Te Mato Vai project gets underway!

9 December 2013

The project manager – Kupa Engineering and Water Consult Limited, KEW – is a New Zealand-Samoan company with offices in both countries.

KEW specializes in engineering and project management with expertise across a wide range of disciplines ranging from design and supervision of major water supply and sanitation projects to transport, energy, defence and civil infrastructure work.

KEW has carried out work in Samoa, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Cook Islands and Kiribati.

Te Mato Vai – the upgrade and improvement of the water supply system to Rarotonga – is a joint venture between the Cook Islands, China and New Zealand.

Last month New Zealand High Commissioner Joanna Kempkers, Secretary of Finance Richard Neeves and Secretary of Infrastructure Mac Mokoroa signed the arrangement for a $3.8 million grant for the New Zealand Government to help pay for the master plan for the water supply system, project management and preparatory work. The Cook Islands Government ran international tenders and selected AECOM to complete the master plan, and KEW to manage the project from start to finish.

The Chinese construction company that will carry out much, but not all of the work will arrive in the Cook Islands in January next year and will start work immediately.

Local contractors will be able to bid on project components such as water intake rehabilitations, storage tanks construction and rehabilitations, water treatment plants, and also possibly the construction of trunk main pipelines.

The list of investments will be confirmed after the completion of the Project Master Plan conducted by AECOM. This Master Plan should be completed by the end of January 2014.

When Te Mato Vai is completed in three years’ time it will provide healthier treated water to the people of Rarotonga locals and visitors alike, and will be an encouragement to development on the island too.

Water intakes will be refurbished, there will be an increase in water storage capacity, water treatment facilities will be constructed, all trunk and ring mains will be replaced and all piping to the boundaries of properties served by the current network will be upgraded. The final stage will be the establishing the operation and maintenance of the new water supply.

Supplying safe, reliable and affordable water for all is the overarching goal of the water partnership.

Naturally before any of the physical work takes place the people of Rarotonga, all of whom are stakeholders, will be kept informed through a series of Awareness and Stakeholder communications activities including public meetings.

Wherever practical the Cook Islands Government will ensure works are carried out in the most cost effective and least disruptive manner. For example, co-ordinating the renewal of underground services and road works.

A Rarotonga based Communications Company – Woven Pacific headed by Cook Islander Jaewynn McKay – has been contracted to provide communications support to the Te Mato Vai project.