Tuakau Community Children Donates for Winston Victims
Despite their young age, children of Tuakau community in Manukau, New Zealand had a desire to assist their peers affected by Cyclone Winston in whatever way possible.
After hearing of the devastation caused, the young children of Tuakau community asked if they were able to donate some of their sporting equipment to students in Fiji. As such, for the past few days, officers from the Totogo Police Station have been assisting New Zealand Police’s Sergeant Akerei Maresala-Thomson in distributing sporting equipment to schools. Sergeant Thomson is the leader of the multi-cultural team for the New Zealand Police and is primarily responsible for providing support to the New Zealand Pacific Island Communities in South Auckland. On Tuesday Police officers from Totogo assisted Senior Sergeant Thomson with the distribution of sporting equipment for students of Suva Primary School in Samabula. In handing over the donation, Sergeant Thomson said all officers rallied together to collect funds and supplies to be distributed throughout communities affected by the series of cyclones that ravaged the Pacific Island nations of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. “As part of my staff we have individual support networks within the police and we have 600 Police officers who are Pacific Islanders, 50 of them are part of the Fijian support officers club called the Cane Cutters club. “When the cyclone happened in Fiji, one of my roles was to co-ordinate a relief drive and some donated money while others gave items”. He said it was great to see young children offering to help. “Children who are members of the Under-6 Karaka Rugby Club after watching the news decided to donate their rugby uniforms to students in Fiji because they know Fijians are really good at rugby.
“If our kids at this level are showing their eagerness to assist each other in times of need then I think we have a bright future ahead of us.” In accepting the rugby uniforms Suva Primary School head teacher Salendra Kumar said the school was appreciative of the assistance especially as the primary school rugby season had commenced. “On behalf of the Ministry of Education we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to you and the children of Tuakau community for thinking of their peers during such a difficult time.”
Other schools have been identified and officers from the Totogo Police Station will be distributing the donated items in the coming weeks. Sergeant Thomson has also acknowledged the hospitality of the Officer in Charge (OC) of the Totogo Police Station Superintendent of Police Meli Sateki and his officers for hosting him during his stay in Fiji.
Senior Sergeant Akerei Maresala-Thomson with teachers of Suva Primary School
Children of the U-6 Karaka rugby club.