8 Feb 2005

New Zealand stands by offer of assistance to Cook Islands

10:51 am on 8 February 2005

New Zealand is standing by its offer of assistance to the Cook Islands in the wake of cyclone Meena.

A spokesperson in the office of the foreign minister, Phil Goff, says there haven't yet been any requests for assistance.

New Zealand's High Commissioner in Rarotonga, Kurt Meyer, says they've been meeting Cook Islands officials throughout the path of the cyclone and have put the offer to them.

"The response from the Cook Islands government is one of very much gratitude and appreciation. At the present time, they've indicated to us that they're likely to be able to manage the clean-up process within their own resources but we will be meeting with them again later in the week to look at long term recovery and reconstruction."

Kurt Meyer says clean-up crews are at work around Rarotonga today and it is now possible to drive all the way around the island.