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Letter: A deafening silence

Friday 1 September 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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Letter: A deafening silence

Dear Editor, Over the past couple of days there has been a deafening silence from the Ministry of Transport regarding the shipping industry issues raised in the Cook Islands News.

There has been strong rhetoric and criticism levelled at the Transport Ministry and little response.

It is important for the Cook Islands to have robust transport system especially in air and sea.

As an island nation both the above modes are important for the countries continued growth and survival.

Whilst we have good air services for passengers and freight with a competitive element the same cannot be said for the shipping services.

A monopolistic shipping service exists.

Not only that it appears to not have a current licence. Why not?

It also appears the terms and conditions of the outdated licence were not available for importers and exporters to read.

Amazingly, it was reported, the tariff schedules appear to be lost and no one can find them.

Quite a shambolic position for such an important element in the transport system.

What would we do without a shipping service? The issue needs to be rectified and can, in my opinion –

1) The regulators need to ensure a valid licence is in place with appropriate tariff schedules attached and such licence should be made available to importers and exporters upon request. No "smoke and mirrors" please.

2) Attract a second shipping line to service the Cook Islands which should allow for a more competitive shipping service.

We remember the days of bad shipping services in the Cook Islands.

We should now be looking to move forward and looking for opportunities to improve our shipping services.

Rod Grout