18 Apr 2016

Oamaru group to help with water concerns in Tonga

2:24 pm on 18 April 2016

A community group from the rural New Zealand town of Oamaru is partnering with a Tongan NGO to provide water for six villages in the Hihifo district.

The North Otago Tongan Engagement group, created to cater for the booming expat population of up to 2,000, will be heading to Tonga in August.

NOTE organiser, the Reverend Jill McDonald, says she was conscious of the need to break down barriers within the local Tongan and European communities and figured the best way to do that would be to work on a project.

Ms McDonald says NOTE will work with the Tongan Community Development Trust to help address the pressing issue of water access.

"We're raising 25 grand to purchase six tanks between three villages. We are going to be working with the people in the villages. We are not going in there and doing it for them because again, why we are there it is also about building relationships and working alongside people rather than working for."

A close-up of a glass of drinking water, on a blue background

Photo: 123RF