The devastation caused by Cyclone Gita is felt by all Tongan’s in New Zealand because of the impact on their families and villages in their beloved homeland. The cyclone has caused significant damage that will take years to recover from and many families face hardships throughout the Kingdom. “This is the biggest natural disaster to hit Tonga and will require a massive relief effort to get the nation back on its feet and to support the vulnerable communities suffering right now”.
The Hahake Community members have banded together to provide containers to deliver much needed supplies for the villages in their 23 villages. An approach was made to Sir Laauli Michael Jones and Matson Shipping and they stepped up with a generous offer to provide 6 twenty-foot containers for the Hahake villages. Two of the containers will be allocated for Nuku’alofa villages of Fasi and Ma’ufanga.
Melino Maka of the Tonga Advisory Council said that, “we are so grateful to Sir Laauli Michael Jones and his Matson Shipping Group for providing the containers free of charge. This is a huge contribution and enables our community and families to start preparing supplies to fill the containers.”
The six 20-foot containers will leave Auckland on 24th/25th of February and arrive in Nuku’alofa on the 15th/16th of March.
The group have also written to Tonga’s Minister responsible for Emergency Management and Natural Disasters, Hon. Poasi Tei, requesting a waiver to customs duties on this shipment. The Tongan government have been great and helpful so we hope to receive a favourable decision from the Honourable Minister. We are also in contact with local MPs and Nobles in Tonga to coordinate our efforts alongside the government departments responsible for disaster management. Our support is going direct to each of the families and villages in Hahake from their loved ones here in New Zealand.
The group members are made up of the following who represent each of the villages of the Hahake area as well as some from Nuku’alofa.
Tonga Advisory Council & Hahake Cyclone Gita Relief Group (representative and village)
- Melino Maka (Hoi, Talasiu, Lapaha, Tatakamotonga, ‘Alaki, Holonga)
- Semi Pulu (Talafo’ou, Nukuleka, Navutoka, Kolonga, Afa, Niutoua)
- Hene Nai & Tevita Ikavuka (Malapo, Hu’atolitoli, Piula, toloa, Pelehake, Fua’amotu, Nakolo, Ha’asini, Lavengatonga, Fatumu, Haveluliku)
- Paku Fakafanua & ‘Eseta Finau (Ma’ufanga)
- Va’a Talia’uli (Fasi moe Afi)
- Tae Tu’ikukuafe (Tongan Community Council - Wellington)
Chair – Tongan Advisory Council
Ph: 027 563 5466