Dinner caters to Christchurch quake refugees

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A dinner is being held next week, three years after the February earthquake, as a chance for those who have relocated from Christchurch to get together.

The Waitaki Newcomers Support Centre, in conjunction with Richard and Mandy Collins from Coast Cafe in Kakanui, have organised the dinner to support the rising population of people who came here after the earthquake.

Waitaki Newcomers Network co-ordinator Christine Dorsey said out of the 120 families she helps, those from Christchurch make up the biggest percentage.

“We have more people from Christchurch than anywhere else,” she said.

“They continue to be very traumatised.

“I have people that were in shopping malls, that lost their houses, that lost their pets – all very different but similar experiences.”

On the first anniversary of the February earthquake, Richard and Mandy Collins, of Coast Cafe, hosted a dinner for people who experienced the Christchurch earthquake, Mrs Dorsey said.

“They moved here as a consequence [of the earthquake], so understood the effects.”

The co-ordinator had been getting many people asking if there would be another dinner so she asked for help from the Collins’, who were willing to assist.

“I don’t know whether they’ll talk about it or just have a dinner together.”

Last time, Mr Collins had to turn people away because it was so full, she said.

The meal will be held at the Coast Cafe in Kakanui on Thursday, February 20, from 6pm.

There will be a limit of 50 people, so anyone wishing to go along or wanting more information should phone the co-ordinator on 027 242 8643 or email waitaki.newcomers.co.nz by Monday, February 17, at the latest.

There will be a cost of $25 per person for the meal.

By RUBY HARFIELD