28 Nov 2010

Collection for NZ miners' families at Welsh Test

2:00 pm on 28 November 2010

The All Blacks' management say it could be several days before it's known how much money was raised for the families of the Pike River 29 at the rugby Test against Wales.

The All Blacks, wearing white armbands in honour of the miners, completed their Grand Slam tour unconquered by beating a spirited Welsh team 37-25 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

By lunchtime on Friday the Pike River Miners' Relief Fund Trust - set up to support the families of the 29 lost men - had received about $1.5 million, which it describes as humbling.

The main shareholder of Pike River Coal, New Zealand Oil and Gas, donated $500,000.

The Welsh Rugby Union pledged to collect two English pounds from every fan in the 74,000-seat stadium, in the hope that it would raise $NZ300,000.

Following the game, All Blacks captain Richie McCaw said Wales has a mining history and understands the devastation that occurred at Pike River.

Website for donations, messages

If you want to support the families you can do so by going to the website - pikeriverdonations.org.nz - or you can donate money at the ANZ, National Bank or Westpac banks.

Initiated by the Grey District Council, the trust fund is administered by community representatives from across the West Coast.

Messages of support can also be left on the website, which links to a video from the U2 concert in Auckland on Thursday night, where the band paid tribute to the 29.