Red Cross unable to collect funds for Vanuatu at main gates of Polyfest

By Heeni Brown

ASB Polyfest organisers have decided to give Red Cross a space to collect funds for Vanuatu, who were recently hit by Cyclone Pam and had entire villages destroyed.

64 schools, 214 cultural groups, 10,000 performing students and an expected crowd of 90,000 people attending this year's festival.

The ASB Polyfest are not allowing Red Cross to have their bucket collections to help those in Vanuatu at their main gates.

Organiser Theresa Howard says, "We wanted to come up with a way where we can help them that wasn't necessarily bucket collections at our gate points because our whānau and our youth here don't necessarily have the funds to come out and then have an additional cost to them here at the event at such short notice."

The majority of people we interviewed today had no problem with the bucket collection.

But at such short notice by representatives of Red Cross to have bucket collections at the event, ASB Polyfest have offered them a stall space specifically for awareness and donations.

Howard says, "Here we can offer them a site space.  They can come and talk to people about ways in which they can choose to donate via online or an 0800 number here on site with their own space."

We tried to reach Red Cross at their head-office in Wellington today about this story.  They are yet to give us their response.

According to ASB Polyfest organisers, Red Cross will be on site raising funds in a self-contained stall.