Over $3 million distributed to Christchurch terror attack victims

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 30 Apr 2019, 8:07PM
Flower tributes at Christchurch Botanic Gardens. (Photo / Michael Craig)
Flower tributes at Christchurch Botanic Gardens. (Photo / Michael Craig)

Over $3 million distributed to Christchurch terror attack victims

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 30 Apr 2019, 8:07PM

More than $3 million has been distributed to victims and families impacted by the Christchurch terror attacks by Victim Support.

Two rounds of financial support have already been given to the 47 families of those killed and hospitalised.

Victim Support chief executive Kevin Tso said they have been working closely with the Muslim community, the victims and Government agencies following the attacks.

"These are exceptional times and finding all those who need our help is an extremely complex process, which takes time," Tso said.

Most of the Victim Support's funding has come from the charity's Givealittle page which has raked in over $10 million.

Victim Support said these funds are then ringfenced to support the needs of the victims of the Christchurch attacks through their immediate and long-term needs.

Hospitalised victims of the attacks received a first payment of $5000 after the incident and a second of $8000 on April 18.

A lump sum of $15,000 was also paid to the families of each deceased person on March 18, including $5000 from the Ministry of Justice Victim Assistance Scheme.

A second payment of $15,000 was made to families from April 18.

Victim Support is currently working through how the rest of the money will be allocated.

"We know from experience that it can take weeks for the effects of trauma to present," Tso said.

"We also know that many of the victims will need ongoing support in the months and years ahead, so we want to make sure the funds are managed carefully to provide support in the long term.

"We know that nothing we do can make up for the losses and injuries that victims have suffered, but we are making it our mission to do all we can to make the lives of those affected just a little easier during such devastating times."

To date, 977 people have registered with Victim Support and within the past few days another 53 injured people have come forward or been identified as needing help.

Canterbury Police District Commander Superintendent John Price said the efforts to identify and help those who need support is ongoing.

"This is a complicated process involving many different organisations," Price said.

"Every day we are hearing from more victims. Our primary focus is to make sure we are in
contact with everyone.

"It's essential we get this right and we welcome Victim Support's efforts in helping those who need it most, including bereaved families, the injured and witnesses."

Victim Support urges anyone to check their bank accounts to ensure the payments have been received and get in contact if they have any concerns.