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Monday 5 October 2009. Pacific Blue Airlines said that following today’s downgrading of the Samoa tsunami situation from a disaster to an emergency, it was now advising New Zealanders to support cash fundraising rather than donating goods.


“We’ve had an overwhelming response from both sides of the Tasman with people wanting to help out, and dropping off goods at our check-in counters,” said the airline’s General Manager Commercial, Adrian Hamilton-Manns.


“We have been advised that there are already large quantities of donated goods, especially clothes, stockpiled in Apia. We are therefore no longer accepting donated goods at our airport check-ins.”


The airline said that after discussion with aid agencies it was clear the key requirement was now for cash donations rather than goods.


“Giving a cash donation – no matter what size – is an excellent way of showing support to the people of Samoa and Tonga,” Mr Hamilton-Manns said.


New Zealanders wanting to donate money should visit the NZ Aid website at www.nzaid.govt.nz where a list of tsunami fundraising agencies has been published.


Pacific Blue, along with partner airline Polynesian Blue, has been collecting cash donations on-board its flights since Thursday and had already collected several thousand dollars from generous travellers.


All funds collected are being passed to Westpac, which is an official collection agency for tsunami relief donations.