3 Mar 2005

Public appeal launched to raise money for cyclone battered Tokelau

6:27 pm on 3 March 2005

A public appeal has been launched to raise money for cyclone battered Tokelau.

Cyclone Percy ripped through the three New Zealand administered atolls at the weekend, causing widespread destruction.

The administrator, Neil Walter, says millions will be needed to rebuild the islands.

He says they will need around 700 thousand US dollars, immediately, for food, medicines and drinking water.

Much of that has already been granted, principally by New Zealand, but also Australia and the UNDP, and Mr Walter says there will be other sources of funding.

"in fact a relief fund has been opened up with the Tokelau communities to get assistance to the people who have lost so much. There are no insurance policies up in Tokelau and there are so many stores and possessions and equipment and buildings in fact, that have been swept away or lost or damaged. So some of that fund will go direct to the people themselves."

Mr Walter says any branch of the Bank of New Zealand will be able to take contributions for Tokelau.