Follow the podcast on
Water is urgently needed in Tonga following Saturday's devastating eruption.
An Air Force Orion is due to undertake a reconnaissance flight from Auckland's Whenuapai Air Base this morning.
It will work with Australia, to assist in an initial impact assessment of the area near Tonga and low-lying islands, provided ash cloud dissipates enough to make flying safe.
Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta says drinking water appears to have been contaminated by volcanic ash from the eruption.
She told Tim Dower storage facilities will be used to get restore water supplies.
Mahuta says restoring communication and power to Tongan communities will also be crucial.
“They’re able to provide water to their communities, that’s a priority.”