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Wednesday, September 30

Samoa Tsunami Relief Fund Established

Wellington-based charitable trust, the Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF), has set up an emergency relief fund in the partnership with Westpac Bank, in the wake of the devistating earthquake and subsequent tsunamis which hit Samoa
today.


Foundation Cheif Executive, Meg Poutasi says New Zealand has a special relationship with Samoa and the impact of the tsunamis will have a significant effect on New Zealand Samoans, as many will be connected or related to those affected by the tragedy. "We have grave concerns for the people of Samoa.


To offer assistance during this tragedy, the Foundation has set up an account to receive donations at Westpac branches throughout New Zealand. All proceeds will go to the Samoan government", says Ms Poutasi. Donations can be made to the samoan Tsunami Relief Fund at any Westpac Branch.


The Pacific Cooperation Foundation is public/private sector partnership focussed on stability and econimic sustainability in the region.

For further information, please contact: Meg Poutasi Tel: 021 723 663 or 04 931 9384 or Email: meg@pcf.org.nz

Meanwhile,Prime Minister John Key has expressed deep sadness at the loss of life in the Pacific following a large earthquake and tsunami today.

"While the true extent of the damage is still unfolding, it is clear many people, particularly in Samoa, have lost their lives.

"Reports that a New Zealander may have died as a result of the tsunami adds another layer of sadness to this tragedy.

"It is probable that this will not be the only death of a New Zealander. The south coast of Samoa is a popular holiday destination and, being school holidays, there will have been many New Zealanders visiting.

"We must also remember that many New Zealand Samoans would have taken their children home to Samoa during the holidays and some will have been staying in coastal villages in this area.

"My thoughts are with all people caught up in the devastation whether they are local or visiting.

"I have spoken to Prime Minister Tuilaepa and conveyed New Zealand's condolences.

"The Prime Minister and Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi can rely on our help.

"My message to all our Pacific neighbours affected by this tragedy is the same - New Zealand will do all it can to assist them in their time of need."