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Tropical Super Cyclone Pam affects Central Otago

Although a long way from Central Otago the effects of Tropical Super Cyclone Pam are being acutely felt here. Over 440 Vanuatuan seasonal workers are currently based in Central Otago. A large proportion of the workers come from outer islands in the low lying archipelago and they have had no communication from their families or communities. Initial reports filtering in through media and government are indicating that the damage has been particularly severe with all non-concrete buildings demolished.

A key Central Otago employer of Vanuatuans, Seasonal Solutions Co-operative, has set up a bank account to enable donations to be made to the men who are based in Central Otago. The account number is 06-0917-0088294-05. Please include the words "Central Vanuatuans" in the reference field and this will ensure that the funds are distributed to the men based in Central Otago. If you have Vanuatu workers on your vineyard then please include your vineyard name in the reference field and we will ensure that your men receive the funds you donate. Funds will be distributed based on need and will go directly to the men.

Some local growers are matching the earnings their Vanuatuan workers earn in a day and donating this to the relief effort. Kiwi employees have also mentioned that they will donate a days earnings to the relief fund. A local winery I have been in contact with will be making at least a $10,000 donation. The Vanuatuan workers have made a huge contribution to the local wine industry here in the last 9 years, this is our opportunity to give back in a time of need.

Alternatively, if you have suitable building materials you wish to donate, Seasonal Solutions and a group of local vineyards and orchards are organising containers to be sent to aid the rebuild process. Items can be dropped off at 45 South Coolstore (corner of SH6 and Ord Road in Cromwell, call 03 445 1402 to arrange drop off or call in). Items such as those listed below would be appreciated:

Building Supplies: Cement, nails, screws, hammers, chainsaws, corrugated iron, strapping/bracing, treated timber, hand saws, wire, hand tools (chisels, screw drivers, sledge hammers, etc)

Water: Pipes, fittings, filters, 12V water pumps

Power: generators, 12V solar panels/regulators, inverters, cabling

Please feel free to call or email me on or 027 445 0602 if you have any questions on how you can help.



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