13 Oct 2011

MP asks people to donate food for Motiti islanders

7:16 pm on 13 October 2011

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell is asking people to donate food to Motiti Island residents, because the Rena oil spill has wiped out their main food source.

Motiti Island is about 7km from the stranded ship, and oil is thickly coating its shoreline.

Mr Flavell says many of the island's 35 permanent residents rely on the sea for food, but because of the pollution their supplies are running low, and the public can help by donating non-perishable food items.

He says the first shipment of goods will depart for Motiti Island at midday on Friday.

Motiti resident Lynda Wikeepa says most of the island's 35 permanent residents are planning to stay despite the spill.

Mr Flavell says his office has been inundated with calls from people willing to help with the beach cleanup effort, and he's telling them the best thing they can do is ring around whanau and gather items and equipment that can be used in the clean-up.

He says people can take those items to his Waiariki electorate offices in Whakatane and Rotorua and to Te Puni Kokiri in Tauranga.

The Maori Party MP says his heart is with those whanau, hapu and iwi who have had their kaimoana resource polluted.