Half of quake appeal money yet to be distributed

9:59 am on 21 February 2012

More than $200 million has been raised in donations to help Christchurch recover from the 22 February earthquake, of which less than half has been distributed.

Four main funds were set up, with two raising more than $100 million each.

The Red Cross Earthquake Appeal has so far collected $115 million in donations, $67 million of which has been distributed.

Red Cross Appeal Commission chairman John Hansen says money has been targeted at individuals, such as people who had a family member killed in the quake, or elderly people struggling with heating bills.

Much of the remainder has been allocated to specific grants or purposes and the Red Cross expects the entire fund to be wound up by the end of the year.

The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust was launched by the Prime Minister days after the earthquake.

It has raised almost $100 million, about a quarter of which has so far been given out.

One of the three trustees, Canterbury University Vice-Chancellor Rod Carr, says the fund is focused on community infrastructure and services, and expects to be operating for about a decade.

The trust has also given $14 million to help with rebuilding the Christchurch Arts Centre and a $3 million loan to get the temporary container mall operating from Cashel Mall.

Mayoral fund

Money from the Christchurch Earthquake Mayoral Relief Fund has gone to a range of organisations and projects, including cricket and golf clubs and to building two new theatres.

It has also funded the interment site for unidentified victims of the earthquake, which is being officially opened on Tuesday.

A donation of $250,000 was given to the fund by business groups in Kuala Lumpa during mayor Bob Parker's recent trip overseas.

Before that, the fund had collected $7 million and just over half had been distributed.

Of the $18 million donated to the Salvation Army Earthquake Appeal, $8 million has so far been distributed, including $1.4 million given out in $500 grants in the early response.

Spokesperson Lyndon Buckingham says there's no set time frame for distributing the remaining funds.