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Waitakere examining Niue relief options

27 January 2004

Press release

Waitakere examining Niue relief options

Waitakere City’s environmental focus could soon be coming to the aid of cyclone-ravaged Niue.

One of the biggest problems facing the island is long-term environmental damage from both the immediate destruction and salt saturation of large parts of the island.

“We have a lot of Niuean people and a lot of environmental experts in Waitakere City and I would like to get a selection of expert people from the City to Niue, as soon as possible, to assess what help – and particularly help in the form of expertise and advice - we can provide,” says Waitakere City Mayor, Bob Harvey.

Meanwhile, the Mayor is forming a Mayor’s Relief Action Group within the Council, to assist the formal recovery efforts being put in place by Niueans themselves and the New Zealand Government.

Mayor Harvey will also be meeting Sir Barry Curtis tomorrow to talk through ways Waitakere and Manukau cities can work together to help Niue.

“Mayors are discussing ways that Auckland’s cities can work together on a regionally co-ordinated effort. However, I think that the regional effort will consist of co-ordinating what the cities do individually within their own communities. Therefore, I’m asking Waitakere City – not just the Council, but the whole community - to support the relief effort in our area.”

Mayor Harvey says that if it is practical and helpful, he would like to see relevant Council experts in health, sanitation, environment and civil defence going to Niue, as soon as possible.

“If they found some ‘Waitakere space’ on a Hercules tomorrow, I would like to think there would be a Waitakere City delegation on board.

“In the meantime, there is a big demand for both cash and goods – particularly goods like shovels, spades, chainsaws, cleaning materials – and we are working on assisting the Niuean community to organise within Waitakere City the collection and despatch of cash donations and goods,” says Mayor Harvey.

Council officers, members of its Pacific Islands Advisory Board and members of the Niuean Community met last week to discuss local relief organisation.


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