Red Cross Christchurch appeal hits $61m

12:03 pm on 8 May 2011

The Red Cross' Canterbury earthquake appeal has so far raised $61 million and paid out $44 million.

Chief executive John Ware estimates another $5 - $10 million could still come in from donations.

Mr Ware told Radio New Zealand's Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw that 51,000 grants were paid out under an immediate hardship payment, which has now closed.

He says the demand for the hardship payments, of up to $1000, was greater than the Red Cross had anticipated, which showed the extent of the disaster and the number of people who had vulnerabilities.

The organisation will start concentrating on medium and long-term needs as winter approaches such as health, warmth and clothing, and hopes to decide by the end of this month how it will structure future assistance.