Spill Notification Point
Ministry of Transport
PO Box 61, Rarotonga
Competent National Authority
Tel: +682-22 499
Fax: +682-21 499
The Ministry of Transport is the central notification point for pollution incidents. The Cook Islands are included within the boundaries of New Zealand but enjoy internal self-government. However, any major incident would most likely be notified to the New Zealand authorities.
The Cook Islands are a member of the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and party to the SPREP Protocol Concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution Emergencies in the South Pacific, which provides the legal framework through which marine spill contingency planning is addressed. SPREP has prepared PACPOL, the Pacific Ocean Pollution Prevention Programme, which has drafted the Pacific Islands Regional Marine Spill Contingency Plan (PACPLAN). This was endorsed by Members in September 2000 as the regional framework through which the SPREP Pollution Emergencies Protocol would be operationalised. PACPLAN only applies to spills where regional cooperation and/or supraregional assistance are required. It does not cover Tier One and Tier Two spills. At the national level, PACPOL has provided the Cook Islands with assistance in formulating its national plan, consistent with PACPLAN and international best practice.
Government & Private
In the event of a significant oil spill in Rarotonga, the resources of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning would be utilised. These include vehicles, machinery and work gangs. Other government departments also have some vehicles available.
According to a news report received in 2010, SPREP has procured oil spill equipment for the Cook Islands. Further details are not known.
According to a news report received in 2014, the Ports Authority has some capacity to deal with oil spills. Some of the fuel supply companies also have oil spill response equipment.
Aerial reconnaissance flights could be arranged through Air Rarotonga.
Previous Spill Experience
The last significant oil pollution incident in Rarotonga involved a land pipeline rupture in 1987, releasing diesel fuel into Avatiu Harbour.
Prevention & Safety
|OPRC '90||OPRC HNS|
* not yet in force
Regional & Bilateral Agreements
- Noumea Convention (with states of the South Pacific Region).
Date of issue: June 2017