Final Victim Support payments to Christchurch terrorist attack victims to be distributed this week

Victim Support will this week start distributing a last lump sum payment to victims of the Christchurch terrorist attack bringing the total distributed to them to more than $12 million.

The charity this afternoon said its donated funds for the victims now totals $13.2 million, including the $10.9 million raised through the Givealittle fund, $275,000 from American crowd-funding platform GoFundMe, "and many hundreds of thousands donated by individuals, community groups, and businesses".

In addition to the emergency payments victims have received over the last 16 weeks for their short-term needs, a last lump sum payment will start to be distributed to the Police list victims this week, bringing the total distributed to more than $12 million, Victim Support said.

"Victim Support received clear feedback during our engagement with victims that the bereaved and seriously injured must be prioritised in the final distribution, but that other victims present must still receive support to recognise mental trauma," said Kevin Tso, Victim Support chief executive.

"Reflecting this feedback, this last payment will be allocated to the 296 people in the four Police list categories based on increasing ratios. 

This will see the following lump sum payments made:

• $50 000 lump sum for next of kin deceased during the attack, bringing the total received to $90,000. These payments exclude the $5000 Victim Assistance Scheme grant also available to next-of-kin.
• $26 000 lump sum to victims shot during the attack, bringing the total received to $51,000
• $ 9000 lump sum to victims injured, but not by gunshot, during the attack, bringing the total received to $34,000
• $5000 lump sum to victims present in the mosque at the time of the attacks, bringing the total received to $17,000

An amount of $421,000 from two anonymous donors will also be given to the Christchurch Foundation to support severely injured victims’ medium to long term support.

"This unprecedented event has devastated individual lives, families and the communities. In the weeks following the attacks, we were contacted by more than 900 people seeking support, as well as people in NZ and across the world wishing to donate," Mr Tso said.

"Normally Victim Support can provide a $5,000 next-of-kin homicide assistance grant from the Ministry of Justice Victim Assurance Scheme. The donated funds have meant we could do so much more to provide emergency funding to help victims with their short-term needs," he said.  

"As we have worked to provide victims with a series of lump sum payments, the Police List has provided us with a way to ensure 100 per cent of the funds were distributed to the victims most impacted by the mosque attacks," he said. 

Mr Tso thanked the police "for their tireless work in identifying and verifying victims".  

"This provided us with the framework for apportioning donations for the last distributions, where no other precedent is available to us," he said.

The attacks at two Christchurch mosques on Friday March 15 killed 51 people and 49 people were injured.

Source: 1 NEWS