8 Jan 2004

New Zealand duty minister gives appeal government's blessing

5:51 pm on 8 January 2004

The New Zealand government duty Minister, Paul Swain, has given the government's blessing to a Cyclone Appeal Fund which was officially launched this afternoon by Pacific national radio station NIUFM.

The appeal which is being run in association with the National Bank, will be distributed evenly to all Pacific countries affected by Tropical Cyclone Heta, over the past week.

Mr Swain says the initiative can only be positive for Pacific communities in New Zealand.

"We think it's a great leadership potential here being shown by the station. Of course this is a very important medium to get Pacific culture and music ideas out through to the people and to see that we have now got a major problem in Nuie and Samoa and Tonga, and to have the radio station come out and launch an appeal like this, in my view, is sensationally good."