Rise Up Christchurch –Te Kotahitanga Rise Up Christchurch –Te Kotahitanga CREDIT: Pead PR

Global telethon to support Christchurch

Wednesday 27 April 2011, 1:16PM
By Pead PR


A 12-hour global telethon for Christchurch is planned for Sunday 22 May – exactly three months on from the city’s devastating earthquake.

Called Rise Up Christchurch –Te Kotahitanga, the fundraising spectacular is to be broadcast by Maori Television from Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington, with live crosses to regional centres and global activities in London, Los Angeles and Sydney.

It will also be streamed live online throughout the world and people will be able to donate securely via the internet while people will be able to buy or sell items on auction site

To ensure all funds raised by Rise Up Christchurch – Te Kotahitanga can go to the people of Christchurch, Fonterra has come on board as a major supporter and is contributing $500,000 towards production and administration costs. The company believes the event will return the amount many times over to the people of Christchurch.

The telethon is supported by a wide range of Kiwi celebrities, musicians and sportspeople, including Rise Up Christchurch Telethon ambassadors Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Jason Kerrison, Pippa Wetzell and Mike McRoberts, all of whom are donating their time.

Also on board are Māori TV personalities Carol Hirschfeld, Julian Wilcox, Stacey Morrison, and Amomai Pihama, also freely giving of their time.

Ex-pat celebrities who have committed to supporting Rise Up Christchurch – Te Kotahitanga - either in New Zealand or overseas - include Rachel Hunter and actors Anna Paquin and Martin Henderson, with more to be announced over the coming weeks.

The event has the support of Prime Minister John Key and the Government’s Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, led by Mark Weldon, which is seeking to engage the international New Zealand community in fundraising for Christchurch. 

The event has been established in partnership with the Rise Up Christchurch Facebook network which was set up in the days immediately following the February 22 quake by local residents and local media group Mainland Press.

The event also has the backing of the Christchurch City Council and Mayor Bob Parker.

Rise Up Christchurch – Te Kotahitanga grew out of an idea from a diverse group of people from multiple networks within the TV industry. Following enormous public backing through social media networks, the idea was developed and an extensive network of organisations and individuals offered their support.

The Christchurch event will be held at the CBS Arena and will include music, entertainment and fashion activities. More venues in New Zealand and around the world will be announced shortly.

People will be able to pledge money by toll-free line and donate directly online. People will also be able to issue online challenges across the Facebook network for friends, family and telethon stars to match their donations or complete a task in exchange for a contribution.

Rise Up is also connecting businesses that can help each other. It is maintaining a list of Christchurch businesses that are affected by the Earthquake and need help. The goal is to establish long term business relationships between individuals and companies outside of the region and those companies in Canterbury that need help.

“There are still a lot of people in Christchurch whose lives are turned upside down and it is not a time to stand back,” says Fonterra CEO Andrew Ferrier. “This will be a true community, as well as a global effort and Fonterra is pleased our contribution will ensure everyone can get behind Rise Up knowing that their contribution will go directly to the people of Christchurch and make a real difference.”

Fonterra has also promised the support of its 26,000 staff and shareholders who will be collecting donations prior to the Telethon.

“The situation in Christchurch is not a time to stand back,” says Fonterra CEO Andrew Ferrier. “This will be a true community, as well as a global effort and Fonterra is pleased to cover the production costs, so everyone else can get behind Rise Up knowing that their contribution will go directly to the people of Christchurch and make a real difference.”

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says the news of the telethon is most welcome, considering recent events in the quake-ravaged city.

“This is a big boost for us. It seems lately we’ve been taking three steps forward and one step back but we’re holding our heads high. We want to celebrate the huge amount of fundraising done to date by individuals and groups. 

“And we also want to bring home to Kiwis everywhere, especially those living in other parts of the world, that Christchurch is going to need ongoing support.”

The 12 hour broadcast will feature stories of heroism and hardship from Christchurch as well as covering domestic and international fundraising events taking place between now and May 22.

Maori Television CEO Jim Mather says he applauds the Rise Up Christchurch – Te Kotahitanga initiative as a key part of the ongoing fundraising efforts to support, as one, our whanau in Christchurch.

“Rise Up Christchurch – Te Kotahitanga will inspire and unite New Zealanders across the globe to support the people of Christchurch as they ‘rise up’ from this challenge that Papatuanuku has presented.”

Mainland Press Managing Director Pier Smulders says: “We are delighted to be able to contribute to this amazing effort to raise funds for our city. This event will prove to be another very important step in Christchurch’s recovery and we are excited to be part of it.”

Every single dollar raised as part of Rise Up Christchurch – Te Kotahitanga is destined for the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal.

Items can be sold and bought on auction site which is promoting the event across the wider APN network and running auctions right through to May 22. The site is also including online text links back to the telethon website and webcast and hosting a ticker-tape total on amounts raised. APN’s collective buying website is also involved.

Event spokesperson Brooke Howard-Smith says online and social media will play a major role in the telethon.

The Facebook page ( has today re-launched “The home of the Recovery” and has integrated the telethon into its site.  The Facebook page will operate in conjunction with the website at and together these forums will engage people around the world, give them ideas about what others are doing and encourage them to be involved in the broadcast.

The website includes a new social application that can be accessed online that ties in with Facebook to leverage existing social networks enabling the spread of the message from one person to the next. On the site, one person’s pledge can be turned in to a challenge to his or her whole friend network making it fun and interesting too.

“This is an event that is for all New Zealanders, wherever they are in the world, to bring us together so we can focus on what we can do to support Christchurch,” Mr Howard-Smith says. “People and businesses can get involved right now – start challenging, start donating – go to the website and show your support.”

The team working on the global event has had interest from New Zealanders and international celebrities in London, Australia, the US and many other countries around the world where people are offering to host events, organise fundraisers and help to promote the unique event.

“Martin Henderson and Anna Paquin have indicated they are working hard to do whatever they can on the day to help the people of Christchurch, in Christchurch if possible or if not in the LA section of the show. And, we have lots more exciting news to announce over the coming weeks so watch this space.”

The telethon begins at 9am on May 22 and runs for 12 hours. It is envisaged the metropolitan centres of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, will be joined in the event by every regional centre in New Zealand able to mount a broadcast operation.

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