The plight of Australian wildlife caught in the devastating bush fires that are raging across parts of New South Wales and Victoria has seen Tararua libraries answer the call to help.

The Library and Information Association of New Zealand has put out the call to the country's libraries to become involved in collecting a campaign to help care for the wildlife suffering because of the fires.

All branches of Tararua District Library are now collection points for donations of animal rescue crafts such as knitted, crocheted or machine sewn pouches and bags.

These creations can be dropped off at any one of the district's four libraries and staff will see that these items will get there.


Sewn items that are needed are Joey pouches, hanging joey pouches, bat wraps, quilts and blankets. But these all need to be machine sewn, not hand sewn.

Crochet items can include birds' nests, blankets, joey pouch outers and animal jumpers while knitted items can include blankets, joey pouch outers and koala and bird jumpers.

Free patterns and instructions are available at all Tararua Libraries.

For those who are not crafty they can still help by donating fabrics and wool, but these need to be made from natural fibres, not man-made.

Check at your local library for what are suitable fabrics.

Dannevirke Library senior librarian Nikki Price said tutorial sessions will be held at the library on Thursday from 10am till 12 noon and 1pm till 3pm. These sessions will cover both knitting and crochet tuition and there will be skilled craftspeople on hand to answer any questions people might have.

Price said there was no hestitation in Tararua Libraries getting on board with this project.

"Libraries are basically community centres and we wanted to get on board and support this absolutely tragic cause," she said.


"Also we know that within all individual communities in Tararua there are some incredible craftspeople."

She said the libraries don't want donations of money, just materials and completed items.

The Library and Information Association of New Zealand has organised a container in which all the completed items will be placed and shipped to Australia.

"This is going to be an ongoing project. The wildlife that have suffered burns could take up to five months to heal and in the meantime they will need protective items. And so far the fires haven't stopped."