Pacific Blog

Tonga Update & where you can donate to help relief efforts

Cover image of families on Mango Island in the Ha'apai group waiting for help after the tsunami hit and destroyed every home. 

Photo credit:  Piokalafi Faka’osi 

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As communication with Tonga is slowly restored, the devastation to the small island nation is becoming more apparent.  

So far the oficial fatality number remains at three and Digicel has been able to restore limited international voice and text connectivity via a satellite connection.  US cable company SubCom has advised that the best case scenario is four weeks for the cable to be repaired, with the repair ship expected to arrive in Tonga 1 February.

The tsunami is estimated to have impacted around 1800+ household's food supply across Tonga - most affected areas have had plantations and crops completely destroyed and basic food items are needed.  Flour, tinned fish, milk powder etc ...  Due to the seawater seeping into the soil it's expected to take about 3 months before anything can be grown on affected areas.

The governement have also advised against fishing or consuming any fish.…more


Pacific Blog

Vodafone Foundation/Red Cross Tsunami Appeal

The Vodafone Foundation have set up a 'Give a Little' page for the Tongan tsunami appeal, raising funds to support NZ Red Cross relief efforts in Tonga and the Pacific following the Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano eruption and tsunami

Both Vodafone NZ and the Vodafone Foundation will match donations up to $200,000 - so for every $10 donated, $30 will go to help those affected, up to $600,000.

These funds will be used to support Red Cross to provide families with emergency supplies of food, water and hygiene kits.  These are vital given much of the water and food supply has been polluted by volcanic ash. Shelter tool kits, tarpaulins, blankets and other essentials are also being distributed.…more


Pacific Blog

A call on banks and business to drop fees in support of Tonga response

The umbrella organisation for New Zealand’s aid agencies, Council for International Development is calling on banks and money transfer businesses to drop (or reduce) any bank fees as Tongan New Zealanders mobilise to send funds to support Tonga following the eruption.

Remittances play a critical role following an emergency in the Pacific. “The most urgent need in times of crisis is money, not stuff. No other type of donation can match its impact,” says Aaron Davy, Humanitarian Manager at Council for International Development.

“We urge banks and money-transference businesses to support humanitarian responses, by temporarily wavering transaction costs or keeping them at zero or less than 3% during an emergency response and removing bureaucratic barriers for already stressed families trying to send cash to family overseas.”

Kiwibank NZ have already responded, removing fees to send money to Tonga - 

 How to send cash safely:

* Donate to a trusted humanitarian organisation in New Zealand.…more


Pacific Blog

How to donate responsibly to the Tonga eruption response

Following the eruption of the Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano on Saturday evening, family, friends, the Pacific community and many around the world have started mobilising to organise fundraising events and support for the Kingdom of Tonga.

While New Zealand NGO's wait for official damage reports, the re-establishment of communications with their partner organisations and colleagues in Tonga is a priority.

The Council for International Development (Umbrella organisation for New Zealand's aid charities) have put together some resources on how to best support the Kingdom of Tonga 

They have pre-positioned humanitarian stock within the region which means they are ready to support impacted communities as a matter of urgency. Any response will be coordinated with the New Zealand government’s response, and risks associated with the covid pandemic are also factored in.

Click here for Pacific language fact sheets – Cook Islands Maori, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Bislama (Vanuatu), Tuvalu, Tonga, Kiribati.  

Tongan language fact sheets below: 

They encourage New Zealanders and the Pacific community who would like to help to donate money rather than send stuff that may not be needed.…more


Pacific Blog

Iumi Man Save Endim Vaelans | We Men Can End Violence

A short film on the role of men in ending violence against women and children, featuring prominent Solomon Island men representing a cross section of Solomon Islands society.

December marked the end of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence in the Solomon Islands and at the end of the campaign, Safenet Solomon Islands launched this short film.

The film was made by a group of young filmmakers, in collaboration with the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs and Dreamcast Theatre, and focuses on the role of men in ending violence against women and making our nation a safe place for all.


Pacific Blog

LIFESTYLE XMAS TREATS FOR YOUR LOVED ONES AND YOUR HOME

By Taualofa Totu'a 

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BEAUTIFUL, SUSTAINABLE GIFTS MADE BY FIJI ARTISANS 

Who: Rise Beyond The Reef

Rise Beyond The Reef is based in Fiji, a homegrown value and supply chain in partnership with rural remote women and their communities. In an effort to combat negative economic and environmental impacts, this movement aims to bridge the divide between remote communities, government and the private sector in the South Pacific, sustainably creating a better world for women and children. 

