Tonga needs your help

When Peti Regnier and her gym trainer Rebecca Mckechnie started organising donations from the Raglan community for her family and friends in Tonga, the country was dealing with the devastation from tsunami caused by the January 15 eruption of the undersea volcano Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai.

To add to the small island nation’s troubles, cases of the highly contagious Omicron variant were confirmed and the country went into lockdown at the beginning of February.

This has meant the donations that were due to be shipped a couple of weeks ago are now on hold until the country comes out of lockdown.

Peti, who works at Raglan West’s Food Department, says so far, her village hasn’t been impacted by the Covid outbreak but she was disappointed the generous donations from the Whaingaroa community hadn’t reached Tonga yet. 

With a population of around 106,000 people, Tonga now has close to 200 cases and climbing.

The vaccination rate in the kingdom has increased to 99 per cent for the first dose, 90 per cent second dose, 20 per cent for the booster.

It will take several years to rebuild and the island still hasn’t fully recovered from the 2018 cyclone, the Covid outbreak will only just hold up add to the hardships the Tonga people are suffering.

To find out how you can help contact Peti at regnierpeti@gmail.com.

Janine Jackson