16 Feb 2006

Cook Islands Government promises immediate action over delayed rebuilding on Pukapuka

4:19 pm on 16 February 2006

The Cook Islands government says building work on the island of Pukapuka has taken too long and building materials will be on the next boat available.

Five new houses and three new outbuildings are still without a roof, whilst twelve houses which were damaged in the cyclone have yet to be repaired.

The acting chief executive of the Office of the Minister for Island Administration, Otheniel Tangianau, says his department took over the project from the ministry of works a week ago.

Mr Tangianau says the project was initially delayed because they ran out of materials and had to go through the process of applying for more materials, once again.

"When they went up there with their initial assessment, they went with adequate materials but when they start re-assessing the situation on the ground, they realise that while some houses have a roof they also have structural weaknesses in the roof itself. Because they didn't know this prior to going there so they start consuming more resources than they should."

Mr Tangianau says the impact of leaving the buildings without rooves may mean that the timber is now warped, but he doesn't think this will lead to long term damage.