Prime Minister Henry Puna spent time yesterday afternoon with David Sloan, the PMU Water Engineer along with Te Mato Vai contractors McConnell Dowell as they conducted a site inspection of the Matavera intake with landowners and the media.
“We’ve nearly completed the construction works at Turangi, Avana, Matavera and Tupapa,” said Sloan. “Takuvaine and Papua are not far behind, and our goal now is to complete Ngatoe, Avatiu, Taipara and Totokoitu later in our construction program but certainly before the end of this year.”
Prime Minister Puna was shown through the Matavera construction site, including the almost 2 million litre water holding tank, intake and water treatment facilities. “I am impressed with the magnitude of the work done so far,” said Puna, “and that very soon the reality of clean drinking water for all households will be a reality for the people of Rarotonga.”
Prime Minister Puna was also pleased to hear that of the 91 McConnell Dowell staff on the project (excluding subcontractors), 73 of the staff are Cook Islanders, with 12 of those staff coming home to Rarotonga to work on the project. "This has always been our desire as government, to create opportunities for our people to come home or for those living here, to a project as significant as this one," said Puna.
McConnell Dowell has also engaged local subcontractors including Mike Rennie Builders, T&M Heather, G&S, S&T Contractors and Landholdings.
“But it must be said”, continued Puna, “none of this would have been possible without the support and cooperation of the landowners. It was rewarding to visit the site today with the landowners and to better appreciate the work being done by the contractors and our people for us all”.
As construction progresses, we will provide site visits for landowners to view the work in progress and the completed structures on their land.