Help for Tonga

Written By: - Date published: 3:24 pm, February 13th, 2018 - 10 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, Environment, International - Tags: , ,

EleanorAingeRoy is reporting at The Guardian,

The islands of Tonga in the South Pacific have been devastated by Tropical Cyclone Gita with winds of 230km/h flattening parts of Parliament House and causing significant damage and injuries across the kingdom.

Gita hit Tonga around 8pm on Monday night and peaked between 11pm and 2am, slamming on to the south coast of the main island of Tongatapu, bringing down electricity lines, smashing churches and levelling fruit trees and crops vital to the island’s livelihood.

At its peak, winds reached 233km/h – far stronger than predicted, despite Gita not reaching a category five storm as anticipated.

According to the British Met office, Gita is the worst cyclone to pass so close to Tonga’s main islands in 60 years, and communications were lost overnight as Gita ripped the roof off the Tonga meteorological office as well as taking the national broadcaster off air for a time.

RadioNZ have reported that every house in the capital Nuku’alofa has been damaged, ongoing coverage is here.

Stuff have compiled a list of ways to help Tonga:


The New Zealand Red Cross Pacific disaster relief fund ensures the Red Cross can respond quickly and efficiently to assist with the damage.

People can donate to the standing relief fund immediately.

Money donated can be released right away to help with the relief efforts, a spokeswoman for NZ Red Cross said.

Visit the Red Cross website here or contact 0800 RED CROSS. (733 2767)


Habitat for Humanity are preparing a response for Tonga and have started an Emergency Response Disaster Fund.

Donate and help rebuild communities in Tonga here or contact your local branch here.


Oxfam’s disaster relief work in the Pacific has provided clean water supply, sanitation, hygiene, and emergency food.

You can make a one-off donation to Oxfam’s disaster response fund here or contact 0800 600 700.


A spokesman for the Salvation Army said staff in Tonga are helping with the clean up and housing families.

At least 11 families were being housed by the Salvation Army during the cyclone.

“We are working with the Tongan government and staff in Tonga to find out what the immediate and long-term needs are before an appeal is launched,” the spokesman said.

Keep an eye out here and on the Salvation Army Facebook page if you want to help.


A GoFundMe fundraising account ‘Support for Tonga’ has been set up by a Tongan expat.


People in Auckland who want to make donations or drop off food can contact the Reverend Iveni Tomu at the Free Church of Tonga in Māngere on 09 376 462.

“Our Church will be helping out… we will be fundraising and sending that back to Tonga,” Isa Tomu said.

10 comments on “Help for Tonga”

  1. Leonhart Hunt 1

    Always have to be careful with some of the charities, (luckily none of the above are embroiled in disaster profiteering and are ok to donate to)

    I’m very cautious now after the chch earthquake I check who the funds are going to, I donated and then found out that almost all the funds were being consumed by admin and never actually got to the area or for those in need, but on marketing and advertising cost.. for more money to spend on marketing and advertising costs, there is a legal requirement that .17c of each dollar donated is used for the specified relief, but often this is consumed by misc admin costs not support and your donated funds don’t help anyone.

    be wary of whom you donate too, some have turned relief into a business.

  2. Anne 2

    To all those who claim we don’t need a Defence Force, this is precisely why we do need a Defence Force.

    I had the privilege of being involved in the Air Force response to Cyclone Bola in the late 1980s and I witnessed the tremendous amount of work they carried out 24/7 for what turned out to be weeks on end. Without their assistance the Hawkes Bay and Taranaki regions would have been stuffed for years to come.

    Not only do they have the man/women power but they have the resources and most important of all… the discipline to carry out their tasks with precision and dedication. It certainly changed my view towards the armed services and continues to do so.

    Just a pity some of their bosses slip up from time to time. eg. Afghanistan/Hit and Run.

    • RedLogix 2.1

      Gita has the potential to another Bola. It’s going to reach Cat 5 somewhere mid Tasman and while it’s faster moving at present than Bola, even if it makes landfall in NZ as a Cat 3 or 4 we’ll have a very ugly 24 hours or so.

      • Anne 2.1.1

        I’ve been following that brilliant set of graphics you linked to yesterday Redlogix. It looks like the bottom third of the NI and the top third of the SI are going to cop the worst of it – especially the associated rain bands. Just as well because us folk in Auckland and Northland have had bloody enough rain thank-you very much.

    • Ed 2.2

      Move soldiers from Iraq to Tonga.

    • Not only do they have the man/women power but they have the resources and most important of all… the discipline to carry out their tasks with precision and dedication.

      That was true of Telecom (Post Office then) as well. Communications across the country was maintained because we had thousands of people out doing 18 hour days.

      In fact, I’d say it was true of all government departments at the time. All of us with any sort of construction mandate (Telecoms, power, MoW, etc) was out in the field fixing stuff. Different departments were doing different things of course but it was coordinated effort.

      • Anne 2.3.1

        You’re right DTB. It was a coordinated effort but I happened to be working at the Whenuapai Air Base at that time so became familiar with their contributions.

        Since the advent of neoliberal market forces I doubt this country could cope with a Bola type emergency very well because all the service agencies have been allowed to run down or handed over to private companies who are only interested in making profits for their shareholders.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Since the advent of neoliberal market forces I doubt this country could cope with a Bola type emergency very well because all the service agencies have been allowed to run down or handed over to private companies who are only interested in making profits for their shareholders.

          The Rena sinking and the balls up in Christchurch proved that quite conclusively.

        • Exkiwiforces

          I think you are on the money there. If we use the market forces as yard stick for here in NZ Rena, the CHC and Wellington earthquakes and case studies over in the US, its doesn’t look good.

    • Exkiwiforces 2.4

      The NZDF back in the late 80’s was quite big, with just about every Major regional/ rural area had a TF Depot ranging from 30 odd personal to upwards to 100 plus, the Airforce had a gaggle of Andover Short range Tactical Transport Aircraft and with their Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) abilities they could almost fly into every Arg Airstrip in the country, also the RNZAF had 18 odd Huey’s and the RNZN had a few more ships back then as well with Navy Reserve had boats back then and they knew every bay, cove etc. in the country that could use as possible landing sites.

      Now the NZDF is just almost a hollow shell with big gaps of capabitiliy across all 3 services now compare to the 80’s and are doing more with less. We need to remember that there wasn’t many oversea deployments back then compare with today’s NZDF which I think many here forget.

      And don’t get me started in the demise of the MoW, Railways to Gizzy and Whakatane, Telecom etc.

      With climate change now become a major factor to HADR operations in our immediate area. I think the time has come where should start look at the building a Forward Operating Base in Fiji and rebuild the short fall in capabitiliy platforms that been cut from the NZDF since the 90’s to the present day. Here’s looking at you National Party and not so much Labour as they are always fixing NACT’s **** ups in Defence.

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