16 Aug 2004

Cook Island authorities reject criticism of efforts over health care at Titikaveka Lagoon

7:07 am on 16 August 2004

The head of marine resources in the Cook Islands has hit back at allegations the government's been slow to act to find out the cause of the health scare at a lagoon.

Ian Bertram says water samples are still being sent to a laboratory in New Zealand for testing at six week intervals.

Two independent candidates in the upcoming elections, Tere Carr, and Elizabeth Ponga told local media the government was not being forthcoming with the latest information.

Mr Bertram says he hasn't heard from anyone feeling sick at Titikaveka lagoon in the last two months.

He says tests are still being carried out, so it's misleading of the candidates to say the authorities are withholding information.