New Zealand Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia

New Zealand Ambassador welcomes Indonesia's Grant to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal

New Zealand Ambassador David Taylor received a US$500,000 grant for the appeal from Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Agung Laksono on 17 March. Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Marty Natalegawa also attended.

"Indonesia has demonstrated the depth of its friendship and strong ties with New Zealand through its generous grant to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal”, New Zealand Ambassador David Taylor said when he received a US$500,000 grant for the appeal from Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Agung Laksono on 17 March. Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Marty Natalegawa was also in attendance at the handover ceremony.

 Ambassador Taylor extended heartfelt thanks on behalf of the New Zealand Government and the people of Christchurch for Indonesia’s substantial contribution towards the relief and reconstruction effort in Christchurch following the recent earthquake.

 "As our Prime Minister John Key has said, the outpouring of messages and support from friends around the world has been humbling”.

 "We are truly grateful not only for Indonesia ’s financial support, but also other communications in the wake of the earthquake”.

 "I have also been struck by the many hundreds of messages that have poured in from friends throughout Indonesia since the disaster struck. It’s enormously comforting and encouraging to receive such powerful expressions of support”.

"New Zealand and Indonesia are both countries on the so-called ring of fire and are prone to earthquakes and other natural disasters. We work closely together to prepare for, mitigate and manage disasters when they happen. We also learn from each other’s experiences. For example, the work of New Zealand engineers in Indonesia following the Padang earthquake has led to the refinement of New Zealand ’s building safety evaluations”.

In presenting the grant, Minister Laksono extended Indonesia ’s sympathy and condolences to New Zealand . “ Indonesia and New Zealand share seismic vulnerability, experiencing frequent volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. This common hazard is why Indonesia and New Zealand cooperate closely on emergency disaster relief and response,” Minister Laksono said.

The 22 February earthquake in Christchurch has caused the deaths of 166 people, with 65 still missing. The total damage is estimated to be in excess of US$10 billion. Thousands of homes will need to be demolished and some parts of the city cannot be rebuilt. The recovery process will take many years.

Memorial services will be held throughout New Zealand on 18 March. The service in Christchurch will include Prince William who is visiting New Zealand at present.

Details about the public earthquake appeal can be found at www.christchurchearthquakeappeal.govt.nz or through the New Zealand Embassy Facebook page www.facebook.com/nzembassyindonesia

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