The earthquake in Christchurch, according to an eyewitness account by Labour MP Dr Ashraf Chaudhary, destroyed many places of worship frequented by members of the Sikh, Muslim and Hindu communities.
Following a visit to the affected areas on March 1, he urged ethnic communities to offer financial, material and other assistance to help in the reconstruction and rehabilitation process.
“The Sikh Temple and Community Centre in Sydenham has been destroyed and the Indian community Hall in Phillipstown and Hare Krishna Temple in Richmond have suffered significant damage.
“The Sikh community has appealed for help to have access to temporary buildings for community gatherings and for long-term help to rebuild these centres,” he said.
Dr Chaudhary, who is the Party’s Associate Ethnic Affairs Spokesman, said that members of the Pakistani and Somalian community have been hosting and feeding large numbers of displaced families at the local Mosque in Deans Avenue.
“Many were also contributing to cleaning up the liquefaction in the area. According to the members of the Christchurch Indian Association, a significant number of Indian businesses and homes were in ruins after the quake,” he said.
Dr Choudhary praised the efforts of the Auckland based station, Radio Apna 990 AM, for collecting more than $100,000 during a recent ‘Radiothon.’
“The Muslim community in Auckland is also hosting a number of displaced people from Christchurch. While community support has been commendable, we should continue our efforts to help the people of Christchurch in their hour of need and tragedy,” he said.
The Gurdwara in Christchurch (left) in ruins, while the Hare Krishna Temple (right) suffered substantial damages. Pictures by Alamgir Afridi, Ethnic Coordinator in the office of Dr Ashraf Choudhary.