14 Mar 2005

Long term reconstruction needs of Tokelau to be discussed

4:23 pm on 14 March 2005

The long term needs of the people of Tokelau are to be discussed at meetings later this week after relief supplies reached the three atolls, devastated by cyclone Percy.

The New Zealand administrator for Tokelau, Neil Walter, says a further shipment of relief supplies containing food, water and medicine is expected within the next couple of weeks.

But, he says attention is turning to longer term reconstruction efforts after schools, houses, buildings, seawalls, and the power and telecommunications infrastructure were extensively damaged.

"The Executive Council of Tokelau is coming out to Apia this week for a special meeting to co-ordinate the reports from the villages and assess their priorities."

Mr Walter says people on Tokelau are reliant on assistance as there's no insurance for the atolls and every village was badly hit.

He says there is no estimate yet of damage costs but it will be in the millions of dollars.

Mr Walter says meetings will also be held in Wellington where officials will be briefed by Tokelau's Director of Economic Development and the Environment, Foua Toloa.