“As the true extent of the devastation emerges, Many Pacific communities in New Zealand have come to me to ask how they can help those affected in Fiji and Tonga,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.
“I have instructed my ministry to work with communities in Auckland and around the country to co-ordinate that help and ensure the right aid is being directed to where it is needed most.”
Ministry staff are also in contact with aid agencies, local government and central government agencies to ensure aid efforts by Pacific communities are co-ordinated.
They have attended meetings hosted by the Fijian Community Association of Auckland and the Akiheuho Aotearoa Tongan Health Workers Association this week to help with that co-ordination and to give advice and information.
“It is in times like this that the generous spirit and can-do attitude of New Zealanders comes to the fore and I applaud the efforts being made to help our Pacific neighbours in need, from our government’s immediate and effective aid, to communities around the country donating what they can,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.