Tonga eruption: MPP fono hears latest updates

More fonos in pipeline to update Tongans in New Zealand about what's happening in Tonga.

19th January, 2022

Tonga eruption: MPP fono hears latest updates

Photo/Twitter/ Dr Faka’iloatonga Taumoefolau.

The Minister for Pacific People says there will be a need to hold more fonos with members of the Tongan community while communications with Tonga remain disrupted.

Aupito William Sio was speaking at a zoom fono held yesterday evening which gave updates about the situation in Tonga, and how relief efforts are being handled

“I think it cannot be a one off. I think we may need to hold more while communication is limited to Tonga," says Aupito.

He was joined by the speaker of the Tongan parliament who's here in Auckland, Lord Fakafanu'a, and officials from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

“My hope is that with this opportunity, you can hear directly from our MFAT officials here in Aotearoa New Zealand who are working on the response in Tonga," says Aupito.

“By them sharing the most up to date information with you, that should help to manage the anxiety and worry everyone must be feeling at this time”.

He says the New Zealand Government will do as much as they can to support Tonga.

“Simply put, we’re family. I want to assure everybody, the Tongan community in particular, that our response is in times of need and crisis, we are one body, flesh and blood."

Lord Fakafanu’a gave an update on events in Tonga.

“The clean-up of ash is a major concern, as well as wash and health implications with livestock and agriculture. Food security is also at risk.   

“In terms of work and economy, there’s a possibility of work starting tomorrow. Though, there’s a general push of clean-up for a return to normalcy”.

Lord Fakafanu’a says the Tongan Government approved a relief fund in New Zealand, giving people here an opportunity to donate money directly to the Tongan Government.

"It will ensure that it makes it to those who will most need it."