They have a skillful Holiday Gift collection for the Xmas season which you can shop here. Read more about their movement, mission and (more importantly) show support by purchasing their beautiful products made by local Fiji artisans on their website here.  

Follow their work on Instagram @rise_beyond_the_reef_fiji

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STUNNING MALU PATTERN GLASSWARE

Who: Under the Bird 

Under the Bird provides buyers quality Pasifika goods and their glassware definitely won’t fail to impress your guests this Xmas.…more


Pacific Blog

Two Pacific women in this years BBC 100 inspiring and influential women list

The BBC has revealed its list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2021 and two of our Pacific Islands women are included - Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, the first female Prime Minister of Samoa and Monica Paulus, campaigner against sorcery violence in Papua New Guinea.

This year's '100 Women' highlights those who are hitting "reset" - women playing their part to reinvent our society, our culture and our world. 

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From the BBC write up - 

Fiame Naomi Mat'afa 

Place of birth: Samoa

Prime minister of the Independent State of Samoa

The first female prime minister of Samoa and leader of the Faʻatuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (Fast) party. Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa entered politics at the age of 27 and has also served as deputy prime minister, minister of women, community and social development and minister of justice.

She is also a high chiefess and an inspiration to Samoan women aspiring to political office.…more


Pacific Blog

BRIGHTEN UP LOCKDOWN FALE’S WITH SOME ORIGINAL PACIFIC ART FOR XMAS!

By Taualofa Totu’a

A new generation of Moana artists across the diaspora are redefining innovation, using social media platforms to build communities, market their work and support other budding creatives online. There’s room for everyone and all are original - from 3D collages to energetic illustrations, to calendars and skillful art prints. Join the growing audiences of Pacific artists this Xmas and support their work! 

If you’re still stuck on what to gift for your loved ones, order a personalised commissioned piece by the talented local Niue illustrator LAHPISI, or opt for Micronesian artist Kaity Ngeremokt’s bold celebrations of Indigenous excellence. Read on to see where to get the best art for your own fale or for your loved one’s this Xmas season.  

QUALITY COMMISSIONED PORTRAITS STILL OPEN TO ORDER!

Who: The Gallery Fiji Prints by Jonathan Tudreu

The talented Jonathan Tudreu is Graphic Designer based in Fiji, with commissioned portraits starting from $40! His colourful images highlight the important details and family joy, with a comic book illustration quality.…more


Pacific Blog

Covid-19 Protection Framework aka Traffic Lights

The whole of New Zealand will move to Red in the Covid-19 Protection Framework aka Traffic Lights from 11.59pm, Sunday 23rd January due to the Omicron variant now circulating in Auckland and possibly the Nelson-Marlborough region.  

We've put together a quick reference guide below on the different traffic light settings in case you need a reminder of what life at each of the settings are.  

* Reminder - The red light setting is not a lockdown.  Get boosted before the virus becomes widespread.

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LIFE AT RED 

Swipe through for more 

LIFE AT ORANGE 

Swipe through for more 

LIFE AT GREEN 

Swipe through for more 

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My Vaccine Pass is a key component in the Traffic Light System.

You are legally required to provide your My Vaccine Pass to enter places that have vaccination requirements in place under the traffic light system.…more


Pacific Blog

Tongan church leadership turns around anti vaxx & vaccine hesitant members

A church that has been considered anti-vax hosted a vaccination event today to encourage their remaining unvaccinated members to get their first dose, as well as attempt to dismiss the anti-vax perception attached to the church.

Church leaders and members of the Tokaikolo ‘Ia Kalaisi church in Māngere Bridge line the entrance way to the church waving the Tongan flag as cars beep and people wave while driving past. A speaker is set up on the front lawn of a house nearby, blasting music out to the neighbourhood. The Niuean, Fiji and Cook Islands flags are being waved too, “I’m not even Cook Island” laughs the flag bearer as more cars beep, and others drive in to wait in line for their vaccination.

The large majority of church members have already been vaccinated, says Frank Koloi, the marketing and communications manager for The Fono. 

“This church has been perceived in mainstream New Zealand as well as the Tongan community as not supportive, or anti-vaxxers.…more