Aid CEO asks New Zealanders to donate money to Fiji

By Ripeka Timutimu

The CEO of aid Agency The Tear Fund, Ian McInnes, is asking people to hold off on sending supplies to cyclone-ravaged Fiji, and instead donate money to a reputable aid organisation.

The island nation is in recovery mode after Cyclone Winston, a category 5 cyclone, hit their country on Saturday, leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

McInnes says, "We are asking them not to package up things like food and supplies, but instead donate money which can be passed through the appropriate agencies to help with things like housing and food."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed aid was deployed from New Zealand to Fiji yesterday, but McInnes says it’s too early to know exactly what kind of aid is needed.

"Early on in the response, staff from aid agencies go in and assess the extent of the damage to housing, stocks, schooling, everything really."

McInnes says his agency will be working with local partner agencies on the ground in Fiji in their assessments.

He also confirmed that a key meeting was taking place today in Fiji between the Fijian Government, the United Nations, and other aid agencies.

Reporter Ripeka Timutimu will have more tonight on Te Kāea at 5:30pm.