Central Otago’s small Tongan community is rallying in support of its homeland.

Five families Cromwell and two from Queenstown container of supplies to Tonga to assist after the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano eruption triggered a tsunami, devastating much of the island nation.

Cromwell woman Lucy Fukofuka said the families only thought about how they could help after being approached by members of the community.

“After the tsunami we didn’t think of helping in any way because they’re too far away from us. It was raised in the community there’s a few people and businesses in the community would like to help,” she said.

“We were thinking, what could we do? We didn’t want to receive it for ourselves.”

The combined Lions Clubs of Cromwell, Alexandra and Clyde and Districts stepped up to help.

Organising relief to be sent home to Tonga after the tsunami affected the island nation are members of the small Cromwell and Queenstown Tongan community. From left are Evelyn Nai, Fine McLean, Lucy Fukofuka, Fonua Fukofuka, Max Finau and Sina Finau. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

A container has been been arranged to send dried and canned foods, toiletries and cleaning supplies to the National Emergency Management Office

in the capital Nuku’alofa where it would be distributed as needed.

The group are now asking for donations to fill the container which will be packed on March 21.

“Even though we are all new to this we thought we are going to

put it out there to the community to see what help there was,” Mrs Fukofuka said.

Anyone wishing to donate can contact Lucy Fukofuka on (021) 2157 958.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Cromewell Lions have organised a food drive for Saturday, March 12 around Cromwell, Bannockburn , Lowburn and Pisa Moorings starting at 10.30am. If you would like to contribute any items could you please leave them by your letter box on Saturday morning . Thanks in advance for supporting our local community with your donation.