While the thoughts of New Zealanders today turn to the Pacific Islands devastated by the tsunami one year ago, Tongans will continue to raise funds for the survivors of the Canterbury earthquake.

Last Saturday, a radio-thon in the small Polynesian kingdom raised 833,867.45 Tongan pa'anga (around NZD$530,000) for the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Fund.

Another one will be held tomorrow as a result of public demand.

The prime minister's political advisor and radio-thon committee member Lopeti Senituli said the public complained they had not had enough time to organise donations, so a second event was organised.

Mr Senituli said the radio-thon was initiated by the Government but had been fully support by the people.

"People here are deeply appreciative of the assistance from the people of New Zealand. Whenever there is a natural disaster here usually the Government of New Zealand is the first cab off the rank to give assistance."

Mr Senituli said New Zealand provided employment and education opportunities for Tongans, with around 60,000 currently residing here.

"We are deeply appreciative," he said. "This is how we can show that.

"Ideally we would like to raise one million pa'anga (around NZ$642,000)."

The population of the Kingdom of Tonga is only 101,991 (2006 census) and the country's gross domestic product is NZ$335m.

Following the 7.1 quake on September 4, Tonga's Prime Minister Dr Feleti Vaka'uta Sevele launched an appeal fund.

"The Government and the people of New Zealand are always amongst the first to come to our assistance in our time of need so I urge the people of Tonga to give generously to this appeal fund," he said. "I also appeal for the Tongan public's moral support and prayers for the people of Christchurch."

The Tonga-NZ Business Council is also planning to donate a container load of Tongan watermelons to the people of Christchurch.

The second radio-thon will broadcast throughout Tonga on TBC Radio A3Z between 11am and 1pm on Thursday (Tongan time).