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Waimakariri District residents have opened their hearts to their neighbours in Hurunui and Kaikoura, MP Matt Doocey says.

“The work done by our local council and private building owners in making our buildings safe means there was relatively little damage to buildings or infrastructure in the Waimak. This allowed us to be able to help our neighbours from day one,” Doocey said.

“It’s great that our council has been able to assist both Hurunui and Kaikoura councils, both with resources and expertise. Because of what we have been through with earthquakes and what we have learnt, our response to these events is always improving.”

Doocey said community spirit had been high in the Waimak.

“My office was contacted for help in getting residents connected to the right people to see how donated, non-perishable food could be sent to Kaikoura after overwhelming support put pressure on Miss Lilly’s angel network’s distribution networks, and to help source buildings from which to operate in response to the overwhelming community response.

“It’s at times like these that we come together as a community, keeping connected to support each other. It was great to hear how night shift workers in our Waimak supermarkets were coming out to check on evacuees parked in the parking lots and bringing them out food.”

Doocey thanked the welfare evacuation centre volunteers for their hard work around the clock and added that he had invited people needing to access government agencies for assistance to contact his offices.

“It’s important to remember that some people in the community will be feeling anxious and stressed after the earthquake and I encourage people to ring the Government Helpline for post-earthquake support on 0800 779 997 which has been activated to provide a one-stop source of information for people affected by the earthquake, or my  offices. With my background in mental health, I know it is important to check with family and friends to see they are getting the support they need.  If you or someone you know needs support, please get in touch,” Doocey said.

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