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Donations for Christchurch victims race past $8m

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 19 March 2019, 10:46a.m.
Givealittle pages for Christchurch mosque shooting victims, including one for the family of Atta Elayyan (centre) have raised more than $6 million. Photo / Supplied
Givealittle pages for Christchurch mosque shooting victims, including one for the family of Atta Elayyan (centre) have raised more than $6 million. Photo / Supplied

Online donations pouring in for victims of the Christchurch terror attack have raced past $8 million.

More than $6m has been raised on one fundraising site alone - a Givealittle page set up by non-profit group Victim Support.

The page is crowdfunding website Givealittle's most successful ever, bringing in far more than the previous record when $2.2m was raised in 2016 to buy a private beach in the Abel Tasman National Park and return it to public ownership.

More than 40 other Givealittle pages have also been set up to help the victims and families of Friday's attack in which a gunman killed 50 people in two Christchurch mosques and injured many others.

One aiming to help the wife and 2-year-old daughter of New Zealand Futsal goalkeeper Atta Elayya, who was killed in the attack, had raised $83,000, while another page had raised $97,000.

A separate LaunchGood fundraising page managed by the NZ Islamic Information Centre had also collected more than $2m.

Elsewhere, New Zealand's banking industry yesterday donated a further $1m to a separate fund set up at the request of Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

Victim Support and the NZ Islamic Information Centre - the teams behind the two largest funds - were yet to reveal how they plan to distribute the money raised.

They are understood to have met with each other yesterday along with representatives of the families of victims to begin discussions.

Victim Support is expected to make a further statement about its plans later today, but earlier asked for patience because the money raised was far larger "than any of us could have predicted".

Dr Anwar Sahib, chair of the NZ Islamic Information Centre, said he had also been blown away by the generosity of Kiwis.

His team were keen to enlist the help of other organisations in managing and distributing the money because they did not have experience with such a large fundraising campaign.

He expected to have a plan for distributing the money by at least April 1.

Givealittle's team, meanwhile, are on alert for scam pages or anyone trying to profit illegally from the tragedy.

Spark Foundation, which runs Givealittle, also announced that a fee of at least $250,000 - which would have been charged to Victim Support's fundraising page - would now be waived after the foundation, Westpac NZ and Payment Express agreed to pick up the cost.

Givealittle also said it had been forced to urgently upgrade its website infrastructure to handle "the unprecedented levels of traffic and donations" that had poured in for victims.

ON AIR: Marcus Lush Nights

8p.m. - 11:59p.m.