15 January 2004
Union Solidarity for Niue Relief
The Council of Trade Unions is urging union members around the country to give generously to relief funds set up to help victims of Cyclone Heta on Niue Island.
Around 20,000 Niueans live in New Zealand, and the two countries have long had a close relationship, says the CTU’s Komiti Pasefika (Pacific Committee) co-convenor Efu Koka.
“Many of us work alongside people from Niue and they are our union brothers and sisters as well,” Efu Koka says. “They have family members still on Niue who have lost their homes and most of their possessions in Cyclone Heta.
“They need our help to restore essential services, as well as rebuild their homes, hospitals, and other public buildings.”
Komiti Pasefika is encouraging members of all unions, through their delegates, to dontate to Nuie relief appeals, The CTU’s organisation of affiliate unions makes it possible for a co-ordinated response to the call for help.
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation has set up a fund in response to the desperate situation of Niue nurses who are stuggling to give health care without a hospital.
The national Pacific radio network, NiuFM, has also established a fund to assist in rebuilding Niue, as well as to help the victims of Heta in Samoa and Tonga.
“Komiti Pasefika urges all union members to give what they can to these appeals,” Efu Koka says.