The East Tamaki-based Taiwan Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation has donated a generous $125,000 to quake-affected residents in Hurunui and Kaikoura.
Members of the foundation travelled to Canterbury on December 17, along with Auckland Civil Defence’s Head of Strategy and Planning Craig Glover, to present the cheque.
This comes directly after an earlier donation by the foundation of 504 1.5 litre bottles of water, 40 eco-blankets and 50 Briscoes dinner sets to Spencer Park.
Mr Glover said he was most excited about the opportunity to invest into the Kaikoura community and support the local economy at a time of need.
The foundation has been involved in providing long-term support to quake-affected Canterbury residents since February 2011, and plans to continue doing so.
Tzu Chi Foundation spokesperson Patricia Duke said she hopes the donations have helped to “make things easier” for those affected by the November 14 quake, which killed two people and evacuated more than 1000 residents from their homes.
Kaikoura District Mayor Winston Gray said he is very grateful for the generosity of the Tzu Chi Foundation and its support of the local economy as the district rebuilds.
“Everyone across New Zealand will be familiar with the effects of the earthquake on Kaikoura, but not everyone will be aware of what it has meant to individual families, neighbours and small businesses.”
Hurunui District Mayor Winton Dalley also expressed his gratitude to the foundation for their willingness to visit and spend time with some of the most affected residents.
He said the 7.8 magnitude earthquake “struck a real blow to the district” last November, but commended the strength and determination of the Hurunui community.
Mr Gray and Mr Dalley each contacted the Tzu Chi Foundation to express their thanks, and are currently in discussions to organise another visit by the foundation in late January or February.
It’s an effort that Howick Ward Councillor and chair of Auckland’s Civil Defence Committee Sharon Stewart called an “astounding” display of support.
“We are very grateful for organisations such as this that are so generous in others’ times of need… it is heartening to see so many people stepping up to help.”
The Tzu Chi Foundation is located on Springs Road, East Tamaki.
By: Laura Brookes