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The New Zealand banking industry has donated NZD$1 million (US$684,000) to those affected by last Friday's shooting in Christchurch that claimed the lives of 50 people.
The money went to Christchurch Foundation's Our People, Our City Fund to meet the long and short term needs of the families most affected by Friday's atrocity, the New Zealand Bankers Association said.
Association chair David McLean said the industry shared the sense of shock of all New Zealanders and wants to support the families now and in the future.
“The banking industry is appalled by the horrific attacks in Christchurch on Friday and stands alongside Cantabrians at this terrible time,” he said in a statement.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson acknowledged the contribution from New Zealand's banks.
"This stands alongside the generosity of individual New Zealanders supporting the people affected by this attack," Robertson said.
McLean said the contribution came from across the banking sector.
Public donations to the fund can be made at most banks around the country.
“Those who have lost loved ones should contact their bank to see how they can be best supported during this difficult time,” McLean said.
Meanwhile, more than 68,000 people have donated $5.2 million (US$3.5 million) to a Spark-sponsored Givalittle page.
“There will be many needs that victims have - some financial, some for support, and many other needs too," Spark said.
“It is important that there is enough flexibility in the fund criteria that we can respond to those needs at they continue to emerge, whatever they may be,” it said.
“We've been overwhelmed with donations - more than we thought possible - and we now need to create more formal processes than would be needed for the much smaller fund we expected this page would create,” it said.
SOURCE: NZ HERALD/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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