14 Feb 2023

Tongan RSE workers flee to roof to escape cyclone flooding

From Checkpoint, 6:07 pm on 14 February 2023

Cyclone Gabrielle hammered Hawke's Bay on Tuesday. In Hastings dozens of Tongan RSE workers were rescued after being stranded on the roof of their accommodation for most of the day.

Some were even floating on mattresses. Tevita Lata is the co-ordinator for the group of 50 fruit pickers who are employed by Mr Apple.

He told Lisa Owen the men, who earn $22.10 an hour, grabbed what belongings they could in black rubbish bags and took refuge on the roof.