Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


An Update on Refugee Services in Christchurch

We would like to give you an update on Refugee Services' response to the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that shook the Christchurch area on 22 February.

"We are very happy to share the news that all of our staff have reported in safe, although many have had their homes badly damaged," says Chief Executive Heather Hayden. "Our team is working tirelessly to ensure that all former refugees in the area are safe and have their immediate needs taken care of. I have staff working their way around every family who has arrived in the last 2 years, checking their homes and providing support, first aid and information."

Peter Scott has joined the Christchurch team from the National Office to assist with the disaster response, coordinate relief efforts over the next week and give Christchurch-based staff time to attend to their families and homes. "Peter, Christchurch Manager Anne-Marie Reynolds, other staff and members of the Christchurch Refugee Council have been out visiting clients for the last two days," says Heather. "While there are many clients and staff who are understandably shaken, we are very glad that there have been no reports of serious injuries."

In light of the significant amount of work facing our Christchurch team at this time, we ask that anyone looking for information please contact our National Office team at info@refugeeservices.org.nz or by phone at 04 805 0340, rather than contacting our Christchurch team directly.

For volunteers, former refugees and service providers in the Christchurch area, Interpreting New Zealand is offering free telephone interpreting services for quake-related issues during this state of emergency. If you need to use this service, call Interpreting New Zealand on their toll free line 0508 468 377 and press option 1. When calling, please provide your name, the non-English speaker's name and his/her language, and let the operator know that it is an emergency response call.

If you live in the Christchurch area and have former refugees living nearby, we ask you to introduce yourselves and provide what support and comfort you are able, particularly for those former refugees who have language barriers. Times like these can be very difficult for those who have trouble understanding the news and safety recommendations, and the free telephone interpreting services mentioned above can be of help.

If you would like to find out how you can provide support or donations for former refugees living in the Christchurch area, please contact Teresa Bass at teresa.bass@refugeeservices.org.nz or 04 805 0343.

"There's a lot of conversation at the moment about the people of the Canterbury region having to leave their homes in the wake of this disaster," says Heather. "We are particularly conscious about the impact this has on refugees who have come to New Zealand, having been forced to flee their previous homes under different circumstances. Our hearts go out to them and all the victims of this disaster, and we hope you will join us as we provide support during this difficult time."

Thank you all for your support,

Refugee Services


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Countdown, And Mary Margaret O’Hara

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Key In NY: Prime Minister Addresses United Nations

    Prime Minister John Key has addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, focusing on a call for action in Syria and on other conflicts, reform of the veto process and on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. More>>.


    Gordon Campbell: On The Lack Of Accountability Over Philip Smith

    In New Zealand, accountability is an exotic creature rarely glimpsed at ministerial level, or among senior management. The flight to Rio by the paedophile /murderer Philip John Smith/Traynor is no exception. More>>


    More On Corrections

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news