Church Service to Launch Wairarapa's Vanuatu Appeal
A combined interdenominational public church service will be
held to remember all who have died in Vanuatu as a result of
Cyclone Pam, as the Wairarapa community co-ordinates its support
for the relief efforts.
The service will take place at St Luke’s Union Church, Queen
Street & Worksop Road, Masterton, at 5pm on Wednesday 25 March
and will give those present the opportunity to express love,
peace and hope for the people of Vanuatu. A book of condolences
signed by the Wellington Community will also be at the church
for Wairarapa people to contribute to.
It is the first stage in an action plan devised at a meeting
of Masterton District Council, Pacific, church, Rotary and Iwi
representatives held last Friday to discuss the community's
response to the Vanuatu Cyclone appeal. It was also attended by
a group of Vanuatu contract workers based in South Wairarapa,
but who are currently out of work. Some of these workers have
not been able to make contact with their families since the
cyclone hit the island nation last week.
The meeting was called at short notice after Wairarapa
residents asked how they could help the situation. The agenda
consisted of two questions: as a community do we have the
capacity and desire to help the people of Vanuatu in their time
of need and if so, how?
The Vanuatu Consulate in Auckland, as well as the New Zealand
High Commission in Vanuatu, have advised that food, shelter,
water, clothes and medical supplies are the most urgent
requirements. Over and above these basic human needs, financial
donations are desperately sought.
The meeting resolved that members of the Wairarapa community
who wish to donate money can continue to do so through the
reputable global non-government agencies currently working in
and supporting Vanuatu: Red Cross, Save the Children Fund and
There will also be an opportunity for people to donate money
to the appeal at Wednesday’s church service. The meeting decided
that all monies collected will be accounted for and managed by
the four district-wide Rotary clubs, which through Rotary
International have extensive experience and logistical networks
in responding to these types of emergencies. Rotary has already
dispensed emergency kits and shelter packs to Vanuatu.
Donations of food and clothing can be dropped off at
Masterton District Council offices, 64 Chapel Street, Carterton
Events Centre and South Wairarapa District Council offices, 19
Kitchener Street, Martinborough. The greatest items of need are
food that is relevant in terms of diet to the Vanuatu people,
not necessarily that of Kiwis, such as tinned fish, tinned beef,
rice, noodles and tinned fruit. Good second hand clothes
suitable for the tropics are also required, such as t-shirts,
shorts and jandals.
There will be further opportunities for Wairarapa people to
support Vanuatu in rebuilding its physical and institutional
infrastructure, but for the time being the priority is the
welfare of the Vanuatu people.
24 March 2015