HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 582: 21 September 2011

Visit by Pacific Forum Line Commercial Manager
The Acting Prime Minister, Hon. Tom Marsters, as Transport Minister, met recently with regional shipping company, PACIFIC FORUM LINE (PFL), Commercial Manager, Mr. John Pearson.
Mr. Pearson was visiting to report on the latest operations of PFL, which are of great national and commercial interest to the Cook Islands. The Cook Islands is one of twelve Pacific nation shareholders of Pacific Forum Line. It also includes the governments of the Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Tuvalu.
During the recent Pacific Forum, Minister Marsters was able to meet and have shipping related discussions with other PFL shareholders in Auckland. He also met with senior executives from PFL.
The Cook Islands has recently renewed PFL’s shipping licence which confirms government’s continued commitment to its shareholding in and its future aspirations for PFL.
The Minister was also interested in receiving a trading update from PFL because his intervention and leadeship was instrumental in assisting PFL to continue operating, despite recent financial setbacks, which threatened its continued viability.
In May, at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of PFL shareholders held in Fiji, Cook Islands Minister for Transport, Hon. Tom Marsters urged for the adoption of new controls and processes to turn PFL around, so PFL could be given a chance to trade its way out of trouble, for the benefit of the Cook Islands and its regional partners.
Mr. Pearson confirmed to the Minister that “The financial results of PFL have been tracking upwards since the EGM in Fiji earlier this year and are now more in line with expectations.” The shipping figures for the Cook Islands are positive. He said that “The trading results for PFL’s service to Cook Islands have also been trending upwards and are currently performing ahead of expectations”. Despite the cancellation of voyage 17, the next voyage 18 will be Auckland direct to Rarotonga to the delight of its customers in Rarotonga. That voyage is booked to capacity now.
PFL looks forward to the government’s completion of the Avatiu harbour extension, which makes possible the engagement of larger ships, more reliable shipping schedules and new routes, which PFL can take advantage of.
The Minister was greatly encouraged by the interim report provided by PFL and looks forward to a full report at the end of the financial year, which is expected to be tabled at PFL’s Annual General meeting in October .
The government also wants to promote where possible active competition in the shipping market to and in the Cook Islands which is healthy and beneficial to all concerned.
DPM Office Media Release

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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