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Leading by example on India earthquake relief

29 March 2001 Media Statement

Government is leading by example on India earthquake relief

The Government is leading by example and has contributed $500,000 towards relief efforts following the devastating earthquake in India.

Foreign Minister Phil Goff recently visited the earthquake-struck city of Bhuj in the State of Gudjarat. While there Phil Goff announced New Zealand would offer $150,000 in new spending towards earthquake engineering expertise.

The Government's large contribution to assist with relief efforts in India acknowledges the close links between New Zealand and the State of Gudjarat, from which many Indian families in this country originally migrated from.

Ethnic Affairs and Civil Defence Minister George Hawkins welcomes the contributions towards the ongoing relief effort taking place in Gudjarat.

"Many Indian New Zealanders have been have been in close contact with me. In my own electorate of Manurewa, I regularly meet with Indian families who originally migrated from Gudjarat. They are worried for their friends and loved ones who remain in India.

"I am pleased two support two very large relief contributions from the Government. It reflects the Government's response to a very urgent humanitarian need in India," George Hawkins said.

The Indian community in New Zealand has been fundraising to assist with relief efforts. Their support comes on top of the Government's large relief contributions.

"I want to thank those New Zealanders who have supported the Government to assist the victims of the catastrophic earthquake in Gudjarat.

"The earthquake has been called the worst ever disaster in India, with a reported death toll of over 20,000 and 160,000 injured.

"The Indian community in this country has rallied behind the Government and we appreciate the support," George Hawkins said.


ENDS

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