15 Mar 2010

Aitutaki MP says Cooks cyclone repsonse is slow

2:36 pm on 15 March 2010

An MP on the island of Aitutaki says the response of the Cook Island government to the cyclone that hit a month ago continues to be too slow.

The New Zealand government has announced a 3.8 million US dollar reconstruction package for Aitutaki after Cyclone Pat.

It says about 80 percent of the houses on Aitutaki were damaged by the cyclone, with 72 completely destroyed.

But MP Teina Bishop says they still haven't been told how many people are homeless, or how long it will take to rehouse them.

"Those who were in the tents, are still in the tents, making do. And because there's hardly any shade because all the trees, all the natural shade was taken away, it's quite hot."

Teina Bishop says people with enough money have started to repair their homes.

But he says it's difficult to help people when it's unclear how much funding will be allocated to them.

He says Aitutaki is out of petrol and is waiting for a ship that was turned back by the cyclone to bring supplies this week.