Suncorp New Zealand donates to Tongan tsunami relief

28 January 2022

Suncorp New Zealand has donated $30,000 to New Zealand Red Cross’ Pacific Tsunami Appeal to assist the people of Tonga and other affected Pacific Islands nations who have been affected by the devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami on 16 January.

Suncorp New Zealand CEO Jimmy Higgins says supporting communities to recovery from natural hazards is a key part of its purpose to build futures and protect what matters.

“Although Suncorp doesn’t sell insurance in Tonga, we’re proud to lend a helping hand to assist the Red Cross to provide immediate support and supplies to those who need it,” he says. 

“Our thoughts are with the people of Tonga and with our Suncorp employees in New Zealand and Australia who have loved ones in Tonga. With communications down in Tonga for the first five days following the event, it has been a harrowing experience for those attempting to contact family and friends in Tonga to check that they were okay,” says Higgins.

Image Credit: New Zealand Red Cross

Three people lost their lives in the eruption and tsunami near Tonga, and an estimated 84,000 people have been affected. Homes have been lost, water supply contaminated, and the vital agricultural sector, including crops, livestock and fisheries, have suffered substantially. 

“While our thoughts are with everyone impacted, our thanks and appreciation also go to those involved in responding to the event and helping those in need,” says Higgins. “It’s one thing providing support following a large-scale event like this, but another thing to be operating an emergency response during a pandemic.”

Higgins says providing support to local community groups or specialist aid agencies is a core part of Suncorp’s community investment programme, and ensures that donations are going to organisations that have the capability to help with both the immediate crisis and the longer-term recovery.

Red Cross providing help to contact friends & family in Tonga

New Zealand Red Cross’ Restoring Family Links service will work with Tonga Red Cross Society to help people contact friends and family affected by Saturday’s volcanic eruption and tsunami in the Pacific. You can access this service here

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Media enquiries: Lisa Meiklejohn +64 27 404 4355

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