7 April 2011

Christchurch Earthquake Appeal tops $54 million

The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal has raised over $54 million towards rebuilding the Christchurch community.

Recent donations and pledges have included:

  • $1 million from American entrepreneur Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal and one of the original investors in Facebook
  • $800,000 from AMP National
  • $500,000 from the American New Zealand Association
  • $500,000 from Aviate Global
  • $1259.45 from a fundraising soup lunch in Clutton Village Hall, North Somerset
  • Schools across the country have raised funds through mufti days, cake stalls, sausage sizzles. Inglewood High School, with a roll of 400 students, raised $5600.

Comments from donors:

Valar Ventures

Peter Thiel, an American backer of New Zealand companies Xero & Pacific Fiber donated $1 million to the fund and said: “Now that we know the scope of the damage in Christchurch, it’s time to start planning how to rebuild it.  I hope that everyone who sees the potential for a renewed Canterbury will lend some time, talent, or resources to renewing the region and its economy, for the sake of all of New Zealand.”

AMP Financial Services donated $800,000 to the fund. NZ Managing Director, Jack Regan, said: "AMP dug deep to support our people in Canterbury so deeply affected by this event. It is very important to our shareholders, customers, advisers and staff that this great region has a future. We've been part of New Zealand's communities for more than 150 years, and must do our part to rebuild Canterbury.”

"With an event deeply affecting so many of our shareholders, customers, advisers and staff and the future of a great region in the balance, the decision to contribute was simple. Do what you can so New Zealand can do what it must for Canterbury and its communities to once again thrive," said Mr Regan.

Aviate Global

UK company Aviate Global held a charity day in their small London office and raised NZ$500,000 towards the appeal. A couple of Crusader rugby players visited the office during the event to lend their support.

Aviate Global founding partner Guy Gibson said: “Although Gary and I are Kiwis, most of the guys in our office who gave their time and efforts and effectively money are not New Zealanders, have not been to Christchurch or New Zealand for that matter – it was a huge effort on their part and very generous.

“It was very compelling reflection of the support that the New Zealand people have in the UK.”

The American New Zealand Association has pledged $500,000. Chairman Ian Phillips said: “We are working with the Trust and the Ministry of Education to identify programs where these funds can provide assistance to school students in Christchurch, to help lift their spirits and to assist with programs large and small that improve learning opportunities in the difficult circumstances the kids and parents now face.”

Inglewood High School raised $5600 in three weeks through a red and black mufti day, a variety rock concert, cake stall and selling hand-painted bricks in a brick wall. The school’s Board of Trustees chairman Mel Cook arranged for AMP to match the fundraising effort dollar for dollar, creating a total donation of $11,300.

Principal Rosey Mabin said: “The students came to me and said we want to do something for Christchurch. They came up with fundraising ideas, and we set ourselves the target of $5000 in three weeks. We’re a rural school in a town of 3,000.

“This is from a group of Taranaki kids who don’t know people personally in Christchurch. It’s just been their real drive to be what I’d call wonderful 21st century citizens. Compassionate, caring, committed. It’s just been amazing.”