Japanese games firm gives $36,000 to Christchurch heritage buildings

Japanese gaming company Namco Bandai Partners has donated €20,000 to the Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Building Fund.

A Japanese gaming company has donated €20,000 to the Christchurch Earthquake Heritage Building Fund, following a similar donation to the Japanese earthquake aid effort.

Namco Bandai Partners, the distributor for Namco Bandai Group, a gaming, amusement park and toy empire, today donated the equivalent of about $36,000 to the fund, which will be put towards restoration of heritage buildings which were "uniquely Christchurch", said Chair of the fund's trust, Anna Crighton.

She said the donation would provide a morale boost to the people of Canterbury, at a time when about 900 buildings in central Christchurch were slated for demolition, about half of the buildings in the city centre.  The government had pledged in its budget announcementto match the donation dollar for dollar up to $10,000,000, she said.

The president and chief executive of Namco Bandai Games Europe S.A.S. Shu Takahara and of Bandai S.A., Masaaki Tsuji, presented the cheque, saying they had wanted to let the people of Christchurch know that they were still thought of. 

"We will never forget New Zealand," said Mr Tsuji. 

The donation was made up of employee contributions and a company contribution from Namco Bandai's international subsidiaries, said Mr Takahara.  The company was an international one, he said, and wished to show this with their donation.  A similar contribution was made ot the Japanese earthquake aid effort, he said, from Japanese employees and company branches.

Mr Tsuji said the heritage fund had been chosen to ensure buildings in the future would not cause more harm, and since other charities such as the Red Cross, had received many donations all ready.