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Regional Council donates to quake fund

Thursday, 3 March 2011 12:00 a.m.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council is donating $150,000 to Christchurch's Mayoral Relief Fund to assist with recovery following the city's earthquake last week.

The Regional Council held an extraordinary meeting on Monday to discuss what it could do to assist the Canterbury region.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chairman John Cronin said all of New Zealand was shocked by the destruction caused by the 6.3 quake on Tuesday, 22 February and recovery in the city would take a very long time.

"We in the Bay of Plenty know all too well the catastrophic damage that a natural disaster can wreck on a region. Christchurch people will need the support of the whole country to get back on its feet and we are so pleased to be able to provide some financial support towards recovery in this really difficult time," he said.

"After experiencing the 1987 Edgecumbe earthquake we have a lot of empathy with what Christchurch is experiencing at this time. I also know that many of our staff and Councillors have family and friends in Christchurch and are worrying about them, as well as our colleagues working in Canterbury's local government.

"Our heartfelt prayers and support go out to the people of Cantebury who have been so hard hit."

The Bay of Plenty has a number of staff on the ground in Christchurch assisting with search and rescue of toppled buildings and staffing civil defence management centres in both Christchurch and the Wellington national crisis management centre. More Bay civil defence staff may be sent south during the coming weeks.

Regional Council staff are also taking part in the national "red and black" day tomorrow, and are providing blood donations to replenish supplies this week.