TODAY |

Ma'a Nonu delivers gifts to families in Samoa affected by measles crisis

Former All Black Ma'a Nonu has travelled to Samoa along with other celebrities of Samoan heritage to bring some festive joy to families affected by the measles crisis.

Ma'a Nonu and Tofiga Fepulea'i. Source: Supplied / Government of Samoa

Nonu, along with comedian Tofiga Fepuleai, is in Samoa currently distributing boxes of gifts to households and villages in hopes of raising spirits with the deadly epidemic that's claimed the lives of 72 people, the majority under the age of four.

The duo are the first inductees into Samoa's new Diaspora Unit - a group endorsed by Samoa's government that recognises Samoans who live overseas but are "proud ambassadors for their country of heritage", the local government said.

"In fostering close ties with Samoa’s diaspora, Government is also receptive to their role as patriots through any potential assistance they could offer in Samoa’s national developments."

"Tofiga and Nonu have demonstrated that they are true Samoans with the Mission of Love this week to provide hope for the families affected by the crisis."

Also in the small Pacific Island nation and helping the pair offer aid is Sea Eagles enforcer Martin Taupau.

Taupau is in the country after numerous NRL clubs, including Manly, appealed to their fans last week to donate presents to affected Samoan families as well.