Canterbury recovery programme

Five years after the Canterbury earthquakes, we're looking back on our contribution to the recovery efforts, while continuing to work alongside Cantabrians who need our help.

Five years of recovery

As Cantabrians recover from the magnitude 5.7 earthquake on 14 February 2016 and mark the fifth anniversary of the February 22 quakes, we're taking stock of five years of contributing to Canterbury's recovery.

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 in February 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.

How we've helped

Since the initial response we've helped one in four Cantabrians - more than 110,000 people - through our grants programme. We've 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.

We've 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.

$109 million raised for Canterbury communities

“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.

We 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.

Recovery report and infographic

Read the latest Recovery report from 2015. See at a glance with our infographic the impact of the earthquakes, and how over 100,000 people are on the road to recovery.

Recovery Update 2015 (PDF)
Recovery Infographic 2011-2015 (PDF)