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Minister urges better management of govt assets

Thursday 15 February 2024 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Local, National


Minister urges better management of govt assets
Infrastructure Cook Islands Minister Albert Nicholas officially opened the Asset Management Workshop on Monday. ICI/24021309

Infrastructure Cook Islands organised an Asset Management Workshop this week to educate Rarotonga and Pa Enua representatives on managing government assets on their islands.

The workshop was officially opened by ICI Minister Albert Nicholas on Monday.

He acknowledged the Local Government Professionals Aotearoa (LGPA) for bringing the Pa Enua Island Government representatives to Rarotonga and for funding this workshop through the Programme for Technical Assistance to Pacific Island Countries.

Nicholas said that the government puts a lot of effort into procurement, repairs, rehabilitation, and replacement of assets both in Rarotonga and the Pa Enua.

He said they are also aware that the need for new assets, such as plant, property, and equipment, requested by Ministries and Island Governments cannot all be met in any given financial year, and must be spread over time.

Nicholas said he understands that this causes frustration with those requesting the assets.

“Given this scenario it is obvious that when we have an asset, we need to prolong its life to maximise the benefits that it gives those that it serves. I think that this is where asset management comes into play.

“I think that we need to ask the question of, why is asset management important? Why is it more important than it has ever been before? What’s new about it? What is different? Why do we need to focus on it?”

The Minister also said that, unfortunately, for many years, our Ministries and Pa Enua administration possibly have not always managed our assets to a standard that they should be.

He said that there is a legal obligation for government agencies and Island Governments to have a Fixed Asset register.

“An important part of being able to keep a good asset register is to know the condition of the assets.  You will be familiar with your Island Governments having to account for its plant, property, equipment; and infrastructure assets such as harbours, airport, roads, water and so forth. 

“We will always be challenged by the scarcity of resources – money and labour.  It therefore goes without saying that we must make choices on the best way to spend our resources. 

“I am therefore pleased that you have this opportunity this week to attend a workshop on how to better manage your assets.  I understand that you will be discussing the principles of asset management and how to apply this to your respective islands and that you will have the tools to develop your own management system.”