30 Jan 2004

Niue government dismisses claims it is withholding aid supplies to its people

4:50 pm on 30 January 2004

The Niue Government has rejected claims it's withholding urgent aid supplies from Niueans affected by the devastation of Cyclone Heta.

There has been a succession of claims that aid meant for the cyclone victims has been stored at the house of Finance Minister Toke Talagi.

But a stocktake today shows there is nothing of immediate use in the four containers on Mr Talagi's property.

The Niue's High Commissioner to New Zealand, Hima Takelesi, has listed what is in the containers.

"Batteries for the public works department, tarpaulins that are surplus to requirements, water containers, no longer needed, Red Cross response materials - these are on hold because the initial emergency period is over and the Red Cross has told our people on Niue 'hold on to those materials, don't distribute them'. Empty water containers, two air conditioning units, whiteboards, bulldozer parts, earmuffs, a vacuum pump for the Health Department, four VHF radios that a surplus to requirements, ten boxes of clothing that's not appropriate for the tropics. That's the extent of what is left in the containers, that every man and his dog seems to have a go at."