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Government to provide $10k for Vanuatu cyclone relief

Thursday 13 April 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Local, National, Regional, Vanuatu

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Government to provide $10k for Vanuatu cyclone relief
Cook Islands Vanuatu Community received overwhelming support from the Cook Islands community during their cyclone fundraiser at the Terevete Park in Avarua on March 31, 2023. 23033110

Prime Minister Mark Brown says he has indicated to his team at the Ministry of Finance that he is more likely to support initiatives that go to countries that are far more in need than New Zealand.

Brown made this comment in response to Opposition MP Teariki Heather who asked if the government would be contributing to the Tauturu Aotearoa fundraiser for those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle in New Zealand.

The Prime Minister said the effort by the Cook Islands people to raise more than $50,000 towards the cyclone relief in New Zealand was wonderful.

He said the government is mindful that with taxpayer funds they have had a lot of requests and among them this year they were asked whether the government was putting money towards the 200 years of Gospel celebrations.

“As the Minister for Finance it is important that we are prudent with how we spend our money,” Brown told Parliament.

“I think the fundraising effort demonstrated people’s support for that.

“What I have indicated to my team at the Ministry of Finance is that I am more likely to support these initiatives that go to countries that are in far more need than New Zealand.”

Brown said Vanuatu was hit by three cyclones and an earthquake in a short period of time.

He said the small Vanuatu community in the Cook Islands fundraised along with the Red Cross and Cook Islands community, managing to raise close to $10,000 through food sales and radiothon.

“This is a worthy cause that I feel our government and taxpayers should be putting some money into to support our fellow Pacific Islander that are in a much more needy position than our friends and families in New Zealand.”

Brown added that the government was allocating $10,000 towards the Vanuatu hurricane relief as part of Cook Islands contribution.