New images show New Zealand Defence Force staff hard at work delivering aid and supplies to Tonga.
Defence Minister Peeni Henare said the delivery of supplies was contactless from a Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules carrying water containers, temporary shelters and generators.
It touched down Thursday afternoon.
No aircraft could land before then due to the runway being covered in volcanic ash.
NZDF’s Commander of Joint Forces New Zealand, Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour spoke to media on Thursday afternoon, saying it was a “mammoth effort” by Tongans to clear the runway by hand of a build-up of ash from the fallout.
On Tuesday Royal New Zealand Navy ship HMNZS Wellington also departed for Tonga and arrived Thursday, with HMNZS Aotearoa expected to arrived on Friday.
Hydrographers were carrying out survey work on approaches to Nuku’alofa ahead of HMNZS Aotearoa's arrival.
Divers would also assess the wharf.