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Christchurch mosque attack hero slams Victim Support over money payout.

Christchurch mosque attack hero slams Victim Support over money payout.

1561668359000Attack survivor Abdul Aziz says dividing the victims into different categories is bad for the community.

A hero of the Linwood mosque terror attack says Victim Support has divided a traumatised community in the way it has distributed donated money.

But Victim Support says it has consulted widely and the majority of victims are happy with funding decisions.

On Thursday, Victim Support revealed how it would make the final payments to people affected by the March 15 terror attack from a $13.2 million fund of donations.

Victim Support chief executive Kevin Tso has overseen the $10.7 million fund.
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/STUFF  Victim Support chief executive Kevin Tso has overseen the $10.7 million fund.

Bereaved families will receive a final payment of $50,000, survivors shot in the attack will be given $26,000, people injured in other ways will receive $9000, while people in either mosque during the shootings will be given $5000.

Attack survivor Abdul Aziz, who chased the gunman away from the Linwood mosque, said dividing the victims into different categories was bad for the community.

March 15 attack survivor Mohammad Shammin Siddiqui outside the Al-Noor mosque on Deans Ave in April.
JOSEPH JOHNSON/STUFF  March 15 attack survivor Mohammad Shammin Siddiqui outside the Al-Noor mosque on Deans Ave in April.

“We are very upset by what they have done,” he said.

“Don’t we have enough problems with everything we have been through … and they put more division and more stuff on the victims?”

Victim Support chief executive Kevin Tso said the organisation had “listened to the voices of the victims”.

Mosque attack survivor Temel Atacocugu outside Christchurch's Justice Precinct earlier this month.
JOSEPH JOHNSON/STUFF  Mosque attack survivor Temel Atacocugu outside Christchurch’s Justice Precinct earlier this month.

“There will always be a minority who do not agree. We have distributed the money in a fair and transparent way.”

The final payments mean bereaved families have been given a total of $95,000 from the fund, survivors shot in the attack have received $51,000 each, people injured but not shot were given $34,000 each, and people in either mosque during the shootings have been given $17,000 each.

Mohammad Shamim Siddiqui, who was shot in the arm in the attack on the Al Noor mosque, said he was incredibly thankful for the donated money.

Linwood mosque hero Abdul Aziz hugs a friend outside the Christchurch court house.
JOSEPH JOHNSON / STUFF  Linwood mosque hero Abdul Aziz hugs a friend outside the Christchurch court house.

“I have no words to say how thankful I am,” he said.

“The people of New Zealand have really helped us. They showed their love and affection for us.”

Temel Atacocugu, who was shot nine times at Al Noor , said he was happy with the final payment.

“We really appreciate all the support,” he said.

Tso said feedback from victims had informed how the final payments were distributed.

“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,” he said.

A further $1m was distributed from the fund to help people with emergency needs, including food, funeral costs and travel for family members.

After the final payments, about $1m will remain for contingencies and any new victims that may emerge.

Two anonymous donors had given a total of $421,000 to Victim Support, which will be given to the Christchurch Foundation to support victims in the long and medium term.

The Our People, Our City fund, administered by the Christchurch Foundation, was set up almost immediately after the March 15 mosque shootings to help raise money to support victims’ families and Muslim communities.

The fund had reached $5m and was expected to top $6m when money pledged by organisations was received. More than 18,000 donations had been made, ranging from under $1 to more than $2m.

Christchurch Foundation chief executive Amy Carter said the Victim Support funds were for short term needs, while the foundation was for long term support.

Carter said she would make an announcement on Friday about what the foundation would do next.

 

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