Helpline available for disabled people

5:25 pm on 25 February 2011

The Ministry of Health wants disabled people in Christchurch who need help following the earthquake on Tuesday to call its helpline.

The ministry is working with Home Health providers to contact disabled people to check if they are safe and are being supported.

An emergency repair centre has also been set up in Christchurch for those whose equipment or wheelchairs have been damaged.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says there have been reports of people - especially the elderly - playing down their own need in the belief that this is helping the community.

New Zealanders are a tough bunch, but this is not the time to be staunch, she says.

Disabled people in need of help should call Disability Support Services on: 0800 373 664.

Anyone wanting information about emergency centres or government assistance should ring 0800 779 997.