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NZ US Council says Kia Kaha Christchurch

22 February 2012


NZ US Council says Kia Kaha Christchurch

The NZ US Council presents its condolences to the people of Christchurch together with deep appreciation for the assistance given to delegates to the fourth US NZ Partnership Forum which was underway in the city on 22 February 2011.

NZ US Council Chairman, Rt Hon James Bolger ONZ, paid tribute to the extraordinary efforts of individual Cantabrians, the police and rescue services, personnel from the US Embassy and base, New Zealand officials, the RNZAF, the Forum event management and security team as well as NZ US Council staff.

"At the time of the earthquake Forum delegates - over 120 senior government, business and community leaders from both countries, as well as 20 young Americans and New Zealanders - were scattered at over 10 locations being entertained to lunch. Partners of Forum delegates were all over the city," Mr Bolger said.

"Some delegates narrowly escaped serious injury. All were severely shaken. None were seriously harmed. Through the heroic efforts of many, delegates were regrouped at the Forum venue at the AMI Stadium and later at the US Antarctic Centre while plans were made to exit the shaken city."

Mr Bolger said the American delegates continue to feel a special bond with Christchurch.

"Our counterpart organization in the United States, the US NZ Council, has collected more than US$5.1 million for the earthquake recovery effort through its “American Friends of Christchurch” programme. This amount is expected to grow as US donors continue to make contributions. American delegates are also gathering at an event at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington."

"All Forum delegates from the United States and New Zealand remain committed to building the relationship and join together to say “Kia Kaha Christchurch!" Mr Bolger said.

© Scoop Media

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