Govt to establish board to better support Christchurch terrorist attack survivors

The Government has today announced the establishment of a new "collective impact board" to help better support the survivors of the March 15 terror attacks.

Police Minister Poto Williams said the value of New Zealand’s involvement “was recently highlighted by the Royal Commission of Inquiry Report into the terrorist attack on the Christchurch masjindain”. Source: Getty

It comes amid a raft of changes recommended by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the 2019 attack, which saw 51 people killed and dozens more injured in attacks at two Christchurch mosques.

Seven members of the Christchurch Muslim community who were impacted by the attacks have been appointed to the newly-established board.

Forming a board was one of the key recommendations of the inquiry.

The members include Hamimah (Tuyan) Ahmat, Maha Elmadani, Maha Galal, Dr Maysoon Salama, Dr Mazharuddin Syed Ahmed, Nathan Brent Smith and Sheikh Hasan Rubel.

“The Collective Impact Board brings together community and government representatives to guide ongoing support services for the families and individuals affected by the Christchurch mosque attacks,” Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.

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She said the group were "carefully considered" by a panel of community and government representatives.

“I am confident the successful candidates will be able to represent the views and perspectives of those directly affected by the mosque attacks to ensure that the support provided addresses their needs.”

Survivors called on the Government for greater support on the second anniversary of the attack.

They expressed the need for more help, and that hate speech and discrimination were still widespread.

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Shadia Amin and Temel Atacocugu joined Breakfast to tell their stories. Source: Breakfast

There were also concerns about compensation for financial hardship, with Andrew Little, the lead co-ordination minister into the Government's response to the royal commission, telling survivors there would be no compensation for witnesses to receive ACC.

"The Prime Minister promised us — promised us — that she would take action, she would look after us. ... It's still talk," Shadia Amin, who lost her husband in the attack, said at the time.

Radhakrishnan said the seven community representatives will work alongside six government agency representatives. It's anticipated that agencies represented may alter over time as the ongoing recovery needs of affected communities change.

She said the board will "help to guide and further develop the Kaiwhakaoranga Specialised Case Management Service, which has worked closely with the affected community since April 2019".

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“Based on the community’s feedback and the Royal Commission’s report, steps have already been taken to enhance the Service to support a broader group of affected families with a wider range of needs and services," Radhakrishnan said.

"These changes include seconding staff from Immigration New Zealand and Accident Compensation Corporation, and bringing into the team a dedicated work broker to help connect people into employment.

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Government hui around the country found victims need more help. Source: 1 NEWS

“The new Collective Impact Board will help further develop services to ensure affected families can access support effectively and in a culturally appropriate way.”

The board will select its Chair at its first meeting in early June.