Christchurch families facing the onset of a cold winter have received warming news, with a donation of over $40,000 worth of firewood being made available to residents in need.
Rayonier Matariki Forests is providing free firewood vouchers to nearly 1,300 households throughout the worst hit parts of Christchurch, with the help of local firewood suppliers City Firewood and support services provider Te Runanga O Nga Maata Waka.
Darren Mann, Rayonier Matariki’s Regional Manager for Canterbury, believes the firewood donation will help to bring some relief to families worried about keeping warm this winter.
“When the last major quake knocked out power to much of the city, we realised we needed to step in and give whatever we could to make sure residents had a way of heating their homes that didn’t rely on electricity,” says Mann.
“While Rayonier Matariki has made financial contributions to organisations such as the Red Cross, we wanted to give something directly to the people to help make the next few months a little bit easier. With everything that has been going on in the city over the last few months, the last thing people living with significant quake damage to their home and property want to worry about is how they are going to keep their house and family warm over the coming months.”
The donated wood has all been grown in local forests and totals over 635m3, enough to cover the entire turf of AMI Stadium. It is a contribution that City Firewood owner John Harris hopes gets put to good use in raising the spirits of people in the Garden City.
“More than just heating, a fire provides families with a chance to gather together and share time, thoughts and stories with each other. We hope that, by giving out free wood to Christchurch homes, we are not only helping to keep our people warm, we are helping them to join together and draw support from one another,” says Harris.
So far, wood has been distributed to over 500 households. Rayonier Matariki and Nga Maata Waka welcome any household or family needing wood over winter to be in contact via email at email@example.com. Firewood vouchers are limited and eligibility is determined based on criteria of need.