Media Release

New Zealand Red Cross says thanks a million for donating to support the people of Tonga

9 February 2022

Well over a million dollars has been raised so far for the relief effort in Tonga and surrounding Pacific nations through New Zealand Red Cross’ Pacific Tsunami Appeal.

New Zealand Red Cross Secretary General Sarah Stuart-Black says the huge tally was raised in just three weeks and she has been delighted by the support New Zealanders have shown our Pacific neighbours following the volcano eruption and tsunami on 15 January.

“Our appeal has been incredibly well-supported across Aotearoa New Zealand. We want to pass on how grateful we are to every donor — the 7,000 generous individuals who gave to the appeal and the many businesses large and small and community groups who have worked hard to raise funds for those affected in Tonga.”

The appeal wasn’t just supported by Kiwis, nearly 500 people from around the world also donated money through the New Zealand Red Cross Pacific Tsunami Appeal.

Ms Stuart-Black says the news media played a part in the success of the appeal with their coverage of the volcanic eruption and tsunami and by highlighting the New Zealand Red Cross appeal, which was mentioned often both within Aotearoa New Zealand and by international media.  

Businesses have also played a major role in the fundraising effort. New Zealand Red Cross’ Disaster Response Alliance partners Countdown, The Warehouse and NZ Post have each contributed generously, with both The Warehouse and Countdown topping their corporate donations by each gathering well over $100,000 at the checkout from their customers. 

Vodafone’s Givealittle page has raised $84,000 so far and this will be tripled by Vodafone and Te Rourou, Vodafone Aotearoa Foundation to add up to a donation of more than $252,000.

At least 15 businesses and organisations raised or donated more than $10,000 each and several more contributed at least $5,000. Other organisations continue to work on their contributions and New Zealand Red Cross are very excited about the New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia ‘Tries for Tonga’ fund-raising initiative announced today.  

“We really want to thank every business that demonstrated their support for our humanitarian work, whether through donations or by using their networks and platforms to raise funds. There were also many community fundraising efforts that went on around the country and Kiwis can be proud of their genuine commitment to helping the people of Tonga and across the Pacific,” Ms Stuart-Black said.

New Zealand Red Cross has already provided $730,000 in relief — including supplies such as blankets, tarpaulins and lanterns, and is setting up a team of four disaster response specialists who at this stage will work from New Zealand due to COVID-19 restrictions.

New Zealand Red Cross Director International Vivienne Euini says their organisation is working with the Tonga Red Cross Society to identify what additional support is needed.

“The remaining funds raised for Tonga will go towards support needed now and in the early recovery.”

She says the damage to buildings, homes, crops, communications and other infrastructure will take time to repair, and that Tonga Red Cross wish to pass on their heartfelt thanks to the many Kiwis who are supporting them from New Zealand and those beyond our shores who have also made a contribution to the Appeal.  


For more information email or call 04 495 0139.


Donor businesses and organisations

Businesses and organisations that made a significant contribution to the appeal, either by donation or employee/customer collection or both, are listed below.

  • Countdown
  • The Warehouse
  • NZ Post
  • Vodafone and the Vodafone Foundation
  • Microsoft
  • Z Zurich Foundation
  • Suncorp New Zealand
  • AIA Vitality NZ
  • Tip Top
  • Azelis New Zealand
  • Val Morgan Outdoor
  • Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust
  • Northpower
  • Frucor Suntory New Zealand Ltd
  • Alliance Group Ltd
  • Summerset Group
  • Rinnai New Zealand Ltd
  • Fonterra

More businesses have taken part but are yet to confirm their contribution.