Pacific women are calling for better co-ordination of the flood of overseas assistance which usually follows natural disaster events in the Pacific.
A regional meeting on ending violence against women heard that external actors arriving in the Pacific in the aftermath of disasters often cause more harm than good.
The director of Tonga's Women and Children Crisis Centre, Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki, told her counterparts from around the region that failure by donors, intergovernmental agencies and international NGOs to connect with the local groups often leads to a waste of resources.
She said it also meant the needs of communities affected by disasters weren't being met.
Speaking at the Pacific Women's Network Against Violence Against Women meeting in Fiji this week Ms Guttenbeil-Likiliki called for better co-ordination around this space.
"It's about time we say, hey you know, you need to listen to us. We've got a lot to say and we can cut the work in half if you just come and have those conversations on a equal basis with us," said Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki.
However a spokesperson at New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said when disasters occur, the country only responds when assistance is requested by Pacific governments.
"Our assistance often includes support to communities for relief and early recovery, through NZ NGOs working with local partners on the ground. The particular needs of women and children are considered in the development of these activities," the spokesperson said.
Be that as it may Pacific Women's Network chair Shamima Ali said while humanitarian responders may come with the best intentions, they sometimes have little knowledge of the context in which they find themselves operating.