Mayor Phil Goff has today pledged $25,000 from Auckland’s Mayoral Fund for the Pacific to support disaster recovery efforts in Tonga following the recent Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai volcano eruption and following tsunami.
The support is provided from a charitable trust fund—set up for the purpose of disaster relief in the Pacific—to which businesses, individuals and Auckland Council have contributed over time.
The funding commitment was made at a relief drive at Mt Smart Stadium attended by Mayor Goff, MPs Jenny Salesa and Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki, and councillors Alf Filipaina, Josephine Bartley, and Efeso Collins. Mayor Goff also delivered a personal donation of foodstuffs at the event to support those in need.
“When a natural disaster strikes those in our neighbourhood, it is the right thing to do to give a helping hand to those in need,” Mayor Goff says.
“We are mindful that with our large local Tongan community in Auckland, there are many in our city with close family ties to Tonga who will be concerned about their families’ ability to meet basic human needs.
“The volcanic eruption and tsunami has—in addition to causing loss of life—created major destruction of homes and community infrastructure.
“We have already extended our sympathy to Tonga and offered technical expertise to help in the recovery, but this will help in a material way, including enabling families here to provide direct support back to their village and families.”
Manukau Councillor Alf Filipaina says, “Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by the volcano and tsunami, and our hearts go out to those families who have lost loved ones in this disaster or have sustained damage to their homes.”
“I acknowledge also Auckland Council Governance Director Phil Wilson, protector of the Mayoral Fund for the Pacific, and Joy Marslin, Chief Executive of the Auckland Foundation, which holds the fund, for their assistance in making this support available.”
How to donate
The donation drive was organised by the Aotearoa Tonga Relief Committee, which is urgently seeking donations of non-perishable food and bottled water for the people of Tonga. Priority will be given for family-to-family donations.
Donations can be dropped off at Mt Smart Stadium, Maurice Road entrance, from 9am to 8pm on Friday 21 January.
Basic food items and bottled water will be a priority, with donations of the following items preferred:
- bottled water
- cooking oil
- cabin bread
- canned foods especially tinned fish and meat
- toilet paper
- tents, kerosene lamps, torches, rechargeable lanterns.
Vaccination passports will be required to enter Mt Smart Stadium.