(Picture caption: Hastings has been hit hard by Cyclone Gabrielle, who left a trail of destruction in her wake.)
By PMA Group
Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) have deployed a medical assistance team (PACMAT) with a focus on assessing needs for those in the Hawke's Bay Region affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.
The PACMAT team travelled to Napier before heading to Gisborne on Sunday.
Pasifika Futures (PFL), the Whānau Ora commissioning agency for Pacific families, have also donated $50,000 towards support for RSE workers and the Tongan community in Hastings.
Chief Executive of PMA and PFL Debbie Sorensen says the priority is to form a clearer understanding of what support is needed for the community, including the large population of RSE workers.
"It's important that we respond with urgency and work quickly to understand the types of support that is needed on the ground for the affected communities,” Debbie says.
“We're expecting that there will be a high need for medical and mental health support.
“We have a wide range of health professionals who are experienced in emergency response and we're ready to provide the necessary assistance."
She adds that PFL's monetary contribution will help assist with efforts to support RSE workers in Hastings who are navigating the impacts of the recent flooding in the region.
"RSE workers have been left homeless, along with the uncertainty around work and so they are in need of immediate support.
“We're working with one of our partners, SIAOLA, who have mobilised a team to provide support such as food parcels, care packages and counselling.
“When there is a call for help, we respond immediately and we maintain that commitment to our communities and families."
Visit the PMA website for more information.