July 26 2017, updated 5:00am

Kiwi safe but mother still fearful

Last updated 07:36 07/05/2008
LOST TOUCH: Stuart Bennett with mother Rosemary, left, and sister Sharron in Myanmar last month. Mrs Bennett, now back home, is worried about her son's access to food and water.

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The family of two New Zealanders living in Myanmar heard yesterday that they were safe - but continued to fear for them in the ensuing chaos.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said today it had managed to track down 14 out of 15 New Zealanders it knows were in Myanmar when the cyclone struck.

It is thought one other New Zealander may have left the country, and Mfat is today seeking confirmation of that.

Rosemary Bennett of Hamilton had heard only that her son Stuart, 38, and his wife, Hayley Cunningham, had survived the huge storm.

"There's no infrastructure in the country. It will be absolute chaos."

Mrs Bennett was worried about their access to food and water.

She stayed in touch with her son mainly by e-mail, - but it went down with the storm.

"I keep trying to phone the hotel just with the thought that it may go through one of these times."

Word that the pair were safe came through yesterday morning from an American marine they had befriended, she said.

Mrs Bennett returned last week from a trip to Myanmar to visit her son in Yangon, the main city.

During that trip the family ran into a smaller cyclone on a lake north of Yangon.

Prime Minister Helen Clark said the Government would contribute to the relief effort. The size of the donation, which would be made through NZAID to a United Nations agency, would be announced soon.


* Oxfam rapid response emergency fund: www.oxfam.org.nz

* Red Cross: www.redcross.org.nz

* TEAR Fund appeal: 0800 800 777, or www.tearfund.org.nz

* World Vision: Call 0800 800 776, www.worldvision.org.nz or automatic donation of $30 by calling 0900 4HOPE (0900 44673)

* Christian World Service: donations to 0800 74 73 72 or www.cws.org.nz

*Save the Children: donations to 0800 167 168

*Caritas: donations to PO Box 12193, Wellington or 0800 22 10 22

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- The Dominion Post

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