'One-stop shop' assistance to replace welfare centres

10:01 am on 5 March 2011

New recovery assistance centres are opening in some of the suburbs hardest hit by the Christchurch earthquake on 22 February.

Civil Defence says six non-residential centres will open from 9am to 4pm on Saturday.

The locations are: Aranui Recreation Centre, Nga Hau E Wha Marae in Aranui, Linwood Community Link, Parklands Baptist Church, St Faith's Hall in New Brighton and the Shirley Rugby Club.

More centres are scheduled to open next week.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says they will act as "one-stop shops" offering help from agencies including Work and Income, Housing New Zealand, Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

Meanwhile, a series of "community response meetings" will begin in 12 Christchurch suburbs on Sunday.

The meetings are aimed at providing communities with reassurance and support and allowing them to give feedback.

One welfare centre still open

Civil Defence has closed all but one of its 24-hour welfare centres set up after the quake.

The centres at Rangiora, Burnside and Windsor closed at 5pm on Friday.

The Pioneer Recreation and Sport Centre in Spreydon, which can hold up to 600 people, will continue to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Ms Bennett says people who were sleeping at the other centres have been found accommodation.