Boring date boosts aid for Philippines

HELPING HAND: Time with Alice, the Waterview tunnel boring machine, was auctioned to raise money for Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts.
HELPING HAND: Time with Alice, the Waterview tunnel boring machine, was auctioned to raise money for Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts.

A boring date with Alice has seen generous Aucklanders raise almost $4000 for Philippine aid efforts.

Typhoon Haiyan struck the country on November 8 and was one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded.

It brought widespread flooding, landslides and destruction of homes and infrastructure, killing thousands of people.

Workers on the Waterview project, including 10 from the Philippines, came up with the idea, the New Zealand Transport Agency says.

Four Trade Me auctions for a special tour of Alice, the Waterview tunnel boring machine, were run.

The auctions received a combined total of about 10,000 views, NZTA says.

Winners of the four separate auctions were promised a "once-in-a- lifetime tour" of the Waterview project.

"This is a fantastic Christmas gift for the people of the Philippines from generous people across the country," highways manager for Auckland Tommy Parker says.

The tour will include a visit to Alice, who is underway on the first leg of her two-year underground journey from Owairaka to Waterview and back.

Ticket holders will be guided by internationally experienced tunnelling experts.

Workers had already donated more than $1500 from their own pockets, matched dollar for dollar by the Well-Connected Alliance team.

"The auctions were a wonderful and innovative idea and we hope Waterview's contribution will help lift Christmas spirits as the people in the Philippines recover and rebuild after the typhoon," Mr Parker says.

North Shore Times