The local superyacht industry in New Zealand, alongside superyachts in the region, is collecting aid and donations for the benefit of Tonga.
The Pacific Island nation experienced a series of volcanic eruptions beginning on 14 January on the twin volcanic islands of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai, followed by a violent eruption on 15 January which ejected an estimated cubic kilometre of material from the volcano. The effect on Tonga has been devastating, with tsunamis after the event and thick ash coverage destroying homes and preventing a return to normal life.
Members of the superyacht industry in New Zealand, led by the Pasifika Collective, have rapidly mobilised to collect aid and send it to New Zealand’s Pacific neighbours in Tonga.
Superyachts Como and Sea Eagle II have contributed goods including water and face masks, and a large number of industry companies have contributed products in response to a list of urgently-needed items supplied by NGOs, or donated financially for the purchase of those items.
The Pasifika Collective is a CSR initiative, created by people in the Pacific superyacht industry, for the people of the Pacific. Led by Mark Donaldson who draws on his Samoan, Cook Island and New Zealand background, coupled with his many years of experience in the global superyacht industry, the Pasifika Collective brings crisis management, education and community outreach through the Pacific in a way that fits seamlessly within the region.
“As an industry in New Zealand, we feel very much a part of the Pacific and wider region so it’s a natural step to help our neighbours,” says Donaldson.
“It’s the Pacific way to help people in need and we will continue to send aid to Tonga over the coming weeks.”
The first shipment of aid was loaded late last week, with the Pasifika Collective working with NGOs on the ground in Tonga to ensure aid reaches the worst-affected islands of Mango, Atata, Nomuka, Fonoifua. Contributing companies covered the breadth of the New Zealand industry and included Integrated Marine Group, Urban Sea, Westferry Superyacht Services, General Marine Services, MarineLogix, National Marine Pacific, Boat Books, NZ Marine, Oceania Medical and Albatross PR.
The Pasifika Collective is now seeking donations and assistance for further shipments of aid with goods needed including bottled water, rice, flour, cooking oil, sugar, cabin bread, canned foods especially tinned fish and meat, toilet paper, tents, kerosene lamps, torches and rechargeable lanterns.
To take part, please see the thepasifikacollective.org or contact [email protected] or [email protected]