Topic: Tainui

Māori King calls for aid to help Cyclone-struck Tonga

By Mānia Clarke
  • Auckland
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

The Māori king is calling for donations to help the people of Tonga who are still recovering from Cyclone Gita.  King Tuheitia Paki's son, Te Ariki Tamaroa has just returned from the island.

Now Waahi Pa in Huntly has opened its doors to receive donations.

Feeding and caring for people is a traditional practice at Waahi Paa.

“Since the inception of the Poukai, our practice is to help the widows, destitute and needy,” says spokesperson Hone-Haunui Rapana.

“So we as Māori are fortunate to have this opportunity to help our Pacific Island relations”.

The rally for help followed Te Ariki Tamaroa's return from Tonga, where he witnessed locals without basic essentials and suffering from homelessness.

“Te Ariki Tamaroa has seen the pain and sorrow of the people in Tonga due to the devastation,” says Rapana.

“So for us, if we can help in some way, we will”.

Last month Tonga was hit by Cyclone Gita- said to be their worst storm in 70 years.  The request for aid was made at the recent Poukai round.

"The king made the request to all New Zealanders," says Rapana. 

"What food have we received?  Flour, sugar, canned fruit, perishable foods that can last up to three months after they receive it".

Next month, Te Ariki Tamaroa will take a contingent of youth to distribute the donations and help with the rebuild.

Waahi Paa will receive donations until the end of the week.  However, next week Te Wānanga o Aotearoa's Manukau Campus will also be taking aid for the cause.