New Zealand Red Cross Secretary General Tony Paine has paid tribute to those affected by the quakes as well as the Red Cross teams who were on the ground immediately after the February 2011 disaster and who have continued to support the recovery over the past five years.

“Looking back over the past five years, I am struck again and again by the courage, resilience and determination of Cantabrians, including the hundreds of Red Cross folk living and working in the region. As we were reminded last weekend, it has been five years of hard work, tough times, bereavement, trauma and loss. It has also been five years of generosity, creativity, community building and good people helping each other. Red Cross has been humbled and proud to be part of that” said Mr Paine.

Since the initial response New Zealand Red Cross has helped one in four Cantabrians - more than 110,000 people - through its grants programme. It has also provided a range of practical support to thousands more in greater Christchurch, including hand-delivering 14,000 winter warmer packs to those in damaged or cold houses; distributing more than 43,000 torch radios to greater Christchurch families; conducting 4,700 outreach visits to the homes of vulnerable families to provide counselling and support; fully insulating 211 houses that were being repaired; and transporting more than 8500 isolated people to health appointments and other community activities.

New Zealand Red Cross has also provided psychological and social support for the bereaved and seriously injured, social and youth workers in more than 100 schools, support for groups addressing homelessness, stress reduction resources and Recovery Matters workshops for community groups and businesses.

“New Zealand Red Cross was charged with the huge responsibility of ensuring the funds raised by the earthquake appeal were distributed directly to those who need it the most, and of making sure that every dollar donated in New Zealand was used directly in and for Canterbury” says Mr Paine.

Because of the generosity of Kiwis who donated more than $103 million to the New Zealand Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake Appeal (including interest) and support from international Red Cross societies, more than $109 million in grants and recovery programmes has now been provided directly to quake-affected people in greater Christchurch.

New Zealand Red Cross will have spent almost $120 million on grants and recovery programmes directly in greater Christchurch by June 2017.

All administration, evaluation and other indirect costs incurred over the past five years have been covered by New Zealand Red Cross and contributions from Red Cross partners around the world. These international Red Cross contributions have also been used to build up Red Cross disaster response teams and equipment across New Zealand.

“New Zealand Red Cross has been in Christchurch since 1915 and we want to be part of the recovery for as long as it takes. That’s why we’re here for good and will continue to support the community even after the earthquake appeal funds have been fully utilised. There is still work to be done and we feel a deep sense of duty to walk alongside those who need our help,” says Mr Paine.

For more information contact:

Simon Makker, Recovery Communications Manager

p: +64 3 338 4969