Chiefs Chip in for Fiji

Ship­ping con­tainer en route to help cy­clone vic­tims

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Aship­ping con­tainer fi lled with donated goods from the Waikato will soon head to Fiji to help those af­fected by Cy­clone Win­ston this year. The idea came from Gal­lagher Group, spon­sor of the Chiefs rugby team. The com­pany asked the Chiefs if they would be in­ter­ested in help­ing out, and the team agreed.

Gal­lagher cor­po­rate ser­vices ex­ec­u­tive Mar­garet Comer saw the im­pact of both Cy­clone Win­ston in Fe­bru­ary and Cy­clone Zena in April.

“Fi­jians are pas­sion­ate Chiefs sup­port­ers, so we won­dered if we could some­how col­lab­o­rate and send a con­tainer of good­ies,”she said.

“It started off with just rugby balls and sports equip­ment, but it got big­ger and just grew.”

“School kids are do­nat­ing pen­cils, colour­ing pens, writ­ing pa­per, rub­bers and sharp­en­ers and schools have been col­lect­ing rugby boots and balls.”

And it’s not just a con­tainer on its way - the Chiefs set to play their first in­ter­na­tional Su­per Rugby game against the Cru­saders, on July 1 in Suva.

It is only the sec­ond time it has been done, with the first back in 2011 where the Cru­saders played the Sharks at Twick­en­ham Sta­dium in Lon­don. The match was moved to Twick­en­ham be­cause of the Christchurch earth­quake, with pro­ceeds of the game donated to the re­lief ef­fort there.

Last Fri­day, Fi­jian-born Chiefs Seta Ta­mani­valu and Michael Leitch, along with Hika El­liott, were at Gal­lagher head of­fice help­ing to pack the donated goods into the ship­ping con­tainer.

Leitch, who is half Fi­jian on his mother’s side, said or­gan­is­ing rugby games between Kiwi Su­per Rugby teams out­side New Zealand should be done more of­ten to show­case the sport in­ter­na­tion­ally. Chiefs chief ex­ec­u­tive An­drew Flex­man said the game has been months in the mak­ing.

“It’s great to get it off the ground, a won­der­ful event for Su­per Rugby but also for the peo­ple of Fiji. The ship­ping con­tainer will set sail on May 16 and will take five days to reach Fiji.

Fi­jians are pas­sion­ate Chiefs sup­port­ers, so we won­dered if we could some­how col­lab­o­rate and send a con­tainer of good­ies. Mar­garet Comer Gal­lagher cor­po­rate ser­vices ex­ec­u­tive

From left: Chiefs play­ers Michael Leitch, Hika El­liot and Seta Ta­mani­valu at Gal­lagher head of­fice with Mon­di­ale Freight Ser­vices chief ex­ec­u­tive Ray Meade and Sir Wil­liam Gal­lagher, right.

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