4 Oct 2011

NZ may send more help over Tuvalu water shortage

8:34 am on 4 October 2011

The Foreign Affairs Minister is indicating New Zealand may be called on to give more aid to Tuvalu, as the critical water shortage hits home.

A Defence Force plane carrying two desalination units, water containers, Foreign Affairs staff and Red Cross workers has flown to the tiny Pacific Island nation, where there's a state of emergency due to the lack of water, particularly drinking water.

The Minister, Murray McCully, says the situation will also have a severe impact on crops, and there is likely to be a food shortage at some stage as well.

He says unless there's some rainfall, they will be dealing with the situation for quite some time.

Murray McCully says aid programmes in the Pacific do have priority.