A tough challenge at a difficult hour

The Earthquake at 12.51pm on February 22 has changed the face of Christchurch forever and left a community in shock.

To lose so many people at once including many foreign nationals is hard to fathom.

It is a tragedy that cannot be put into words.

I have been to Christchurch several times since the Earthquake.

It is my hometown, so it felt surreal to walk through the Central City and see the damage. It was eerily quiet and as you looked around you knew that a real catastrophe had taken place.

Many thousands of people have been affected by the Earthquake.

People have lost their homes, treasured possessions and businesses have lost places of work and livelihoods.

The extent of this damage and huge loss of life have left people all over New Zealand and the world grieving.

On Friday March 18, there will be a National Memorial Service at Hagley Park in Christchurch. The Service will give New Zealanders the chance to reflect on the terrible loss of life that occurred and to remember those we have lost.

I have been encouraged by the support offered from communities across the country. We are all standing shoulder to shoulder with Canterbury at this difficult time.

In particular, I would like to acknowledge search and rescue workers medical professionals emergency personnel and hundreds of others who have been working tirelessly on the rescue and recovery operation.

I have also been encouraged by the survivor spirit of Cantabrians.

It is that spirit that I believe will help us get through the challenges ahead.

Rebuilding Christchurch is a key priority for the Government this year.

We will provide the necessary resources to make this happen over the coming weeks, months and years.

It will be a long and complex task which we will need to work through step by step.

If you would like to help, I encourage you to donate to the Government’s official Christchurch Earthquake Appeal.

You can do this online at www.christchurchearthquakeappeal.govt.nz

Any donation no matter how small or big will be welcomed.

Though lost lives will never be replaced and though Christchurch will never look the same we will help Cantabrians rebuild their lives.

John Key is Prime Minister of New Zealand. The above article is exclusive to Indian Newslink ©

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