Building Supplies on Route to Tonga

General News

Mar 27, 2018

Three containers full of building supplies will arrive in Tonga over the next week to assist in rebuilding cyclone-damaged homes of people most in need.

Fletcher South Pacific leapt into action, asking Fletcher Building's New Zealand building product distributors and retailers for any materials they could donate.

South Pacific General Manager Brent Leach says, “We wanted to make sure our teams and their communities are looked after while they rebuild their lives after this catastrophic storm.”

Several Fletcher employees in Tonga were among those who lost their homes in the storm. Fletcher Building also has employees in New Zealand with families back in Tonga who have been affected by the cyclone.

“We’re in a unique position to help, being in the building and building products business. We wanted to get a container across to Tonga as fast as possible and the response from our business managers has been incredible,” Brent says. “Within a day of picking up the phone, we had 20 tonnes of donated roofing iron, which is enough to help repair around 25 homes.”

The donated supplies fill three 40-foot containers which contain roofing from Dimond and ply, timber and fixings from PlaceMakers.

Tonga Branch Manager, Josh Collins, says there’s still a lot of work to do. “With the damage to homes, schools and infrastructure, the rebuild will take months if not years for some. Tongatapu and ‘Eua were the worst hit, with almost every building suffering some damage.” 

The National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) will be coordinating the distribution of the donated supplies as they arrive in Tonga. The Shelter Cluster, which is made up of international aid organisations and supports people affected by disasters, will be distributing the materials to assist the most vulnerable people in making repairs to their houses first. Graham Kenna of NEMO spoke about Fletcher's donation.

We’re very grateful for Fletcher Building’s kind donation. Directly receiving building materials will speed up repairs and enable the NGOs who are repairing houses to spend money on other things.

The first of the 40ft containers is set to arrive in Tonga on March 28.