NES announced a new EIA Permit Application by the Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC) as the project owner for the Te Tau Papa o Avarua – Panama Beautification & Punanga Nui Re-Organisation. This is NES’s first EIA public notification for 2023.
NES provides environmental sign off on projects that may have an impact on the environment (Tiers 1, 2 & 3). This particular EIA Permit Application falls under a Tier 3 category, which is an activity that is likely to cause significant environmental impact. All applications that fall under a Tier 3 category must provide an EIA report (www.environment.gov.ck/applications-permits/). According to the Environment Act 2003, NES is to undertake a public consultation process for all EIA Permit Applications in the form of publishing details of the project and making it accessible to the public.
The purpose of this project is to set out a program of infrastructure and landscaping activities to be carried out in Rarotonga’s main central business district (CBD) Avarua. The project area lies between Avarua wharf and Rarotonga Airport. The project initiatives encompass Avarua Town, the Punanga Nui Market (PNM) and Panama reserve and proposed improve walkways, lightings, pedestrian accessibility and safety, enrich the landscape with a variety of local flora to create a colour-filled aesthetic charm, entice and promote greater use of public spaces and facilities, redevelop existing public toilet facilities for more comfortable end user experience, and restructure and future-proof the PNM to open up greater potential for maintainable economic growth. The EIA Report entails the stages, emergency and infrastructure requirements. The management of impacts is provided on key areas that include land, waste, erosion control, hazards and risks. The EIA Permit Application has an Environment Management Plan section that outlines the measures planned to mitigate any environmental impact.
The EIA Report is available on the NES website and is available for any member of the public to access here.
A hard copy is also available at the NES office. Other notifications of the EIA will be made via NES’s Facebook page, e-newsletter and a public notice on print media. Members of the public who wish to make a submission for or against this EIA Permit Application can do so by writing to NES by end of business on 3rd April 2023. We welcome submissions in either Cook Islands Maori or English. The submission can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or delivered to the NES office in Tupapa.