New Zealands CUs, Members Hit By Earthquake
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand – New Zealand's credit union community is rallying to support CU members throughout the small island nation who were affected by Monday’s 6.3-magnitude earthquake, centered here.
New Zealand has 21 CUs, including two in Christchurch – New Zealand Credit Union South, or NZCUS ($112 million), and Christchurch Emergency Credit Union ($1 million) – that were most directly affected. The two CUs together have about 30,000 members. It is the second earthquake to hit the region in five months.
New Zealand Association of Credit Unions CEO Henry Lynch told Credit Union Journal on Thursday morning local time the ATM network was still down because of electrical outages, making it difficult for CU members to get access to cash. NZCUS is working on contacting its members to find out if emergency loans are needed, and CUs throughout the country are expected to contribute to a relief fund. Lynch said the NZACU planned to donate NZ $10,000.
In response to the quake, the World Council of Credit Unions and the NZACU have created a relief fund to provide assistance. Donations can be sent to: Canterbury Earthquake Relief Fund, Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, 5710 Mineral Point Rd., Madison, WI 53705, USA, or online at www.woccu.org/give.