24 February, 2011
McCully: Not just a New Zealand tragedy
Foreign Minister Murray McCully confirmed that New Zealand has grave fears that foreign nationals may be among the fatalities from Christchurch’s devastating earthquake.
One of the most damaged buildings is the CTV building which housed a private language school for foreign students called Kings Education, a regional television station and a nursing school and other businesses.
"The Minister of Tertiary Education, Hon Steven Joyce has today spoken with the Director of Kings Education John Ryder to offer any support the government can give.
"This is not just New Zealand’s tragedy it is an international tragedy that is touching the lives of thousands around the world.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a number of staff working in Christchurch and in Wellington liaising with embassies and consulates, foreign emergency crews, and with Police.
"Today, foreign consular staff in Christchurch received briefings from Police and were taken inside the cordon around the central business district to view the scale of destruction.
"There will be a long and difficult wait for families and friends around the world. I know the thoughts of all New Zealanders are with these families, and the Government will do everything it can to assist as they wait for news of their loved ones," says Mr McCully.