9 Apr 2003

Cook Islands mayor defends spending of cyclone trust fund money

4:43 pm on 9 April 2003

The mayor of the northern island of Manihiki in the Cook Islands is defending a decision to use a trust fund for the community's benefit rather than individuals.

Solomona William says the island council decided to purchase two standby generators with the donations made to a trust fund set up following Cyclone Martin in 1997.

Concerns had been raised that the 135,000 U.S. dollars which was collected, hadn't been allocated to those in need and that the fund was sitting there doing nothing.

Mr William says using the trust fund for everybody on the island is a good idea.

"Rather than give the money for individual families, it's better to get something that will benefit the whole community and they have been wanting another standby generator so that they can extend their hours of running the power."

Mr William says the generators are expected to arrive shortly and once they're installed, electricity should be available to both villages between 6am to midnight.