Opera singer Hayley Westenra is glad British royal Prince William is planning a trip to earthquake-ravaged New Zealand this week, because it will give victims a boost following the disaster.
The soprano's hometown of Christchurch was devastated last month by a massive tremor which left more than 160 people dead. Westenra is now planning to host a benefit gig in her native country to raise funds for those affected by the quake and she's pleased to hear Prince William is taking time out from his busy schedule to visit New Zealand, as well as parts of Australia which were devastated by floods earlier this year.
In an article for Britain's Hello! magazine, she writes, "It means so much that Prince William is this week visiting those affected by the recent tragedies in New Zealand and Australia. I've had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times - he's always very friendly and down-to-earth. I think it's so honorable of him to be making this trip to New Zealand and Australia. I know that everyone will appreciate his support during this very difficult time."
Westenra has also opened up about the way the earthquake has affected her own relatives, revealing her father lost his business headquarters and her family home was used to help neighbors after the tremor struck.
She adds, "My father is among those now looking for new business premises. Several hundred commercial buildings will have to be bulldozed and some areas of Christchurch will simply have to be abandoned - the earthquake has created liquefaction, when sections of earth push up to the surface, making it difficult to rebuild on the land..."
"My family had one of the few working phone lines on their street immediately after the earthquake, and they made it available for neighbors to use. There have been countless examples of the community supporting each other. This event has brought out a lot of good in people."