Kiikii Motel was transformed into a 23-bed isolation facility earlier this year. PHOTO: CALEB FOTHERINGHAM/ 22022327
Tourist accommodation Kiikii Motel became an isolation facility because nobody else wanted to do it, says its owner Napa Napa.
Napa said the government approached the
accommodation because it needed a budget-conscious Managed Isolation and
Quarantine (MIQ) service for tourists. It cost visitors $50 per person per
night to isolate at the facility which was subsidised by the government.
“It wasn’t about the money, it was just
providing a service because there was nobody else that was willing to, that’s
all it was, the government came and approached us,” Napa said.
His comments are off the back of the
Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) thanking accommodation
providers that agreed to be isolation facilities for tourists that tested
positive for Covid-19.
In Rarotonga, KiiKii Motel, Ocean Resort
and Spa, and the Edgewater Resort and Spa all at some stage were isolation facilities.
In Aitutaki, Tamanu Beach Resort and Reef Motels became isolation facilities.
Cook Islands News asked MFEM on Tuesday
last week how many people used the facilities, what accommodation they stayed
in and how much the isolation facilities cost. The newspaper did not get a
However, Financial Secretary Garth Henderson told Cook Islands News
in March that $1.1 million was budgeted by MFEM for Managed Isolation
and Quarantine (MIQ) service from
January 13 to the end of June this year.
KiiKii Motel missed out on some of the
peak tourist season by remaining an isolation facility until August 31,
however, Napa said the situation was “give and take”.
He said his accommodation had people staying at the beginning of
the year when tourism was quiet which made up for missing out on part of the
Napa said from January to May “we had
people in house that were paying the government”.
“We were still working, I wouldn’t say it
was a huge income but it was good.
“It was more than enough to keep my staff
working and to do a few renovations.”
Napa said it was a good experience and
staff got trained by the Ministry of Health on how to do deep cleans.
But Napa said he would not choose to do it
“It’s good that we’re back and we’re open
MFEM said in the media statement: “These facilities were
an essential component of our health measures to prevent, limit, and mitigate
the spread of Covid-19 to protect our communities.”
“The accommodation facilities assisted with ensuring a range of
services were provided to all persons in isolation; ranging from laundry
services, meals, security, and clean rooms,” it said.
MFEM also thanked Te Marae Ora staff, police and Puna volunteers
in a “very uncertain and challenging period”.