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Silent Helpers

Silent Helpers
Press Release
21 January 2005

SILENT HELPERS

In a world where corporate greed is often reported, it is nice to know that there are still some socially ethical and responsible corporate citizens out there.

This week Christchurch-based company Arthur Ellis joined the initiative to support the Maldives and Seychelles Tsunami victims with a donation of tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment for the islands via the Indian Ocean Aid Fund. Orcon Internet and Ozone Barter are jointly managing the fund.

Arthur Ellis has donated tent flys and sunrooms from its Great Outdoors brand, as well as hundreds of Fairydown duvets and a large number of water purifiers.

Mary Devine, chief executive of Arthur Ellis, says the Christchurch-based company is delighted to contribute to the Tsunami relief effort in a meaningful way.

"The products we are donating to the fund will provide both shelter and warmth. Our products are designed and manufactured to stand up to extremes in weather and we are confident that these flys, sunrooms and duvets will be welcomed by the victims," says Mary Devine.

Tim Gordon, who is managing the Tsunami relief effort for the two countries, says this has been one of the most devastating natural disasters in history.

"During times of tragedy it is heart-warming to see corporations come together and help in any way they can. Arthur Ellis's donation will definitely make a significant contribution to both countries who have more or less been missed by the major aid organisations so far," says Tim Gordon.

The fund has also received generous support from Korean Air, BOC Gasses, St. Johns Ambulance, Contamination Control and many others.

More equipment is needed for the rebuilding of the country with a call out for camping equipment, water purification systems, first aid kits and heavy machinery, all of which are not readily available in either country.

"The difficulty now is dispatching some of the aid," says Tim Gordon. "Korean Air have generously donated freight and handling all the way to the Seychelles and we are now in discussions with other Airlines to get our second shipment to the Maldives."

While an appeal is being made for international assistance, Tim Gordon acknowledges that much of the media focus has been on the bigger countries with larger sister communities resident in New Zealand.

"Neither the Maldives or the Seychelles have local manufacturing bases and lack a great deal of technical infrastructure compared with their neighbours - so items must be brought in from elsewhere" says Tim Gordon. "Donations of materials are desperately needed for these countries because they simply do not have the equipment resident on the islands."

Seeby Woodhouse, managing director of Orcon Internet, says Arthur Ellis, Korean Air and the other organisations have done a great job in getting these island nations back on their feet. "On behalf of both countries we wish to acknowledge their most generous support," says Seeby Woodhouse.

Businesses or individuals wanting to help can contact Tim Gordon at Ozone Barter on 0800 469663 or Mr Seeby Woodhouse at Orcon Internet on 021 366666. People can also donate via internet banking to the 'Indian Ocean Aid Fund', Account Number: 03-0207-0234330-00 or by visiting www.maldives.org.nz.

LIST OF CURRENT DONORS

- Arthur Ellis - hundreds of bedding items, sunrooms, water purifiers

- St. Johns Ambulance - 100 first aid kits

- BOC Gasses - 1,000 pairs of quality rubber gloves to help with the cleanup

- Korean Air - freight to Singapore

- Air Seychelles - freight from Singapore to Seychelles

- Sky Truck Forwarding - freight handling

- Cargo-Co-ordinators - customs clearance work

- Contamination Control - water treatment plant

- Orcon Internet - Cash and website hosting

- Ozone Barter - Freight, cash, advertising, equipment

ABOUT THE INDIAN OCEAN AID FUND

Within New Zealand, Ozone Barter and Orcon Internet have jointly established an 'Indian Ocean Aid Fund' with donated materials and money directly going to local government aid funds in both the Seychelles and Maldives. Seeby Woodhouse, Managing Director of Orcon Internet, states "In both countries there is a need for improved relief at local levels - managed by the local populations since emergency food, shelter and clothing, are only short-term measures." The Indian Ocean Aid Fund seeks to move disaster victims from relief to recovery and rehabilitation as soon as possible with the help of the local government authorities.

ABOUT ARTHUR ELLIS

Arthur Ellis is one of New Zealand's oldest companies and has a proud reputation of developing and marketing a wide range of Bedware and Outdoor product ranges.

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