Authorities ready to offer support to Tonga
The Tongan community and the Mayoral Fund for the Pacific are poised for action in the wake of the damage caused by Cyclone Ian in Tonga.
A state of emergency has been declared in Tonga and authorities in New Zealand are on standby as they await requests for assistance.
The Mayoral Fund for the Pacific was set up in the wake of Cyclone Evan which struck Samoa in December 2012.
"Our thoughts are with the people of Tonga as they start the clean-up after this devastating event," mayor Len Brown says.
"If Aucklanders would like to contribute to the fund they can do so through the following channels. Cash is king and tax deductible donations into the fund can be made at any time."
The fund is managed by Auckland Communities Foundation and donations can be made via:
The "donate now" function on the ACF website aucklandcf.org.nz
Direct payment to the ACF bank account (with reference ‘MFP' to ASB Bank account 12-3028-0714703-00)
Cheque made payable to Auckland Communities Foundation Mayoral Fund for the Pacific and sent to PO Box 26087, Epsom, Auckland 1334.
"We know people are anxious to help - donations to the Mayoral Fund will help with immediate relief," Mr Brown says.
"If people are considering preparing family-to-family boxes, they should be aware it is uncertain at this stage as to how or when they will get to the areas devastated by the cyclone."
The fund provides a place for Aucklanders to contribute funds and to assist with family-to-family support. Since it was established, its leaders have come forward with response plans for Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Tonga and Fiji.
They will be actioned when any of these nations officially declare a state of emergency and seek assistance. Auckland Civil Defence will also play a part in the co-ordination required to send goods to families in need.