supply available.