18 Mar 2010

Aitutaki mayor ambivalent about Habitat plan

4:35 pm on 18 March 2010

The Mayor of Aitutaki in the Cook Islands Tai Herman says to withstand cyclones, people need houses stronger in foundation than what the organisation Habitat for Humanity has proposed to build.

Habitat had submitted a plan for 78 homes for those who lost their houses during Cyclone Pat last month, which the island council has rejected because it felt the houses would not be strong enough to withstand cyclones.

Cook Islands officials are expected to finalise which housing reconstruction plan will be carried out on Aitutaki by the end of the week.

Mr Herman says they appreciate Habitat's help and have not rejected its offer in total.

"The Council felt that although it's cheap and fast to build, any building that is paid by the New Zealand government or the Cook Islands government needs to stand out clear in the local environment. It needs to be strong and last a very long time that gives the reputation of the finance supplier a good name."

Aitutaki Mayor Tai Herman