on 24 Jan 2022
Superyachts Como and Sea Eagle II have contributed goods including water and face masks, as the yachting community is urged to offer help to disaster-struck Tonga
Members of the superyacht industry in New Zealand, led by the Pasifika Collective, have mobilised to collect aid and send it to Tonga, following the violent Hunga Tonga volcanic eruption on 15 January.
An estimated 80 per cent of Tonga’s population, about 84,000 people, have been impacted by the eruption and subsequent tsunami, which has ripped through homes, contaminated water supplies and brought down power and communications across the island nation.
The Pasifika Collective is a CSR initiative from the Pacific superyacht industry, designed to help remote communities in the Pacific. Led by Mark Donaldson, who draws on his Samoan, Cook Island and New Zealand background, coupled with years of experience in the global superyacht industry, the Pasifika Collective says it “encompasses crisis management, education and community outreach through the Pacific.”
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.
“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 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 and 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 Ma-rine Pacific, Boat Books, NZ Marine, Oceania Medical and Albatross PR.
The Pasifika Collective says it 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.