Fonterra has announced a $1 million donation towards recovery efforts in Christchurch and the wider Canterbury area which was struck by an earthquake yesterday.
The donation will go to the Mayoral Relief Fund.
Chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden said:
“We are very concerned for people in the region, especially those coping with significant damage to their homes. We know the donation will be put to good and immediate use as people try to cope with the very difficult conditions. We encourage other companies to do the same.
“There is a massive job to be done. We are grateful that our local farmers and our sites have come through relatively unscathed as this means we can put our resources into the community where help is needed most.”
Fonterra would also continue to provide practical help through local staff and equipment.
Fonterra CEO Andrew Ferrier said four Fonterra tankers had been stationed at local emergency centres and were delivering water to the community.
In addition, Fonterra was working with the civil defence team to provide food and milk for the public via emergency centres.
Fonterra service centres and Area Managers were contacting all local dairy farmers. An estimated 20 percent of farms in the area were still without power.
“We are helping to source generators for these farmers or arranging for them to milk at neighbours’ properties,” said Mr Ferrier. “Fonterra is continuing to collect all milk from local farmers.”
On Q&A this morning Prime Minister John Key talked about the likely costs involved:
. . . a lot of homeowners will over time find damage that they’re not expecting at the moment. There’ll be problems that can’t present themselves visibly underground and there’s a major rebuild job here in Christchurch. . .
But when you go to that financial issue, an what we’re hearing from EQC is they expect claims from at least 100,000 homes, potentially more. They’re saying a bill of a billion dollars, maybe more. This is the single biggest claim on EQC since the scheme was established. So it is a major impact on both that scheme, but ultimately there’s all the other costs, those that are uninsured, costs on the central government, costs on local government, costs on businesses.
He said the total cost may amount to a couple of billion dollars.
He also mentioned the silver lining. There will be employment opportunities in Christchurch and the hinterland as people clean up and rebuild.
UPDATE: Kiwiblog reports another silver lining – Jim Anderton told CTV on Friday it would take an earthquake for him to lose the mayoral election.