07 Mar 2011
By Wright Communications
He was staggered by the devastation in the city, reminiscent of his visit to New York days after the September 11 catastrophe at the World Trade Centre and surrounding buildings.
Mike Pollok says the level of resilience and commitment from the people of Christchurch is incredible to see first hand.
"Thankfully, no Ricoh staff were badly injured in the earthquake, but a number of our colleagues and their families have suffered tremendous trauma." Colleagues in Dunedin and outer areas of Christchurch have offered for affected families to stay with them: "Wherever you turn, there are examples of people stepping up to help people in need."
Ricoh's two Christchurch buildings are inside the CBD cordon, but appear to have escaped major damage. However, until these buildings can be used again, office-based staff are working from a colleague's house and an additional warehouse has been secured.
Mike Pollok says Ricoh New Zealand is committed to the city. He says making that clear is the best way the country's big corporates can help Christchurch to recover, along with providing significant financial assistance.
He says organisations such as Red Cross are performing a critical role, and announced that Ricoh has donated $200,000 to the Red Cross Christchurch Earthquake Appeal. The donation includes contributions from Ricoh's Global and Asia-Pacific divisions.
"New Zealand occupies a special place in the hearts of senior Ricoh executives in Japan. They have offered their prayers for the recovery of the city and its people, along with the financial contribution."
In addition, Ricoh New Zealand has set up a fund, into which staff can donate directly from their payroll. Ricoh will match staff donations at a rate of $3 for every $1 donated.
Mike Pollok says Ricoh's Christchurch team is doing its best to help customers deal with daily ongoing challenges, but must give priority to organisations which provide essential services.
"Demand for technical support is starting to increase as people turn their attention back to getting businesses up and running. Plans are in place to be able to deliver additional customer support, if required."
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