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Families Show Strength and Resilience

26 June 2006

Families Show Strength and Resilience

The practical and supportive response of families and communities to the current harsh winter is a sure sign that New Zealanders' instinct to help each other out is alive and well.

The Chief Commissioner of the Families Commission Rajen Prasad says it is heartening to see the resilience and strength being shown by families as they endure the bitter cold, lack of electricity and the difficult demands of home and work life.

"Since the Commission was established, we have listened to many people and organisations talk about the breakdown of families and of the loss of family and community values. What has been shown in the past few weeks by the people of Canterbury and Otago is in fact that when adversity hits, the electricity goes out and the phones die - it is families and their communities who rally round and help each other through."

"I've been talking to local council officials and hearing about the many families who have willingly shared their resources and log burners with those who have been left without heating, water and hot food. There are also a long list of people from both inside and outside the region who have battled the cold to bring relief to affected families. These include council staff, Salvation Army, Red Cross volunteers, electricity and phone repair staff. The support from their families also needs to be recognised.

"It has been an impressive effort and as the winter continues there will be many more families around the country who will show similar resourcefulness to support their family, friends and neighbours and friends in times of hardship."

ENDS

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