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Donors Urged To Give Cash, Not Goods

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Auckland, Feb 23 NZPA - Donations are flooding in for Christchurch earthquake relief funds, though one civil defence agency has called on donors to give cash rather than goods.

Emergency Management Southland advisor Craig Sinclair has asked people in its area to not give blankets, clothes, children's toys or similar goods.

"People have the best of intentions -- they really want to do something practical to help Christchurch -- but we know from past experience that collecting up second hand goods only causes problems and it doesn't get to the people who are in need of help," Mr Sinclair said.

"There is nowhere to store these items in Christchurch, there is no way of checking where the bedding, clothes and what-have-you have come from and usually it all ends up being dumped, which is a terrible waste."

Red Cross and international agencies were providing resources for the relief effort and would not be able to use such donations, Mr Sinclair said.

"The best way to help at the moment is to give money to one of the official appeals," Mr Sinclair said.

Genesis Energy said it had donated $500,000 to the Red Cross Appeal, Fonterra has donated $1 million, while profits from the Warriors-Manly rugby league game at North Harbour Stadium on Saturday, including $20,000 from Mad Butcher Sir Peter Leitch, will be donated to the appeal.

Sky City casino in Auckland said the Sky Tower would be turning red this evening to help the Red Cross appeal. It said the Sky Tower "will be a beckon of hope for Christchurch people to know Aucklanders do care and a way of symbolising that care".

Rotary and the Salvation Army have also launched donation funds, with Rabobank New Zealand donating $100,000 to the Salvation Army fund, while charitable trust The Lion Foundation will contribute $5 million to the city, which it said is unprecedented in its 25-year history.

Meanwhile, the Charities Commission was warning people to donate only to large, well-known charities which could be checked on the Charities Register website after an email scam was discovered.

Ministry of Consumer Affairs watchdog Scamwatch said it had already received reports of emails sent from "James McCoy", who claims to be from "Donate4Charity NZ".

The scam, which uses the name of a legitimate United Kingdom-based charity and its website address, asks New Zealanders to accept overseas donations for Christchurch earthquake victims.

It suggests the recipient can be the New Zealand manager of the bogus charity in return for a 10 percent cut.

The ministry said giveaway signs of an email scam include a generic email address, poor grammar and spelling, and an offer of a cut for accepting money.

It urged people to delete the email and report it to Scamwatch.

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