NZ pledges extra $370,000 for Tonga

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully today announced an additional $370,000 for cyclone recovery efforts in Tonga, including the provision of six technicians to help repair the electricity network. New Zealand will provide a frontend loader and tractors to clear debris-covered land on the islands of Ha’apai, hand tools for the less assessable islands, and assist with the rebuild of the Tongan Government nursery.

“Crops were severely damaged in the cyclone and quick replanting is essential to prevent food shortages and promote trade,” Mr McCully says.

“In addition, we are supplementing our $1.4 million support package to repair the electricity network by sending six New Zealand-based technicians. The technicians are Tongan speakers familiar with the local environment and will speed the reconnection process by several weeks.

“Our priority is to assist the Tongan Government’s recovery efforts so life in Ha’apai gets back to normal as quickly as possible.”

Today’s announcement brings New Zealand’s support for the cyclone response to $2.27 million.

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