ANZ Bank New Zealand (ANZ NZ) has today donated a total of $2 million to Women’s Refuge, Age Concern New Zealand and the Salvation Army in New Zealand as well as the Red Cross and a series of local charities in the Pacific to support vulnerable people through the Covid-19 crisis.
ANZ NZ CEO Antonia Watson said: “While the efforts of people in New Zealand and the Pacific to contain the spread of Covid-19 are starting to pay off, we must remember this has come at considerable cost to many people in our communities.
“For the most vulnerable, the virus and emergency lockdown have made their lives even more precarious through restricted access to food, shelter or services, or put them in harm’s way in their own homes.
“ANZ NZ has had a long standing relationship with these charities and the donations will support their efforts to provide shelter, food, healthcare and communications services to people experiencing the very worst impacts of Covid-19.”
Women’s Refuge’s 40 Refuges across New Zealand have been overwhelmed with need in recent weeks and will use their $500,000 donation from ANZ NZ to provide women and children safe lodging in motels and Air BnBs, as well as strengthening head office capability.
Dr Ang Jury, Women’s Refuge Chief Executive said: “We are incredibly grateful for this donation. These additional funds will help ease the financial pressure our Refuges are facing due to increased demand for our services during this unprecedented time. We are also pleased that a small portion of ANZ NZ’s donation will be used to ensure Women’s Refuge can continue to provide care and support for women and children into the future.”
Age Concern New Zealand will use ANZ NZ’s $500,000 donation to create a long-term digital programme to help older New Zealanders use technology to stay in touch with friends and family and safely use online services.
Stephanie Clare, Age Concern New Zealand Chief Executive said: "We were blown away by this amazingly generous donation from ANZ NZ which will make an enormous difference to older Kiwis now and into the future. In this time of Covid-19 we have seen just how important it is to be online to get information, pay bills and live remotely. With this huge donation, we can help bridge the digital divide for older people.”
The Salvation Army has seen a 350% increase in demand for food parcels since the Covid-19 crisis began. ANZ NZ’s $500,000 donation will be distributed to the charity’s network of 70 foodbanks nationwide giving essential food and household items to families in need.
The Salvation Army Territorial Commander, Commissioner Mark Campbell said: “The Salvation Army is deeply touched ANZ NZ has chosen to support us in our mission to help New Zealand’s growing number of vulnerable people during the Covid-19 Pandemic. We are seeing a new level of desperation among people who were already struggling to survive on low incomes, and a whole new group of those who have lost their jobs and for whom approaching us for help is something they never thought they would have to do. ANZ NZ’s incredible generosity will boost our ability to respond to this crisis, and help us bring hope to the many who are living day to day in stress and worry.”
ANZ NZ will give a total of $500,000 to the Red Cross and a series of charities across the Pacific to deal with the impact of Covid-19 and aid the Cyclone Harold recovery.
“It’s important to look out for the most vulnerable in our communities during this time, to not lose sight of their needs, and make sure the people and organisations who support them are well-resourced and supported,” Ms Watson said.
The $2 million donation is in addition to ANZ NZ’s $15 million annual contribution of local sponsorships and donations to sports, arts, cultural and community organisations and events.
For media enquiries contact Stefan Herrick 021 748 492