19 May 2004

Niue opposition MP questions allocation of cyclone aid

10:37 am on 19 May 2004

An Opposition MP in Niue has attacked the distribution of some aid in the country after Cyclone Heta.

O'love Jacobsen says the people who were most affected by the January cyclone are not receiving homes that were meant for them.

She plans to write to the French Polynesian President, Gaston Flosse, who had indicated the 40 homes should go to those displaced families who lost everything.

Mrs Jacobsen says the government has given a home to a woman whose husband was shot by a warden years ago as a compensation payment.

"It had nothing to do with the hurricane. That was the compensation issue for government. Yet this woman has got a three-bedroom home - one of those Tahitian homes - and that is about to be built next month. The next lot of twenty homes is about ready to be built next month. That is one example."

O'Love Jacobsen says the government seems to be giving the homes out for political reasons rather than humanitarian.

The Premier of Niue, Young Vivian, has hit back at the allegations saying the homes have been given to people who need them.

The first 20 homes goes to those families whose homes were damaged by the cyclone, or three quarters damaged to the cyclone and those who are on the very edge of the dangerous areas.

Young Vivian declined to say who is on the list to get a new home, and says everybody in Niue knows who will get homes donated by French Polynesia.