N. Zealand to approach Oprah for help: report

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, February 27, 2011 21:29 EDT
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CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — Earthquake-hit New Zealand wants US talk show hosts Oprah Winfrey and David Letterman to help fundraising efforts after the disaster that devastated Christchurch, a report said Monday.

Prime Minister John Key planned to ask the influential celebrities to promote a charity drive for victims and rebuilding efforts following the tremor that killed at least 148 people, The New Zealand Herald reported.

“We are going to speak to well-known international talk show hosts, maybe Letterman or Oprah Winfrey, those kinds of people,” Key told the New Zealand Herald.

He said New Zealand hoped to raise “significant cash” in the global appeal, pointing out a similar move by Australia after wildfires claimed 173 lives in 2009 raised almost Aus$390 million ($396 million).

Officials estimate people from around 20 nations were among the victims of last Tuesday’s earthquake, which flattened office buildings, tore up roads and left swathes of New Zealand’s second largest city in ruins.

Key said that meant the tragedy resonated around the world and New Zealand would use social media sites such as Facebook, international media and the country’s diplomatic corps to tell people how they could help.

“It’s had a devastating impact on a small country like New Zealand, we think that people around the world will open their hearts and their wallets for the people of Christchurch,” he told TVNZ.

The appeal website can be found at www.christchurchearthquakeappeal.govt.nz.

Agence France-Presse
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  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    NZ is suffering and we should help.

  • Anonymous

    Completely agree with JasonA!

    As someone who has visited Christchurch a dozen times, even lived there for a brilliant summer, I can tell you that the people of ‘Cheech’ are salt-of-the-earth. These are people that you want as neighbors, that you leave a copy of your keys with and trust to look after your kids if need be.

    As an American that has traveled all over the planet, I can say that I’ve never met a more generous and honest culture. If I could do it, I’d raise my family in New Zealand and Christchurch would be my first choice.

    Just as they would give you the shirt off their backs, please consider opening your wallets and giving what you can to the people of Christchurch. This tragedy seems to be getting sparse coverage in the major media and this city is suffering.

    Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Precisely what sort of first world country needs assistance from American entertainers? Did Los Angeles reach out to Hollywood after the Northridge quake or Kobe after it’s earthquake? The New Zealanders should be able to take care of themselves without celebrity aid.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KJJ4KEVT2Z5RDHTIRGJOUWL2EA Paul M

    What the Hell does that mean? Did you have a run-in with oprah? Asked her for a favor, and she turned you down? Oprah is known as a generous person, especially for a worth while cause. Or you just had to trow your preconception in it for debate? Seriously, what did you mean by that? If you care to share.

  • dk504

    I gave to Red Cross New Zealand the next day, what could give, but I gave. The Kiwis are great people and for them, OF ALL people to ask for help, it’s bad, REALLY bad down there. They have been hit with 2 major earthquake in one year 7.0 and this 6.8 that cause all the damage. $10.00, 5.00, if that’s all you got. the Kiwis always come to help us, always.
    If they are asking Oprah for help it is so much worse than we know. These are really good people, they are our friends, just like the Aussies, are you going to spit on them too, emistruth? What is wrong with you, can’t go with out your porn for one night? Try for once.