20 Apr 2010

Aitutaki community in NZ wants speedier aid for rebuilding

10:58 am on 20 April 2010

Members of the Aitutaki community in Auckland, New Zealand, want the New Zealand and Cook Islands governments to take action over the lack of building repairs on their island.

The group say they are dismayed by the scant progress reports on repairs in Aututaki following cyclone Pat.

Community leaders who met in Auckland last night say an NZAID grant of nearly 4 million US dollars is locked up in bureaucracy, while people affected by February's storm live in tents.

Mama Tupou Manapouri, from the Manukau City Council Pacific Advisory Board, says the New Zealand government must press for action from the Cook Islands authorities.

"We need the Cook Islands government to do something quickly for our people. They can't be waiting for a long time in those makeshift tents."

Mama Tupou Manapouri says while people on Aitutaki are resilient, without more help their mental health is being compromised.