A new Head of State residence is on the table for Rarotonga, but it’s unclear when, where and what it’s going to cost.
While the Cook Islands Investment Corporation has
called for design report quotes for the official residence of the Head of
State, it has not been specific about what is proposed, what it will cost and
when construction might get underway.
The development comes after it was revealed King’s Representative Sir Tom Marsters
had never slept a night at the Official Residence of the King’s Representative
Cook Islands Investment
Corporation (CIIC) confirmed the residence was unfit for purpose in a written
statement in February.
Being approximately 50 years
old with a multi-pitch roof, the building continuously experiences roof leaks,
despite repair attempts by government.
The last Queen’s
Representative to reside there during his term was Sir Frederick Goodwin, the
sixth QR who stepped down in July 2013.
251m², the residence was constructed in the 1970s and has undergone a number of
alterations and extensions since then.
This week, CIIChas confirmedthe conceptual design is expected to
be carried out by a senior architect and supported by an engineering team with
an anticipated timeframe of four months to complete the assignment.
However, CIIC has not been forthcoming with specific
In July it was revealed Parliament had released
details in the 2023 /2024 Budget with regards to the appropriation of $251,889
for the Head of State.
At the time, Prime Minister Mark Brown thanked Sir Tom
Marsters for understanding the situation of the Titikaveka residence.
Yesterday, a CIIC spokesperson said they would “prefer
not to disclose the budget for the ‘conceptual designs’ work, while the request
for quote programme is underway”.
The conceptual design works formed part of the CIIC’s
current year 2023/24 Government Building Projects – Rarotonga capital
Cook Islands News was told the budget for the wider
build project would “be able to be articulated following completion of the
As outlined in the public notice, request for quotes advertisement,
the conceptual design request for quote submission date deadline is Monday,
Following the deadline, assessments of the quotes will
be undertaken, and as outlined in the request for quote document, the
expectation is that a full draft report is finalised three months after the
signing of the contract.
Cook Islands News asked what is proposed for the
“We will largely be guided from the outcome of the
conceptual designs work, and other assessments, as part of this work programme,”
the spokesperson said.
“A key feature of the works brief is the requirement
for the design and programme of works is sustainability.”
years, CIIC has assessed the residential building in Titikaveka requires
It is not fit
for purpose, or occupancy, as it is prone to issues when minor weather events
occur, and it is therefore a requirement from CIIC that the residence is not
It was an
agreed position between CIIC and the Head of State Office.
The Office of
the Head of State is situated on the same site.
In a building
next to the residence, the office comprises approximately 58m², a front 42m²
portico and a 24m² carport.
residence itself is not being used for formal occasions due to it not being fit
for purpose, from time to time the grounds are used for some events including
awards and presentations.
It was also
earlier confirmed the formal lease between the landowner and government had
expiry, there has been an ongoing arrangement between the landlord and
government, and government is therefore a tenant at will, on good terms.