KIWI POLITICIAN STANDS BY SAMOA AID ABUSE

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Deputy Mayor Ah Hoi says sale of aid goods plain to see

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 2, 2009) – A New Zealand politician, who criticised the delivery of tsunami aid in Samoa last week, says she stands by her concerns despite a statement by the Samoan government that it has systems in place to monitor aid.

The government has challenged the deputy mayor of Porirua, Litea Ah Hoi, to produce evidence that goods were being sold in shops.

[PIR editor’s note: Porirua is a city near Wellington, the New Zealand Capital. ]

It says all goods and money received are recorded by the Treasury, and the movement of aid is observed by government officials at each stage.

Ms Ah Hoi admits she does not have evidence.

But she says she will not be bullied by the Samoan government, and stands by what she saw and was told by people in Samoa.

"I mean it’s quite openly talked about, not just in the villages, but around within the city, where ever it is that you go, but you won’t find one person that will stand up and question it. I guess there is a fear factor among the Samoan people that the minute they do, they are going to get dumbed down."

Litea Ah Hoi says she also saw infrastructure being repaired in the villages of government ministers ahead of other areas.

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