Christchurch attacks: Thirty people still in hospital

4:04 pm on 19 March 2019

Thirty people are still in hospital and nine are in intensive care following the Christchurch terror attack, the Canterbury DHB has confirmed.

Representatives from Customs, Immigration New Zealand, the Ministry of Social Development and Ministry of Education have this afternoon held an all of government conference on the status of the response to the attack.

Civil Defence director Sarah Stuart-Black said all the groups were "continuing to focus on the needs of communities and the needs they have at this time and the coming days and weeks".

Canterbury DHB chief executive David Meates gave an update on the injured.

"It seems a long time since 48 gunshot wounds turned up at Christchurch Hospital. Today we have still 30 people in Christchurch Hospital, nine of which are still in intensive care and in a critical condition.

"There are two patients that have been transferred over the past few days to Auckland. One is a four-year-old child who was transferred to Starship Hospital and ... that child remains in a critical condition. Her father was transferred up to Auckland Hospital to be close to his daughter and with his wife and he is in a stable condition.

"There will be ongoing multiple operations for a number of those patients and it is going to be a long-term recovery journey that a number of them will be undertaking... We are also balancing the needs of the rest of the community that are still becoming unwell."

He said other tertiary health boards were helping out with care that would normally fall to the Canterbury DHB.

Christchurch Botanic Gardens wall with hundreds of flowers laid in memory of those lost in the mosques shooting

The press conference was held at the botanic gardens near where flowers have been laid for the victims. Photo: RNZ / SIMON ROGERS

Customs spokesman Terry Brown said the organisation had expanded its presence at New Zealand international airports and was working with police and family liaison officers to help with the process of returning bodies to family overseas.

"Customs will waive or complete any formalities that are required to ensure that does occur."

Immigration NZ (INZ) spokesperson Peter Elms said 65 visas had been granted for travelling family members of the victims.

"Immigration's role is focused on supporting the Muslim community and supporting the victims of this terrible attack.

"We have started this morning ... arranging family members, the victims, to tell us about what their immigration requirements are."

He said INZ will be at the community centre in Hagley Park from this afternoon to assist people.

ACC's Phil Riley said the ACC scheme provided a "set of entitlements the only test in this case is if the incident occurred in New Zealand and of course it has, so people are covered - both the dependants of those who have deceased and those who have been injured as well.

"If anyone was the sole income earner, if they were injured, they will get ongoing entitlements and support and if they were family members of someone who has been deceased likewise they and their children - with certain parameters - will get ongoing support.

"If the family members are living in New Zealand they will be supported, if they are not living in New Zealand, no."

MSD spokesperson John Henderson said the ministry was doing everything it could to help the Muslim community and was setting up specialist teams with language and cultural skills to help.

Katrina Casey from the Ministry of Education said Christchurch teachers and principals were doing an amazing job.

She said 68 schools and 19 early childhood centres had sought help following the attack and 20 schools and 3 ECE were priority 1 - they had close ties to victims, their families or the Muslim community

"Our support will remain for as long as needed."

Fifty people died as a result of the attacks on Friday.

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