What is the Victim Support plan for Christchurch victims?

News 07/05/2019

The Prime Minister says Victim Support will release a plan on what is to be done with the millions donated to it in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack, amid reports victims are missing out.

Jacinda Ardern told The AM Show on Tuesday the Government offered assistance to Victim Support, which has been working with the Christchurch City Council and Department of Internal Affairs.

My understanding is that Victim Support will be releasing a plan this week, they don't want to hold on to this money, it's intended for the community.

"A plan this week around how the remaining funds will be distributed [will be released]. Before they do that they'll be liaising with the Muslim community, which is obviously incredibly important."

Ms Ardern said Victim Support will also be announcing a plan for the long term future of the fund this week. Her focus is on the ensuring the Government agencies involved in the response are working as needed.    

More than $10.5 million was raised on Victim Support's official donations page and millions more was raised by other sources, Radio NZ reports.

Victim Support has ended up in charge of $13.5 million, but has only paid out $3 million so far in the form of a $15,000 payment to the family of each deceased person, as well as $5000 and $8000 payments to hospitalised victims.

But victim Yama Nabi, whose father was killed at Al Noor Mosque, is still struggling to make ends meet, forced back into his job at the meat works, facing flashbacks to seeing blood on the steps of the mosque, he told RNZ

My heart's still broken... but who's going to pay the mortgage? Who's going to pay for food for the kids, the family?

Victim Support CEO Kevin Tso told The AM Show shortly after the attack donations far exceeded his expectations when the fund was opened.

"We were hoping for $100,000 or $200,000 to help with those contributions to the families' cost," he said on March 20.

We've just been absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity of people in New Zealand and communities around the world.

Fifty-one people died due to injuries sustained when a gunman opened fire inside the Al Noor (Deans Ave) and Linwood Ave Mosques in Christchurch on Friday, March 15.

The AM Show / Newshub reporter Katie Fitzgerald