22 Feb 2010

Tongan Advisory Council in NZ wants information about needs following Cyclone Rene

11:45 am on 22 February 2010

The New Zealand-based Tongan Advisory council is frustrated by the lack of information about what assistance Tonga needs following Cyclone Rene.

The cyclone hit Tonga's Vava'u group before battering Ha'apai and the main island of Tongatapu last week.

The council's Melino Maka says information is coming slowly from Tonga.

He says at the very least food supplies are short, because so many crops were damaged.

"This time of the year in Tonga, they used to have breadfruit. Breadfruit is the staple diet, and the breadfruit is all gone. The next one is the banana and other species similar to bananas that are used by local people for their every day diet. What we wanted to do is get a bit more detailed information from Tonga to see what area in terms of food so we can target it."

Melino Maka of the New Zealand-based Tongan Advisory council.