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Chinese contractor disregarded design warning

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (The Cook Islands Herald, July 29, 2009) - Despite warnings from local engineers against constructing a large square-shaped water tank, Chinese constructors built a square-shaped 1 million liter water tank in Tereora above the new indoor sports stadium.

The new tank, which was built during April/May 2009, has suffered severe damage with cracks appearing over the last two weeks after water began to be inserted.

Sam Napa, the local engineer who warned against the square tank design alerted the Herald on Wednesday morning to the matter. He said the problem was very serious. Napa said he had contacted the Director of the Water Works Division to advise of the problem. Napa said the Director asked him if he would attend to the problem but Napa said he declined.

Napa said that water and sewer pipes near the Stadium were also broken during the landscaping process.

During question time in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon Honorable Wilkie Rasmussen asked the Minister for Infrastructure Honorable Tangata Vavia if he was aware of the problem. Vavia said he had not been made aware as yet but would follow up the matter.

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