Cyclone could wipe out Avana project

Wednesday July 18, 2018 Published in Letters to the Editor
This dramatic photo, taken from the courthouse, shows the ferocity of one of fi ve cyclones which hit Rarotonga in 2005. 18071735 This dramatic photo, taken from the courthouse, shows the ferocity of one of fi ve cyclones which hit Rarotonga in 2005. 18071735

Dear Editor,

As someone living almost adjacent to the planned development at Avana Point, in a building known as the “Turtle House”, I thought I would have my say on this subject. 

Putting aside the environmental, social and cultural grounds against this project one should look at the logistics of building a residence on this site. 

On February 15, 2005 Cyclone Nancy struck the western side of Rarotonga.  At Avana Point there was a 3 metre-plus wall of water which swept inland and would have completely obliterated any normal structure in this area, including gabions or any other man-made sea defences notwithstanding.

Hopefully we will not see another cyclone here of this intensity for 100 years. But we could see one next season, and I for one would not like to be there when it occurred! It would be insanity to build a residence on this site, and there is no way one would be able to get insurance of any kind.

As suggested, why doesn’t the government just declare this whole area of two-thirds of an acre encompassing the marae and the whole of Avana Point as a reserve, compensate the landowners, and develop it for the benefit of all locals and visitors alike? And, as suggested, maybe construct a memorial plaque to recognise the significance of this area. I would be more than willing to donate to assist in this and sure many others would also come on board.

Finally, like many others, very surprised to see that the House of Ariki does not in fact have a much greater say on any matter of such cultural significance.

Surely it is time that this should be changed.

            Brian Coker

Leave a comment