7 Apr 2010

Cooks mayor says Aitutaki rebuilding may start next month

1:10 pm on 7 April 2010

The mayor of Aitutaki in the Cook Islands, Tai Herman, says the rebuilding of homes damaged by Cyclone Pat could begin as early as next month.

Cyclone Pat ripped through Aitutaki in February, causing damage to 80 percent of houses and destroying about 78.

Mr Herman says the process of repairing roofs is progressing well, with partially damaged roofs in three out of eight villages completely fixed.

He says designs have also been approved for new houses to replace those destroyed.

"The next step would obviously be to procure the materials from New Zealand, as we all buy everything from New Zealand. And then we are now processing through the various places where these houses are going to be built, to look at the sites where they're going to be built. And we hope to start the construction phase within the next thirty days I hope."

Tai Herman says the New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, and a delegation have met the Island Council and is reportedly pleased with the clean-up.