Wiki on side for Samoa

By Yvonne Tahana

Kiwi league hero Ruben Wiki will wear the blue of Samoa for the first time when he takes the field tomorrow to help in a fundraising event for Samoan tsunami disaster relief.

The league player will come out of retirement to play for his mother's homeland against the best from New Zealand's national competition in a benefit match to be televised by Maori Television.

New Zealand's most capped international, Wiki, 36, will play for Samoa Residents who are being hosted by New Zealand Rugby League against a Bartercard Premiership Selection.

It would be be a special moment, he said.

"This will definitely be a dream come true. I've always wanted to play for Samoa. It's the only thing in league that I haven't done."

NZRL chief executive Jim Doyle said there was no one better to spearhead its fundraiser.

"He played for New Zealand with so much pride and commitment but he has always been passionate about his Samoan heritage.

The Auckland Regional Council will waive charges for the use of stadium and fans can travel for free from 12.30pm on trains on all lines connecting to the Southern Line from Britomart.

After the game, fans with match tickets can travel for free on trains until 8.30pm.

The game will screen on Sunday between 2pm and 4pm.

On Monday, October 19, entertainers including Neil and Tim Finn, Dave Dobbyn, Bic Runga, Savage, Scribe, Hollie Smith, Elemeno P and Nesian Mystik, will play in the I Love the Islands concert at Vector Arena.

The tsunami personally affected rappers Scribe and Savage, who lost their family villages and family members in the disaster.

Musicians will perform for free, and all the proceeds will go to the relief drive.

Gates open at 2pm. Adults $5, children under 15 free.

- NZ Herald

How to donate to tsunami relief operations:

Pacific Cooperation Foundation
Deposits can be made at at any Westpac branch. All the money raised will go to the Samoan Government

Red Cross
- Make a secure online donation at
- Send cheques to the Samoan Red Cross Fund, PO Box 12140, Thorndon, Wellington 6144
- Call 0900 31 100 to make an automatic $20 donation
- Make a donation at any NZ Red Cross office

ANZ bank Make a donation at any ANZ bank branch, or donate directly to the ANZ appeal account: 01 1839 0143546 00

Oxfam - Make a secure online donation at
- Phone 0800 400 666 or make an automatic $20 donation by calling 0900 600 20

Caritas - Make a secure online donation at
- Phone 0800 22 10 22 or make an automatic $20 donation by calling 0900 4 11 11

TEAR fund - Make a secure online donation at
- Phone 0800 800 777 to specify Samoa the Philippines or Indonesia. You can also donate at CD and DVD stores.

Mercury Energy - Donate at
or text the word Samoa followed by the amount you wish to pledge and your Mercury account number to 515 or by calling 0800 10 18 10.
Habitat for Humanity Habitat for Humanity is asking for help with the clean-up

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