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Government response to Tonga crisis weak and embarrassing

Government response to Tonga crisis weak and embarrassing
 
Mana is highly critical of the New Zealand government’s response to the devastation in Tonga caused by Cyclone Ian.
 
Tonga is our closest Pacific neighbour but the government’s initial $50,000 contribution was frankly an embarrassment.
 
The Tongan community in New Zealand has contributed enormously to the New Zealand economy over the decades yet our response to this most devastating cyclone which has ravaged 75% of the homes in the Ha’apai group of Islands was weak and pathetic.
 
The government has now agreed to increase its contribution but the figures are still pathetic.
 
The government has the opportunity this week to makes some amends as discussions are to be held over providing direct flights from Auckland to Tonga so relief can get to where it’s needed much more quickly. We look forward to the government reaching out with respect to better support our nearest Pacific neighbours at a time of great need.
 
Meanwhile Mana is continuing to collect non-perishable food (bags of flour and rice, canned food etc) as well as such things as fishing gear, bush knives, seeds, ropes and tarpaulins.
 
We dropped off our first pile this morning and will continue to do so during this week.
Sefita Haouli of the Ha'apai Relief Committee in acknowledging the contributions said this morning "We have a Tongan saying that in stormy seas when two wakas are strapped together the load is lessened and a lot more can be achieved".
 
New Zealand needs to tie our waka more closely to Tonga.
 
It would be great if the media could help spread the message about the need for non-perishable food (bags of flour and rice, canned food etc) as well as such things as fishing gear, bush knives, seeds, ropes and tarpaulins. They can be dropped off at:
 
Inner City Auckland: Suite 46/113 Greys Ave
Central Auckland: 4 Ethel Street Morningside
East Auckland: 29 Line Road Glen Innes
South Auckland: 5 Celia Place Mangere
 
Or they can be dropped off directly at Loto Fale'ia church, 34 Orly Rd, Mangere between 9am and 9pm Monday to Saturday this coming week where containers are being filled to ship next week.
 
ENDS

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