Donations to relief funds helping families affected by the Pike River mine tragedy have topped $2.8 million.

The Pike River Coal company has set up a charitable trust to support the 29 men's families and it has contributed $500,000, a figure matched by its cornerstone shareholder, New Zealand Oil & Gas, and Lyttelton Port of Christchurch donated $50,000.

Donations could be made to the fund by direct credit to 06-0501-0121759-02 or by post to Pike Miners' Relief Fund, PO Box 2793, Wellington.

The Grey District Council appeal fund has more than $1.5m so far, including more than 27,000 $3 text donations, The Press reported.

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) also set up a fund, and donations can be made at any Kiwibank branch or direct to bank account: Kiwibank 38-9011-0165987-00.

"Eleven of the 16 miners killed were our comrades in the union, including EPMU delegate Blair Sims," EPMU national secretary Andrew Little said.

"The cause of the disaster is not known and is unlikely to be known for many months, and the families will face hardship.

"Now is the time to give practical support to the families," he said.

Half of the funds donated will go to the community fund being administered by the Grey District Council and half will be used to establish a dedicated fund for the education of the children of those killed.

ANZ bank on Wednesday donated $100,000 into an account opened for families and has so far raised another $120,000.

People can donate at ANZ or National Bank branches (ANZ account number 01 1841 0052483 00, National Bank account number).

BNZ bank also set up an account, 02 0844 0074501-00, and donated $100,000, and Westpac gave $50,000.

The ASB bank said it would be making a substantial donation to the account it set up, 12-3205-0146728-00.

The Parents Centres New Zealand also started an account fund to receive donations for a trust fund to support the families of miners who were soon to be fathers or had small children. Donations could be made to ASB account 12 3142 0161284 01.

The Welsh Rugby union will hold a collection on behalf of the Pike River mining disaster's victims during the rugby international between Wales and the All Blacks at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow.

- NZPA