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Published: 2011-02-25 00:00:00

New centralised national arrangements have been announced for people wanting to make offers of free accommodation for those needing to leave Christchurch following the earthquake.

Waikato people wanting to make such offers can now call 0800 435 700 or visit www.housinghelp.govt.nz.

The previous arrangement was that people could contact local Waikato councils with offers of accommodation and these would be forwarded to Waikato Civil Defence Emergency Management Group.

Group controller Chris McLay said the many offers made to Waikato Civil Defence so far will be forwarded to the new central national accommodation system now operating.

“Waikato people are being incredibly generous with their offers of assistance. They have included an offer of beds for a family of four, plus airfares, airport pick up and food, and the residents of a retirement village offering space to elderly evacuees.

“It’s this type of generosity that will help the aftermath of the earthquake easier to bear for people needing assistance.”