Habitat For Humanity New Zealand Sees Long-Term Commitment For Christchurch Earthquake Response
It commits to help as long as possible with 27 homes repaired so far
Staff from Sinclair Knight Merz lent a helping hand. Photos: HFH Christchurch.
AUCKLAND, September 10, 2012: It has been 1½ years since Christchurch city was struck by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake and Habitat for Humanity New Zealand is pressing on to help affected families.
In the aftermath of the February 2011 disaster, HFH New Zealand responded quickly by working with other non-governmental organizations and local churches.
To date, Habitat volunteers from within New Zealand and overseas have helped 27 affected families to repair their homes. A local church has generously offered its premises to be Habitat’s operational base and accommodation for the volunteers.
“The local support from Christchurch volunteers has been fantastic. Local firms too have provided goods and services, paint, tools and expertise,” said Paul Galbraith, Habitat’s project manager. His wife Helen is in charge of feeding the army of volunteers who come in every week.
Volunteer Maggie Elford, from Invercargill, said: “Volunteers come from all walks of life and from near and far: United Nations I called it one day. As well as the regular crew of guys from Christchurch, mostly retirees, there were people from various parts of NZ, Singapore, Korea, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, and The Netherlands during our two-week stay.” Corporations such as Sinclair Knight Merz and schools like Bay of Plenty Polytechnic also contributed volunteer labor.
Considering it her privilege to help others, Maggie added: “We are now trying to plan when we can return and continue with the work that will be on going for many months to come.”