More Top Stories

Editor's Pick
Editor's Pick

TB cases detected

1 June 2024


Alleged rapist in remand

27 April 2024

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

New $620,000 forklift expected to transform cargo handling

Wednesday 5 June 2024 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National


New $620,000 forklift expected to transform cargo handling
Cook Islands Ports Authority mechanic and forklift driver Roger Kakenui U’a and Junior Nimerota on the brand-new SANY 35-tonne. Deputy Prime Minister Albert Nicholas (middle) and other guests pose in front. MELINA ETCHES/24053126

At the bustling Ports Authority in Avatiu, where the movement of cargo is the lifeblood of the operation, a seasoned mechanic and forklift driver is filled with excitement.

After 13 years of making do with aging, second hand equipment, Roger Kakenui U’a is thrilled that they have finally received a brand new state-of-the-art 35-tonne forklift that will transform the way containers are handled and moved.

“I’m very happy that we have finally received a brand-new forklift that we’ve been crying for, for a few years, now we finally have one and I hope this will make our jobs easier,” said U’a.

Junior Nimerota has been working at the Ports for almost a year. He too was happy to see their new forklift has arrived.

“This is good for us, we are all happy to have new equipment,” said Nimerota.

The blessing of a brand-new, $620,000 SANY 35-tonne machine was held on Friday at the Avatiu Harbour.

The machine was procured through an agent in New Zealand.

Okesene Moananu, the Cook Islands Ports Authority chief executive, said the maximum capacity of containers that come off the cargo ships are 30-tonne, hence why the forklift has a capacity of 35-tonne.

“We have had issues with the very old equipment that keeps breaking down hence the reason Ports have procured the new forklift to ensure we are providing the services we are meant to provide for businesses and the people of the Cook Islands,” said Moananu.

“We would like to upgrade most of our fleet to avoid any breakdown in the future and to be able to provide an efficient service.”

The warranty for the new machinery is covered for two years. Cook Islands Ports expects 10-15 years of work out of the SANY forklift.

Vaine Nooana-Arioka, chair of the Ports Authority Board, said: “This new equipment ensures that the Ports Authority can continue to deliver its core services efficiently, effectively and safely, thereby supporting the economic lifeline of our islands.”

“The forklift signifies the intent of the Ports Authority to overcome the challenges of their recent past, and focus with precision on operational resilience in our future.”

Deputy Prime Minister Albert Nicholas said the arrival of the new forklift represents more than just an upgrade, “it marks a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to modernise and streamline the Ports logistics”.

“The future plans are to upgrade the whole fleet since the old machinery has been around for many years, and a lot of them are becoming obsolete, and it’s getting harder to get parts,” Nicholas said.

“The amount of cargo that increases slightly every year so we need the machinery to cater for it … it’s about providing good, efficient service.”