16 Jun 2011

Tongan community helping each other in NZ's quake-hit Christchurch

12:18 pm on 16 June 2011

The Tonga Canterbury Community Trust in Christchurch is being proactive and self sufficient in offering assistance to Tongan families in need.

The Trust is helping Tongan families to clear up silt and liquifaction in the worst affected suburbs, like Aranui, as aftershocks continue this week.

The Trust's general manager, Pauliasi Tony Fakahau, says they are also sourcing fresh food which has been distributed to 100 families so far.

"Our community in times like this, the mainstream system cannot, is not, designed for Pacific purposes. So our churches get together, and the counselling and all that is done through our church. So we do it our way. We use our church and culture to get us through it. And also with our food and everything else, we share and source it ourselves from the farm and distribute it out amongst the community."

Pauliasi Tony Fakahau says morale among many Tongan families in Christchurch is at a low again since this week's quakes, and talk of a larger quake is creating fear among some families.