DAVID HALLETT/Fairfax NZ
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Habitat for Humanity volunteers work on a house in Kaiapoi.
Habitat for Humanity volunteers from the United States, Canada, Germany and Singapore were building two houses for quake-hit families when Shearer toured the Kaiapoi site yesterday.Volunteers who have travelled from all over the world to help in the Canterbury rebuild were given a boost by Labour Party leader David Shearer.
"They give families a real opportunity and for low-income families, to be able to realise their dream of owning their own home is wonderful to see," he said.
Angela Pollard, who will move into one of the houses with her husband and their six children, said her family was very excited.
"We came to see the house on Tuesday and the kids were running into all the rooms saying, `this is my room!' and going into all the closets."
The volunteers paid for their own trips and also made donations to the charity. They had been working on the houses since May 21.
"It's lovely to see the community pull together to help each other; to see neighbour helping neighbour," said Shelley Ulmer, team leader of the volunteers from the United States. "We felt three aftershocks while we were here, including the big 5.2. We were expecting them, though, and we weren't scared."
Stewart Boxell, of Canada, came with his daughter for their first global building trip.
"We were talking about going on a daddy-daughter trip, and I thought we could do something with more meaning," he said.
Shearer also visited Canterbury schools and met members of the public at the Papanui Club.