HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Treatment of elderly Aitutaki couple a disgrace

Two years after Cyclone Pat devastated Aitutaki, Amuri resident, 63 year old Catherine Marsters and her 68 year old invalid husband are still waiting for someone to finish the repairs on their house.
During the Cyclone, the roof blew off their home. Those carrying out the repairs had the new roof placed back onto the house but without securing or removing the original rafters. They are just sitting there dangerously unsecured. Marsters is worried these old rafters may fall at any time if there is another high wind. As to repairing the electrical wiring, the home, after two years, still has just the one power plug that works. The entire house is operating on one power plug with extension cords running throughout the house (see photo).
This is what this elderly couple have had to put up with for two years. They have spent $15,000 of their own money on repairs. Only the roof was attended to, but the rest of the house was badly damaged. They have also purchased the new wiring and need someone to install this. They are seeking someone to assist with the re-wiring and removal of the old rafters.
This is a disgraceful situation which someone in authority should attend to immediately. They have written letters to the Council and have had visits from people. However, nothing has happened.
Living in these conditions has affected their health. However they are trying to support themselves through doing jobs like sewing.
Marsters described her home as being like “a grave”-beautiful on the outside with its gardens, but rotten on the inside.
Who was supposed to follow up the building repairs to ensure the work was done to standards? Where was the local building inspector? Is there a local building inspector? Who was supposed to follow up the electrical work?
Central government needs to start kicking butts and hard.
-Charles Pitt

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

Copyright 2006 Cook Islands Herald online . All rights reserved.