10 Jun 2009

New Zealand military installs water tanks in northern Cooks

3:18 pm on 10 June 2009

New Zealand army personnel are installing water tanks on Pukapuka island in the northern Cook Islands.

The soldiers, supported by the New Zealand Navy's multi-use ship, HMNZS Canterbury, arrived off the island nearly a week ago.

In conjunction with the New Zealand aid agency, NZAID, army engineers have been repairing buildings damaged in cyclones nearly four years ago and a contingent of doctors and dentists is providing care as well as surveying the health status of the islanders.

The commander of HMNZS Canterbury, Jim Gilmour, says they are also helping install ten 20,000 litre water tanks.

"There is no ground water so all the water they need they get from the sky. So some of these larger buildings really have inefficient ways of collecting the water, so that is another big thing we are doing."

Commander Gilmour says HMNZS Canterbury will be off Pukapuka for another six days.