Kiritimati Island to benefit from NZ investment

Tourist fishing boat, Kiritimati Island. Photo / Ross Setford / NZPA
Tourist fishing boat, Kiritimati Island. Photo / Ross Setford / NZPA

The government has announced an investment plan to develop tourism in Kiribati.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully announced today New Zealand will invest in aviation links and renewable energy for Kiribati's Kiritimati Island.

"Kiritimati Island has enormous potential for tourism, yet the sector's development is constrained by limited air services and the lack of a reliable and sustainable electricity network," he said.

The government has agreed to develop Cassidy Airport in Kiritimati, a project that will cost an estimated $6.25 million and will secure the future of aviation in the island.

"Kiritimati Island relies almost exclusively on imported diesel fuel for electricity generation and faces issues in delivering and maintaining a reliable and sustainable electricity service," Mr McCully said.

"New Zealand and The European Union are working closely to help Pacific Governments convert to renewable energy and the agreement we have entered into will allow for great technical cooperation on energy projects on Kiritimati Island."

He said the growth of tourism and fisheries in Kiritimati Island was vital to the future of the nation.


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