New Zealand Rotarians responding to Christchurch earthquake
The March issue of Rotary Down Under
, the regional magazine in New Zealand, Australia, and neighboring countries, will include coverage of the Christchurch earthquake.
Rotarians in New Zealand are doing what they can to assist victims of the devastating earthquake 22 February in Christchurch, where more than 100 people have been killed and at least 200 are still missing.
As efforts move from search-and-rescue to recovery, responses from Rotarians offering assistance have been pouring in. Authorities are requesting that donations in kind or noncash items not be sent to Christchurch, as the government, local agencies, and NGOs have sufficient emergency and second phase supplies for the ongoing needs of the community.
Rotary New Zealand World Community Service, a group of Rotarians dedicated to international service projects in New Zealand and the South Pacific, has set up an earthquake appeal fund. Learn more.
“New Zealand is a small country and everyone knows someone in Christchurch, so this is truly a national disaster," said Past RI President William B. Boyd, a native of New Zealand. “I know that the six districts [there] will work together to rebuild the spirit of the city. Best wishes from Rotarians from around the world have reminded us once again that we are a family and that in difficult times, families come together."
The incoming Rotary Foundation trustee-chair added: "The Rotary Foundation has an important place in the family of Rotary, and our Foundation will play its part as Christchurch rebuilds.”
According to a press release on the Rotary Zone 7B (New Zealand and Pacific Islands) website, Rotarians are offering to host traumatized residents so that they can get away to rest before trying to rebuild their lives. The effort is being coordinated within Rotary and through welfare agencies.
"We are OK but very stirred and shaken. Aftershocks are still continuing," assistant Rotary coordinator Ross Skinner wrote in a post on the site. "We have power and water (it seems) but no waste water or flushing of toilets."
Leanne Jaggs, past governor for District 9920 who lives in Auckland, posted on Tuesday that she was in Christchurch on business when the earthquake hit. "I was just about to jump out of my rental car for a meeting, when it felt like the car was moving," she wrote. "Our hope is that everyone we know is safe."
Find more news updates on the Rotary Zone 7B website.
Learn more about Rotary International’s approach to long-term disaster recovery efforts.