Target reached ahead of schedule

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An Oamaru group with plans to install rainwater tanks in Tonga has met its fundraising target ahead of schedule.
In March, North Otago Tonga Engagement, which aims to promote closer relationships between Waitaki’s Tongan and Palagi (Pakeha) population, set a goal of raising $25,000 to carry out its Hihifo Rainwater Harvesting Project in the villages of Ha’atafu, Kanukupolu and Ahau in August.
After events such as a 10km sponsored walk, a cultural concert, landscaping at Friendly Bay, catering and assisting with the Rotary Club of Oamaru’s Bookarama event, that target has been reached.
The Rev Jill McDonald, of Note, said the initiative had given Tongan and Palagi people several opportunities to get to know one another.
“We have worked so hard on the fundraising and it is incredible that we have raised $25,000 in such a short time.
“The relationships we are building between our Tongan and Palagi communities here in Oamaru is also a significant part of these efforts.”
Waitaki Tongan Community president Talanoa Palu said the Tongan community was overwhelmed with the support the project had received.
“We feel so blessed that the people in this group and those involved in the fundraising have chosen to be involved in this project.”

A group of 18 will head to Tonga in late July to carry out the work