20 Jul 2006

New Zealand government to consider funding Cook Islands cyclone relief package

1:34 pm on 20 July 2006

The New Zealand government is to consider a request from the Cook Islands to provide the bulk of funding for a cyclone relief and reconstruction package.

The package, which is designed to address issues identified with infrastructure, disaster management, housing, health, public administration, micro-enterprises and livelihoods, is costed at a total of 13.5 million New Zealand dollars.

The NZ AID manager in Rarotonga, Stephanie Knight, says several donors have been approached but there are nine projects that New Zealand will consider.

She says these include upgrading access to water supplies, a topographic survey of public utilities, and the building up of capacity for disaster management, among others.

"The Cook Islands government has costed them out at 9.9 million and I think that New Zealand would consider seriously the projects that they have that have come to that amount but no amount in advance has been - we haven't said that we will contribute this amount."

Dr Knight says they expect to be able to give an answer to the funding for the plan within a month after it has been considered by the minister.