The Cook Islands Government has acquired a fleet of 25 Hyundai Ionic electric vehicles, valued at $1.7 million (US$1 million) landed cost which will be used to transport the Leaders during the five days of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders (PIFLM52) to be held in November.

Two processes, overseen by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM)were carried out for the purchase of these vehicles – an expression of interest process was initially completed followed by a competitive quote process including local suppliers to tender their bids, with Hyundai Motors NZ Ltd tender the successful bid as a result of this process.

The purchase of these electric vehicles are in keeping with Government’s continued efforts towards green and clean transportation.

In keeping with past practice, the vehicles will be available for pre-sale to the public and for replacement vehicles within the Government’s vehicle fleet. Information pertaining to viewing and purchase of the vehicles can be found on the PIFLM52 website.

The process for viewing and purchase of the electric vehicles will be overseen by the Major Project and Procurement Support Division of MFEM.

At their meeting hosted by the Government of Fiji in Suva in July 2022, the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders confirmed the Cook Islands to host the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting (PIFLM52) in the Cook Islands in 2023.

The Cook Islands assumed Forum Chair responsibilities at the conclusion of the Special Leaders Retreat hosted by Fiji Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, in Nadi in February 2023 and preparations for PIFLM52 which will be held in Rarotonga and Aitutakifrom 6 – 10 November have advanced, and are being coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI).

Amongst hosting obligations is the requirement for the provision of in-country transportation for Leaders during the week of PIFLM.

The Cook Islands last hosted in 2012 for the 43rd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting; 1997 for the 28th PIFLM; and in 1985 for the 16th PIFLM.