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NZDF completes Cooks hydrographic survey

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/06/2017

More accurate nautical charts of the Cook Islands are in the offing after a hydrographic survey by the NZ Defence Force.

Commodore Jim Gilmour, Maritime Component Commander, says an 11-member Navy team conducted the survey for Land Information New Zealand.

The aim was to identify uncharted navigational hazards in Rarotonga and Penrhyn, two of the Cooks' main islands.

The survey in remote Penrhyn checked the primary shipping route to the main town of Omoka on the west and the 11-kilometre passage to Te Tautua village on the east.

Commodore Gilmour says the work will allow both locals and visitors to get safely around the atoll and help to boost development there.

The team also surveyed the north-western quadrant of Rarotonga's surrounding waters, which is close to the airport.

LINZ senior hydrographic surveyor Stuart Caie says the data collected will allow the department to create essential navigation resources for mariners.

"South Pacific countries rely heavily on shipping for trade and transport, and cruise tourism is of growing economic importance," he said.

"We can now update the nautical charts for these areas to support these industries as well as promote safety at sea."

Mr Caie said the survey was part of a wider programme to improve nautical charts in the region.

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