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Tuesday 9 March 2010 | Published in Regional


Prime minister Jim Marurai has cancelled the state of disaster he declared for Aitutaki on February 10 after the island was struck by Cyclone Pat.

“As we move into the recovery phase for Aitutaki, let me assure you that my government is totally committed to the social and economic recovery of the island,” wrote Marurai in his statement revoking the state of disaster on Friday.

CI News was informed yesterday of the PM’s decision by emergency management Cook Islands director Charles Carlson.

Marurai’s statement says after consulting with Carlson and police commissioner Maara Tetava, he was satisfied that the state of disaster no longer applied.

“I take this opportunity to thank all ministries, agencies and the community for their support and cooperation during the response phase of this event.

“I also acknowledge the New Zealand High Commission office, Royal New Zealand Air Force and the New Zealand Defence Force, UNDAC and the UNDP for their support to the Cook Islands,” said Marurai.

Now four weeks on from the devastation wreaked by the category 3 cyclone, government is beginning to carry out the $9.46 million Aitutaki recovery plan announced last week. The priority is providing funding assistance to rebuild and repair the 78 percent of homes damaged in the natural disaster.

- Helen Greig

Housing and infrastructure main priorities for recovery