14 Mar 2005

Tokelau assesses longer term relief efforts

8:25 pm on 14 March 2005

Discussions are being held this week on how to repair and rebuild schools, houses and seawalls on Tokelau which were extensively damaged by cyclone Percy.

A first shipment of relief supplies has reached the three atolls, and the New Zealand administrator for Tokelau, Neil Walter, says a further shipment containing food, water and medicine is expected to be sent within the next couple of weeks.

But, he says attention is now turning to longer term reconstruction efforts.

Mr Walter says apart from infrastructure, there's another area that relief efforts need to be directed at.

"That's really for the individual villagers; many of whom lost a lot of possessions, a lot of equipment, supplies and so on, had many of their buildings knocked about badly. And, because there's no insurance in Tokelau, we're trying to cater for that set of needs through a special Tokelau relief fund."

Mr Walter says Tokelau's Executive Council is meeting in Apia at the end of the week and Tokelau's Director of Economic Development and the Environment, Foua Toloa, will also be briefing officials in Wellington.

He says the meetings will hear the priorities of the villagers and what longer term relief efforts are required.