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Support for ethnic communities in Christchurch

Support for ethnic communities in Christchurch

Ethnic Affairs Minister Hekia Parata has praised ethnic communities for their resilience and compassion following the devastating Christchurch earthquake.

Ms Parata has met with ethnic communities and other groups in Christchurch affected by the earthquake.

“I was touched to see how our ethnic communities are really reaching out to the community and helping not only each other but others in the Christchurch region,’’ Ms Parata says.

Among the groups Ms Parata visited was the Canterbury Chinese Support Group. The group is not only helping coordinate volunteers but is also helping support families who are searching for loved ones.

“They are helping with accommodation and shelter, and providing support to international students who have become displaced,’’ Ms Parata says.

Ms Parata also met with representatives of the Indian and Korean Communities, visited the Muslim Community at the Christchurch Mosque and stopped by Rehua Marae, who are not only helping local Maori communities but are holding briefings for ethnic communities on relevant information including financial assistance packages and general emergency updates.

“It is heartening to see that kind of support amongst the many ethnic communities that reside in Christchurch.’’

Ms Parata says it is important for our ethnic communities to remember they are not alone in dealing with this tragedy.

The Government has announced the Christchurch Earthquake Support package estimated to be worth between $100 million and $120m, which aims to help businesses and workers through the next six weeks.

There are also Civil Defence payments available to meet the immediate needs of people affected by the earthquake.

International Students, and the families who are providing them with accommodation and food, are entitled to these payments which can be obtained through Work and Income New Zealand.

Ms Parata says she has taken on board some of the concerns raised by ethnic communities during her visit and is doing her best to help them in practical ways.

ends

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