Quake evacuees welcomed to Bay of Plenty
Monday, 7 March 2011 5:18 a.m.
Evacuees from quake damaged Canterbury have been welcomed to the Bay of Plenty by Regional Council Chairman John Cronin.
So far about 200 registrations have been received from people arriving in the Bay, but there are likely to be many more people as entire families can register on one form and many had registered in Christchurch before leaving.
Chairman John Cronin said Bay of Plenty people were well aware of the difficulties evacuees were facing and the region would do everything it could to help them in the weeks ahead.
"We have all seen the devastation on television and we recognise that these people have been through a great deal. We hope the Bay of Plenty can provide a safe haven and some peace of mind for families who need support and assistance with the most basic needs," Mr Cronin said.
"Our region stands ready to help in any way we can. It is vital that people who come here to stay with relatives and friends, or just in the hope of finding somewhere to live temporarily, register with the Red Cross. Registration places have been set up in all towns and there are information booths at the airports and Rotorua's bus terminal."
Mr Cronin said he knew Bay residents would welcome evacuees and give them the support they needed to get back on their feet.
"We will do everything we can to help. Staff from our councils are already working in Christchurch offering their expertise, and our search and rescue teams were deployed there immediately after the quake. In this region we know all too well the devastation that natural disasters can cause in people's lives and we are here to help in any way we can."
Registration centres are available at:
- Tauranga and Western Bay: Tauranga Red Cross Centre, 245 Chadwick Road, Greerton, open from 8.30 am - 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
- Rotorua: Rotorua District Council, 8am - 5pm.
- Ōpōtiki: 92B Church Street, opposite Work and Income office.
- Whakatāne: Community Link building, 24 Pyne St.
- Kawerau: Kawerau District Council, WINZ office Tarawera Court and House of Hope.
Registration will enable authorities to assess needs and help emergency services and friends and family in other parts of the country to contact them. Information for evacuees is available at both Tauranga and Rotorua airports and the Rotorua I-site bus terminal on the corner of Fenton and Arawa Streets.
Evacuees can also register by phone through the Red Cross number 0800 RED CROSS (0800 733 276). If addresses or telephone numbers change, or they return to Canterbury, they need to update their details by calling the Red Cross.