Mayor Phil Goff: Our thoughts are with the people of Tonga

Publish Date : 16 Feb 2018

Mayor Phil Goff offers his support to those affected by Cyclone Gita.

Our thoughts are with the people of Tonga in the aftermath of Cyclone Gita, the worst storm to hit the country in 60 years.

Hurricane-force winds of up to 260km/h destroyed homes, businesses and even the country’s 100-year old parliament building, and hundreds of people are now living in temporary shelters as a massive clean-up effort gets underway.

I have written to Prime Minister Hon ‘Akilisi Pohiva, expressing on behalf of Auckland our condolences and support. I am liaising with the New Zealand Government on their response and we will assist as required.

While Tonga bore the brunt of Cyclone Gita, our thoughts are also with our other Pacific neighbours affected and those still in its path.

I have been advised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade that the best way for Aucklanders to help is to make a financial donation to an experienced organisation working on the ground in Tonga. These NGOs have clear systems in place for assessing what’s needed, have strong local links, and where practical source supplies from close to the affected area, supporting the local economy.

MFAT suggests Kiwis donate to emergency appeals operated by:

Adventist Development Relief Organisation (ADRA) New Zealand

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand

Christian World Service

Habitat for Humanity Emergency Disaster Appeal for Cyclone Gita

Red Cross New Zealand

Rotary New Zealand

Tearfund New Zealand Cyclone Gita Appeal

Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA)

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