New Zealand is stepping up its relief efforts for cyclone-ravaged Fiji by sending the Royal New Zealand Navy's HMNZS Canterbury to the region.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully said the vessel would leave Auckland this weekend and would be carrying building materials, water storage tanks and medical supplies.

The ship would also carry helicopters and medical and engineering personnel and would be supported by the offshore patrol vessel, HMNZS Wellington.

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Another contingent of Defence Force and New Zealand Fire Service engineers was also leaving from Ohakea air base today to help the Fijian Government with repairs to public buildings and core infrastructure.

Mr McCully said the cyclone had caused "extensive and widespread devastation" in the Pacific country, taking lives, destroying homes and infrastructure.

Asesela Sadole Fong's home at south of Ba was destroyed after cyclone Winston hit.

"New Zealand is committed to supporting the Government and people of Fiji as they respond to this disaster and this is reflected in the further deployments we are announcing today."

The minister said it was one of the most damaging cyclones in Fiji's history and this was reflected in the scale of New Zealand's response.

As the cyclone bore down on his hilltop home Seru Pepeli had to make the hardest decision of his life.

New Zealand has already contributed $2 million in aid to Fiji since the cyclone struck on the weekend, killing at least 29 people.

The Defence Force's C-130s were delivering relief supplies to the country and the P-3 Orion was carrying out reconnaissance flights.

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