RURAL residents hit hardest by the earthquake in Canterbury will get a boost this week from the Stratford District Council.
At its meeting on Tuesday, the council decided to donate $5000 from the Mayoral fund to the two rural councils at the epicentre of the quake, Waimakariri and Selwyn District Councils, which is where Kaiapoi and Darfield, the two worst hit towns are.
Mayor Neil Volzke is urging Stratford residents, schools and businesses to contribute to the Mayoral fund.
They chose to assist the rural areas, as they are rural communities much like Stratford. Mr Volzke says he has spoken with Waimakariri mayor Ron Keating, who is very grateful for the support, which has come in from all around New Zealand.
"He said they don't need food and blankets. It's not that sort of disaster, but they need cash so the families in need can buy what they need."
Stratford residents who want to donate money to the relief efforts in Canterbury can hand their donations in to the council, which will pass it on via the Mayoral fund he says Meanwhile, the council has also offered to send staff to assist in the affected areas, says chief executive Michael Freeman.
Building inspectors and engineers from outside the area have been called in to assist with checking buildings and all of the other work involved in repairing the earthquake damage.
"We've made the offer of sending various staff to assist in various roles but its more likely they will go down later when the people down there need a rest," he says.
"Those people are going to get tired, and we're more likely to send staff down in the second or third wave."