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Saturday 20 February 2010 | Published in Regional


‘Operation Cook Islands Assist’ has been a big success so far.

“The reception we received when we flew into Aitutaki has been fantastic,” says Squadron Leader Kaveriri Tamariki, the senior officer for the New Zealand Defence Force operation.

“It was surprising when you consider the amount of damage and destruction caused by the cyclone. There is a lot of work to do to restore essential services before they begin the rebuilding process but the work has begun. We hope to make a positive impact while we are here.”

Fourteen army personnel are working alongside local people to help restore essential services and some sense of normality after the devastating damage of Cyclone Pat.