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Paula Bennett - More help available in Christchurch

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development, Employment & Youth Affairs

25 February 2011

More help available in Christchurch

As at 10am, 4,000 people affected by the Christchurch earthquake have received financial assistance says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

In the last three days around $700,000 has been paid out in Civil Defence payments for essential items such as food, clothing and bedding.

“Christchurch people in genuine need, regardless of income, should call the Government helpline to access these payments” says Ms Bennett.

Civil Defence payments can also be made at the five Work and Income sites open at Ashburton, Hornby, Rangioa, Kaiapoi and Riccarton.

With the addition of the Rolleston Community Centre (94 Rolleston Drive) there are now five welfare centres open to help people in and around Christchurch.

The other four have been operating at Burnside High School, Cowles Stadium, Pioneer Stadium and Rangiora Baptist Church.

“Of the five welfare centres Rolleston has the best facilities and is able to provide people with a warm shower and a hot meal,” says Ms Bennett.

“We have heard reports of people, especially elderly, playing down their own need in the belief that this is helping the community,” says Ms Bennett.

“Kiwis are a tough bunch, but this isn’t the time to be staunch. Plenty of help is available, so if you need a hand please don’t hesitate to ask,” says Ms Bennett.

All residents in Canterbury who need assistance are encouraged to either contact a Welfare Centre or call the Government Help Line on 0800 779 997.


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