5 Nov 2009

Samoa Prime Minister says tsunami aid critic a bitter hearted person

8:01 pm on 5 November 2009

The Samoa Government has rejected comments by MP Palusalue Faapo II that tsunami recovery work is favouring the constituency of the Prime Minister and that of Agricultural Minister Taua Kitiona Seuala.

The Opposition MP questioned the fairness of the distribution of international aid and called for greater transparency from the government.

But the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says those are the comments of a person with a bitter heart.

He says there is parity in the recovery work and this is obvious in the villages.

A New Zealand local body politician, Litea Ah Hoy, has also been critical, claiming housing assistance was being directed to the constituencies of Cabinet Ministers.

But Tuilaepa asks how that can be when the government housing assistance programme is yet to start.

He says if people are rebuilding their homes then most probably they are paying for it themselves, or their families from overseas are helping them rebuild.

The Prime Minister says carpenters from Habitat New Zealand have arrived this week and have now started assembling the first of 600 pre-fabricated houses as part of the government's programme.