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Habitat launches Shelter site for quake-ravaged Cantabrians

26th February 2011.

Habitat launches Shelter site for quake-ravaged Cantabrians

Habitat for Humanity New Zealand is seeking urgent assistance from kind-hearted Kiwis who have room to spare for people displaced by Tuesday’s 6.3 magnitude earthquake.

Last night the housing charity launched a new website, www.shelter.org.nz , that will connect those displaced by the recent Canterbury quake with New Zealanders who can offer temporary accommodation.

“Habitat for Humanity is in the business of finding safe and decent housing for those suffering from substandard living conditions,” says Habitat CEO Pete North, “In Canterbury right now, this need has never been greater. www.shelter.org.nz will enable Kiwis to offer immediate assistance to those Cantabrians suffering or needing a break, while we develop a robust rebuild plan.”

Habitat New Zealand is also hoping that local Cantabrians who are willing, and able, to accommodate out-of-town volunteers will place listings via www.shelter.org.nz. The day after the quake, the charity received almost 200 registrations of volunteer interest from their website www.habitat.org.nz. Many New Zealanders, including a number of churches, have indicated their intention to assist Habitat New Zealand with any relief and rebuild work needed in the long days ahead.

“We’ve heard from people from places as far away as the United Kingdom and South Africa wanting to make a difference,” says Mr. North, “The people of New Zealand are close to the hearts of many nations. We are truly humbled at the number of people from across the world who are putting their hands up to help.”

Mr. North wants to assure New Zealanders that the charity is working with a number of aid agencies to respond to the plight of the people of Canterbury in the best way it can. It is already anticipated that the clean up and rebuild work required following Tuesday’s quake will take months, rather than weeks.

In the meantime, Kiwis can make a difference by offering those displaced by the quake a safe and decent place to live for awhile or by making a donation via www.shelter.org.nz.

Any enquirers who do not have web access are welcome to freephone Habitat on 0800 44 22 48 during normal office hours for more information.

The charity is also appealing to the public for donations and taking expressions of interest from people who would like to volunteer their services to assist with the rebuild work ahead.

Habitat for Humanity is one of the few charities in New Zealand where supporters can make a difference through their donations as well as be the difference by becoming a volunteer. Recently Habitat assisted close to 100 of Samoa’s worst affected families with building new homes following the September 2009 tsunami. Mr. North believes that, like Samoa, hundreds of can-do Kiwis will rise to the massive task of assisting Canterbury’s most vulnerable with building a safe and decent place to live.


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