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Support available for those affected by the 15 March Christchurch tragedy

Thursday, March 21, 2019   Posted in: Resources and Information By: Administrator With tags: mental wellbeing, resources, services, support, finances

A variety of support is available to those affected by the 15th March incident in Christchurch.

Interpreting services available from Language Line (0800 656 656) when visiting or phoning a Government agency or using a helpline. Language Line has 44 operational languages, and is available Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm, and Saturdays from 9am to 2pm.

  • Ask for Language Line and the language you want.
  • You will be asked to wait on the phone - don't hang up
  • A professional interpreter will join you on the phone.

Financial support for victims and their families

The Ministry of Social Development can provide financial assistance to those affected by this tragedy - even if you are not on a benefit - through Work and Income. This includes:

  • help with urgent or unexpected costs, such as food, petrol or other travel costs;
  • a Civil Defence payment for loss of income because you can't work;
  • a Civil Defence payment if you had to leave your home or can't get to it due to the Police cordon (as wellas help with food, clothing or bedding); and
  • a Civil Defence payment if you are provding a place to stay for friends or family.

Visit the Work and Income website for more information or advice. Yuo can also visit your nearest Ministry of Social Development office or call 0800 559 009 (Monday to Friday between 7am and 6pm; and Saturday between 8am and 1pm).

ACC provides financial support if someone has been injured or died from an injury. This includes:

  • Help paying for the funeral;
  • Financial help for partners, children and other dependents; and
  • Help with loss of income when someone has been injured or died.

Visit the ACC website for more information or advice, including factsheets in Arabic, Bahasa, Farsi, Indonesian and Urdu. You can also visit the ACC Christchurch office (Level 2 of the BNZ Centre - in Cashel Mall) or call 0800 080 273.

Other support for victims and their families

Victim Support is offering free confidential support for people affected by this tragedy. Call 0800 842 846 to be connected with a support worker in your community. Their support workers can help:

  • Provide immediate emotional support in a crisis;
  • Provide practical support such as completing forms or applying for grants;
  • Give you information;
  • By listening and talking;
  • Refer you to counselling;
  • Provide emergency grants and financial assistance; and
  • Advise you on your rights.

They can refer you to the right place, if they are not the right people to help.

Shakti is providing counseling support for affected individuals who would prefer to talk to a woman from the Muslim community. Contact the Shakti Christchurch office for assistance on 0800 742 584, 940 9416 or mojch[at]

Contact the NZ Immigration Contact Centre on 0508 22 52 88 for assistance around visas including for family members needing to come to New Zealand urgently.

Counselling and mental wellbeing support for Cantabrians

Free call or text 1737 anytime day or night if you need to talk to a trained counsellor.

The Canterbury Charity Hospital is providing free face-to-face counselling for people needing extra support. Contact them to arrange an appointment (360 2266 during office hours, 020 4098 0750 after hours or info[at]

Healthy Christchurch Champions

  • Canterbury District Health Board
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ngai Tahu
  • NZ Police
  • Pegasus Health
  • University of Otago, Christchurch