Donations soar for Christchurch mosque victims and families

6:10 pm on 25 March 2019

More than $15.7 million has been donated to Victim Support, Christchurch Foundation and the New Zealand Islamic Information Centre to help those affected by the Christchurch terror attacks.

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Thousands of donations have been made to the victims' families of the Christchurch terrorist attacks. Photo: RNZ / Alex van Wel

Victim Support was giving immediate help to the families and has raised $8.4 million through a Give a Little page.

Families have already been given $800,000 to ensure victims' needs were being met now.

Victim Support chief executive Kevin Tso said the money was being put to good use.

"Ensuring their daily needs are met, such as food and ensuring that accommodation, rent, mortgages are paid and that loved ones can actually travel to New Zealand or there have been occasions where we've had to support people who wanted to repatriate their loved ones," he said.

Mr Tso said making sure the organisation was reaching the right people who were in need had been straightforward.

"We have a very close working relationship with police and other agencies including health.

"As we exchange information, access for the victims is very easy, our referral systems are very robust," he said.

A fund organised by the New Zealand Islamic Information Centre, had raised more than $2.5m.

It was being hosted on the Muslim crowdfunding site LaunchGood.

Meanwhile, the Christchurch Foundation has created a special fund at the Mayor's request that has received $4.8m in donations.

Its chief executive, Amy Carter, said the foundation would be working with the Christchurch and New Zealand Islamic communities, Victim Support, families, and other charitable organisations on a plan for the managing donations.

She said the money donated to the foundation was to look after the longer term needs of the families, rather than helping out now.

"We need to allow the time and space to express where the greatest needs are and that will evolve over time.

"So we'll act as guardians of the funds and then we'll meet with representatives from the Christchurch Muslim community and the families and decide them how those funds will be best used for the future," she said

The Department of Internal Affairs was keeping an eye on the various funds, which gave her confidence that there was transparency over the fund-raising process, Ms Carter said.

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