NZ Herald and Red Cross team up: New Zealanders donate over $500k in 12 hours to Red Cross disaster fund

Gisborne locals share details of their harrowing Cyclone Gabrielle experience. Video / Breakfast

In under 12 hours we have received over 3000 donations totalling over $500,000 to the New Zealand Disaster Fund.

We are deeply grateful to the generosity of New Zealanders, Red Cross said, as the appeal for help continues.

To help people in the areas impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle, the NZ Herald and parent company NZME are teaming up with the New Zealand Red Cross in a fundraising appeal.

The Red Cross has set up a special NZ disaster fund to help those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and other extreme weather events.


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If you can, please donate to the appeal by clicking No amount is too small.

If you can’t donate at the moment, one easy, practical way to help is to share this appeal with others around you.

The devastation and heartache caused by Cyclone Gabrielle has affected hundreds of thousands of people and its effects will be felt for a long time to come.

Entire communities have been ravaged by the cyclone, thousands are still cut off, without access to supplies, while thousands of others have been evacuated. A number of people have lost their lives, others have lost their livelihoods.


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As we mourn the lives that have been lost, we also look for ways to help those who survived but lost everything.

According to the New Zealand Red Cross, the best way to help in a situation like this is to make a monetary donation. “We are not collecting clothes or goods, as sorting, managing and distributing donated items during an emergency takes an extensive amount of time and resources.

“With people needing emergency supplies immediately, the best, most efficient way you can help make sure the right assistance reaches them when they need it most is by making a monetary donation. By donating money, you make sure local communities get help in the most effective way.”

NZME chief executive Michael Boggs says the company is determined to do whatever it can to support those impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

“The events have been catastrophic for communities across the North Island and the need for support is critical. At NZME we have a presence across all the communities that have been affected, with many of our staff, our customers, our readers and our listeners living in or having loved ones in those areas. I know everyone across NZME will be getting right behind this cause, promoting and supporting it however we can, to ensure we raise as much money as possible for those in need,” he said.

New Zealand Red Cross general manager of engagement and enterprise, Shane Chisholm said: “New Zealand Red Cross are proud to be teaming up with the NZ Herald and NZME to support those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and help ensure that Aotearoa New Zealand is well prepared for emergencies in the future.”

NZME managing editor Shayne Currie said: “The NZ Herald is committed to keeping Kiwis in the know with extensive coverage of the devastating events – and we want to help further. Through our digital, print and radio channels, we are encouraging our audience to donate. Big or small, every donation helps.”

The full scale of the destruction and loss brought on by Gabrielle might not be known for some time — but what we do know is this is already one of the most significant disasters in New Zealand history.

At least six people have been confirmed dead so far, including one child, with many other lives feared lost.

Earlier this week, after declaring a National State of Emergency (only the third in New Zealand’s history), Prime Minister Chris Hipkins described Cyclone Gabrielle as “the most severe weather event this century”.


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The Tamatea Intermediate evacuation centre in Napier. Photo / Paul Taylor
The Tamatea Intermediate evacuation centre in Napier. Photo / Paul Taylor

The New Zealand Red Cross has teams currently on the ground in the affected areas, and working with emergency management services to prioritise where to send their trained Disaster Welfare and Support Teams (DWSTs).

Taradale fire crew members and police evacuate residents to Tamatea Intermediate School in Napier. Photo / Paul Taylor
Taradale fire crew members and police evacuate residents to Tamatea Intermediate School in Napier. Photo / Paul Taylor

DWST members are currently assisting in Civil Defence Centres in Northland, Hawke’s Bay, and the Coromandel. They are working alongside emergency management agencies and providing psychosocial support.

NZ Red Cross equipment such as stretchers, hygiene kits, generators and bedding have been delivered to Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay and Palmerston North to assist local emergency management agencies.

Aerial photographs reveal the extent of damage in storm-ravaged Wairoa. Photo / Hawke's Bay Civil Defence
Aerial photographs reveal the extent of damage in storm-ravaged Wairoa. Photo / Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence

Last month, after the deadly floods in Auckland, NZME announced a package of $1 million in advertising support for businesses affected by the severe weather event. That million-dollar package has since been extended to cover victims of the floods in other areas across the country. The deadline to tap into the funds has also been extended. The money has been made available across NZME’s print, audio and digital platforms for businesses impacted by these events. These allocated funds will be used to support business recovery and to advertise products and services to help those in need.

If reading the news about this devastating event has left you feeling helpless, this is how you can help. All the funds from this appeal will go straight to the New Zealand Red Cross to reach those who need it the most right now.


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Wherever you are in the world, please help us help New Zealanders right now.

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