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Goff and Cosgrove pay tribute to the people of Christchurch

Phil Goff
Leader of the Labour Party

24 February 2011

Media Statement
Goff and Cosgrove pay tribute to the people of Christchurch

Labour Leader Phil Goff and Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Waimakariri MP Clayton Cosgrove, today paid tribute to rescue and emergency service workers and thanked them for their tireless efforts.

Phil Goff, was in Christchurch when the earthquake struck, and has spent two and half days meeting and talking with people who have suffered personal loss and damage to their homes as a result of the earthquake.

“The devastation and loss of life and injury caused by the earthquake makes this New Zealand’s worst natural disaster in 80 years. While we celebrated following the fourth of September earthquake that no person had lost their life, the impact of this earthquake has been very different.

“I have seen scenes in Christchurch that I had hoped I would never witness in my own country.

“However, we can be very grateful for the enormous effort that has been made by emergency and rescue workers. Just a few hours after the quake, together with family and friends of those trapped in the PGG building, I watched rescue workers calmly, methodically and professionally work to release trapped workers from the building.

“Even as after-shocks threatened to dislodge masonry and put their lives at risk, the workers remained focused on the task in front of them.

“I want to acknowledge and thank all of those workers for their commitment and their determination. And I want to acknowledge and thank all those countries who have sent people to New Zealand to assist us in our efforts,” Phil Goff said

Earthquake recovery spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove said he would personally like to thank all of those who were helping at this time.

“The generosity of Kiwis seems to be immense. The devastation in Christchurch has been unimaginable. What I have witnessed and the stories I have heard will stay with me forever.

“I have been helping distribute emergency phone numbers and I have come across some tremendously moving human stories. I was speaking with a woman whose relative had been killed. The she had accepted that, but didn’t know where the body was being kept.

“At the Hagley Park Centre I was talking to a senior St John man who was marshaling his troops, and who told me his elderly father had gone into the city that day and he hadn’t been able to make contact with him since.

“It was amazing that given what he was going through he was still continuing to marshal his troops. So to all those people helping I say thank you,” Clayton Cosgrove said.

ENDS

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