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Public submissions open for major town project

Junior Tapoki, National Environment Service senior environmental compliance officer, with Tekura Moeka’a, NES manager environmental policy and planning
Published date: 18-Mar-2023

The Panama beautification and Punanga Nui Market re-organisation project is gaining momentum with the National Environment Service yesterday announcing an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) permit application for public scrutiny.

Cook Islands Investment Corporation, as the project owner for the Te Tau Papa o Avarua – Panama Beautification and Punanga Nui Re-Organisation, has filed for the EIA permit.

The project is part of the long-term strategic plan of the Avarua Town Plan to set out a programme of infrastructure and landscaping activities to be carried out in Rarotonga’s main central business district (CBD) area between Avarua wharf and Rarotonga Airport.

The proposal will address the reorganisation of the Punanga Nui Market and development of facilities “that will enhance customer experience and service delivery from farmers, fishers, providers of arts and crafts etc.”, beautification of green spaces and public toilet upgrades, and beautification of the Panama Reserve area with walkways, picnic sites and public toilet upgrades.

Initiatives of the project encompass proposed improved walkways, lighting, pedestrian accessibility and safety, enrich the landscape with a variety of local flora, entice and promote greater use of public spaces and facilities, and restructure and future-proof the Punanga Nui Market to open up greater potential for economic growth. 

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