HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 586: 19 October 2011

Aitutaki cyclone reconstruction officially completed as of October 2011
The final phase of the Aitutaki cyclone reconstruction programme was finalized as of 14 October 2011 and the epic road to recovery from Cyclone Pat in February 2010 is now complete.
It was a very different story after the cyclone caused damage so extensive that the team of assessors had to put homes into four categories: partial loss of roof, total loss of roof, collapse of part of the home and complete loss of their home. New Zealand offered aid to fund the recovery and reconstruction programme to repair all occupied homes or to replace homes that were destroyed in the cyclone. The assessment team consisted of MOIP engineers led by Atatoa Herman, CI Red Cross, Disaster ManagementEMCI, NZAID were dispatched to the island to assess the damage and make recommendations as to the extent of the natural disaster.
MOIP engineers oversaw the reconstruction to ensure building codes and safety regulations were observed. NZAID also dispatched their own NZAID Clerk of Works to the island to provide advice on building methods to the local workforce recruited for the construction work. Employment of the local people was the wish of the Mayor of Aitutaki and local community as a means to not only provide work but also as an opportunity to receive training in the building industry for their men. At the end of the project, all workers in the programme received a certificate of attainment presented by the NZAID Clerk of Works, Peter Scantlebury. .
In mid September 2011, Minister of Infrastructure and Planning Hon Teariki Heather and Acting Secretary Donye Numa visited Aitutaki to view the final phase of the project. A community meeting was called during which the Minister presented reimbursement cheques to householders who had gone ahead with repair work on their own homes rather than wait for outside assistance.
At the time of the Ministerial visit, the project was all but complete apart from minor issues relating to certification of electrical work and the building and installation of 12 septic tanks. All such issues have been carried out and passed inspection and the project is now complete. MOIP is now completing all inspections.

Update on Pukapuka
The island of Pukapuka in February 2005 also sustained extensive damage to their homes owing to the effects of Cyclone Percy. Since that time, all homes have been repaired and a cyclone shelter is under construction due for completion in December 2011.
The project is funded by European Union and the Cook Islands Government and project manager Romani Katoa reports he has left for Pukapuka to check the progress on the cyclone shelter While there, he will also oversee the installation of the new water tanks and all fittings including first flush systems in all eligible households in Pukapuka and Nassau. The water tanks are part of the Northern Waters project funded by the New Zealand and Australian Governments. The aim is to provide eligible households with their own water storage in addition to the community water tanks. The increase in water storage will ssist them to better cope during times of low rainfall or natural disasters. Rakahanga and Penrhyn will also receive domestic water tanks whereas Manihiki will receive assistance with their community water supply under this programme.
MOIP press release

Herald Issue 554 09 March
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- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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