The New Zealand Rugby Union today launched the Tsunami fundraising activities leading up to and during next weekend’s AXA New Zealand International Sevens, with a $100,000 donation to Save the Children.

NZRU Chief Executive Chris Moller said many people from within the rugby community had given generously to the Tsunami relief efforts and the Union felt it important that it also play a role by making a direct donation.

“The Boxing Day disaster has had such a large impact, and the on-going needs in the affected areas are so great, that it is important that we all help where we can.”

The NZRU and Save the Children have joined forces to help raise funds at this week’s events and at the tournament which will be staged at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium on February 4 and 5.

Mr Moller said the NZRU’s donation would open the appeal being promoted jointly by the NZRU and Save the Children, with all funds raised going directly to help children and their families in the affected areas through Save the Children’s Indian Ocean Tsunami appeal.

In addition, the New Zealand Government was also supporting the Tsunami appeal efforts through its matching funding for monies raised in New Zealand by agencies such as Save the Children.

The NZRU and Save The Children New Zealand will be arranging collections at the AXA New Zealand International Sevens Street Parade through Wellington (from Parliament to Civic Square starting at 12.45pm on Thursday February 3) and on both days of the tournament at Westpac Stadium (Friday February 4 and Saturday February 5).

A special auction of unique rugby memorabilia and experiences will also be held at the Sevens along with other activities through-out the weekend.

Save the Children New Zealand Executive Director John Bowis said “we are very pleased that the Rugby Union has decided to contribute to the needs of children affected by the Tsunami and it highlights the importance of sport being part of communities.

“This will make a real difference to children who will be suffering for months and months ahead,” he said.

All funds raised during the AXA New Zealand International Sevens activities will go directly to the relief efforts as Save the Children does not use funds collected for emergency appeals for administration costs.

In addition to the Sevens appeal, New Zealand Rugby has also supported other Tsunami appeal efforts including the participation by Rebel Sport Super 12 teams in fundraising activities at the New Zealand Cricket – FICA World XI matches.

For further information contact:

Brian Finn – Communications Manager
New Zealand Rugby Union
Tel: (04) 494 0765
Mob: 027 229 5380

Jo Pickford
Save the Children New Zealand
Mob: 021 469 199

For donations to Save the Children:

Donations can be made to the Save the Children Indian Ocean Tsunami Appeal online at; freephone on 0800 167 168 (credit card) or on the automatic donation line 0900 67168 (for a $25 donation charged to your telephone bill).