14 Oct 2010

NZAID defends Samoa's post tsunami rebuild after criticism on TV3

8:13 pm on 14 October 2010

New Zealand's aid agency says Samoa has made demonstrable progress in restoring infrastructure to tsunami-hit communities.

Samoa's government is considering complaining to the New Zealand Broadcasting Standards Authority about a TV3 story questioning the whereabouts of millions of dollars of tsunami relief funds.

It says allegations by presenter John Campbell that around 45 million US dollars is unaccounted for are misleading, as they only consider the first year of a four year recovery plan.

The Campbell Live programme also questioned the time it is taking to restore running water and electricity.

But Peter Zwart, the NZAID manager in Apia, says Samoa has made solid progress overall given the substantial damage to infrastructure

"There's certainly been areas where it's been slower and water has been a really prominent one, and people need water on a daily basis so it's not something that can just wait. There have been interim solutions but really the long term solution is quite a complex one because these are relocated communities where there was no existing water supply to connect up to."

He says houses are being connected to the new water supply now.