Helping Christchurch Recover

28 February 2011

A large contingent of people and equipment has arrived in Christchurch - and more people are expected to head south - as Wellingtonians help out following last week's quake disaster.

Toi Poneke Manager (right) helping foreign nationals evacuated from Christchurch

Toi Poneke Manager (right) helping foreign nationals evacuated from Christchurch

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says she is proud of the way people from the region have thrown their weight into the effort and shown such generosity.

And she urges Wellingtonians to further show their solidarity by observing today's two-minute silence at 12.51pm.

While the public is invited to gather at the steps of Parliament to observe the silence, Mayor Wade-Brown also urges people from the southern and eastern parts of the city to gather in Civic Square if they can't make it across town.

The urgent welfare support provided in Wellington to foreign tourists and other evacuees from Christchurch is now largely concluded and the emphasis is now on contributing direct help to Christchurch.

Over the weekend two search and rescue teams were deployed to join two teams from Hutt City already working in Christchurch. We have also sent 10 building officers and 20 water and wastewater repair and engineering staff from Wellington, Porirua and Kapiti Coast councils and Capacity - the joint Wellington / Hutt water company. More building inspectors from the region are likely to be heading down later today.

Last week around 2,000 tourist evacuees were airlifted to Wellington and were looked after by a wide range of volunteers and agencies, says Mayor Wade-Brown.

"On top of that, the generosity of Wellingtonians has been amazing - people have volunteered their time, money and goods. We took around 2,000 offers of accommodation. In the end these weren't needed but shows how willing people are to help in an emergency.

"This emergency response is far from over. Please donate generously to Red Cross or the other agencies working in Christchurch."