Collection for Tonga underway today in Auckland

Non-perishable food is requested, along with small cooking utensils, batteries and torches. Photo: RNZ / Lydia Lewis

Three shipping containers are being set up at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium to be filled with donations for Tonga today.

The Aotearoa Tonga Relief Committee is organising the relief effort and plans to collect and ship food and emergency supplies donated mainly by people with family of those living in Tonga.

People can donate food and emergency supplies at Mt Smart stadium from 9am to 8pm on Friday and Saturday.

Priority will be given to people with family in Tonga, with each family being allocated a 44-gallon drum to send.

The Aotearoa Tonga Relief Committee is coordinating the collection of donations for Tonga at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium. Photo: RNZ / Lydia Lewis

Items being asked for are non-perishable foods like rice, canned meat, as well as water, small cooking utensils, batteries and torches.

Comittee Secretary, Pakilau Manase Lua said the Tongan government would prioritise distributing goods to the worst affected islands like Mango, Atata, Nomuka, Fonoifua.

He said the relief effort was giving many Tongan families in New Zealand a chance to turn worry into action while they wait to re-connect with loved ones.

People arrive with bottled water and other goods to send to Tonga. Photo: RNZ / Lydia Lewis

Shipping containers at Auckland’s Mt Smart ready be filled with donations for Tonga. Photo: RNZ / Lydia Lewis

Meanwhile, Hamilton City Council has provided a $10,000 grant to kick-start a relief effort for Tonga.

The money will be given to the Tonga Community Trust which is co-ordinating the efforts on behalf of the city.

The funds will be used to help cover shipping and freight costs for donated goods leaving Hamilton and the wider Waikato region.

Mayor Paula Southgate says people can also help via authorised GiveALittle funding sites or donating food and other non-perishable goods.

Source: RNZ