New Zealand High Commission Port Vila, Vanuatu
PM launches Christchurch Earthquake Appeal
Prime Minister John Key today launched the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, a global fundraiser for the recovery effort in the city and the Canterbury region.
"It's vital we reach as many people throughout the world as possible who want to help. This isn't just New Zealand's tragedy-the February 22 earthquake affected countless people internationally.
"Like all Cantabarians and fellow New Zealanders, I have been humbled by the offers of help and assistance pouring in from individuals, organisations and governments around the world. This new Appeal gives people another means of donating to the people of Christchurch and the recovery effort.
Mr Key said the Appeal was designed to complement those already established, such as the funds organised by the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
"It's my intention that the Government will work alongside these organisations to make sure the funds are used in the best possible way.
Mr Key said New Zealand government departments at home and around the world would be throwing their weight behind the Appeal.
"This Appeal will have global reach, with our network of diplomatic posts able to reach millions of people world-wide.
"I am also pleased to announce that the proceeds raised for the earthquake recovery from Saturday's special Lotto draw will go directly to the Appeal," said Mr Key.
Mr Key praised several organisations which had donated their time and expertise in order to get the Appeal up and running.
"Westpac has worked tirelessly with Clemenger BBDO, Direct Payment Solutions and AIM Proximity to turn the Appeal into a reality in a very short space of time. Facebook has also helped its users engage in the initiative, which gives the Appeal a truly international flavour".
Mr Key also thanked Colenso BBDO and Run the Red, both of which worked with Westpac on the Appeal website and text message donation service respectively.
"I'd aso like to thank New Zealand's other retail banks, which are working with Westpac on the Appeal".
Mr. Key said he was encouraging New Zealanders to give generously to Christchurch.
Every little bit helps - every donation, no matter how small, will be welcomed."
Donations can be made at www.christchurchearthquakeappeal.govt.nz
Telecom, Vodafone and 2 Degrees mobile customers can text chch to 933 to make an automatic $3 donation.
Donations can also be made via internet banking, or at any branch of New Zealand's banks, by depositing into account number 03-0251-0039807-00.
Go to www.facebook.com/ChristchurchEarthquakeAppeal to find out more.
Media Contact: Jane Fraser-Jones 021 830 277