NZ Pledges $5.5million For Cook Islands Reconstruction Post-CyclonePosted: March 14, 2010
A $5.5 million reconstruction package for the Cook island of Aitutaki, which was devastated by Cyclone Pat, was announced today by Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully.
Cyclone Pat ripped through the Cooks last month, causing severe damage on Aitutaki.
“Around 80 per cent of the houses on the island were affected in some way, and 72 were completely destroyed,” Mr McCully said today.
“Tourism on Aitutaki is a vital income source for the Cook Islands. Our assistance will help get things back to ‘business as usual’ as quickly as possible, and ensure the economy does not suffer long-term effects.”
New Zealand had already provided $350,000 for emergency relief efforts, while a RNZAF C-130 Hercules and engineering team supported local efforts in the immediate aftermath of the cyclone.
“We are now addressing the longer-term reconstruction needs through a substantial contribution to the Cook Islands Government’s reconstruction plan,” Mr McCully said.