Jacinda Ardern defends accusations her government failed to help victims who survived the Christchurch terror attack
- Kiwi families still struggling to recover from horror of mass mosques shooting
- New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has defended claims she could be doing more
- Many want to see compensation for those mentally harmed as well as physically
- Ardern’s government has denied requests on budgetary and precedent grounds
On the second anniversary of the Christchurch terror attack, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has fought off accusations her government has failed to meet the needs of victims left behind.
On 15 March 2019, Australian Brenton Tarrant stormed two mosques, killing 51 men, women and children as they gathered for prayer services.
New Zealand’s worst mass shooting united the country against the white supremacist sentiment that drove the terrorist.
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has defended accusations her government could be doing more to support survivors of the 2019 Christchurch massacre
It also devastated Kiwi families still struggling to come to terms with grief and lives turned upside down.
The milestone has brought to the surface a portrait of a community still much in need of care.
Many specifically want to see the availability of New Zealand’s ACC cover – which covers all Kiwis for physical accidents – applied to those mentally harmed by the attack, allowing them compensation for lost wages.
Largely, those physically injured in the attacks have received ACC payouts – those who did not have not.
Ms Ardern’s government has denied this on budgetary and precedent grounds.
‘If we were to change that we’d change that for everyone,’ she told TVNZ on Monday.
‘They are eligible for support through our health system and through the benefits system.’
There’s no denying a range of support is available, with around 200 individuals and families having had case managers with New Zealand’s welfare agency to help with the range of support.
Brenton Tarrant (pictured) is the Australian man who killed 51 worshippers in New Zealand’s worst modern-day mass shooting in 2019 and was jailed for life without parole
Ms Ardern said ‘we’ve realised now we need to intensify that’.
‘When families have said you can do better, we have tried to do better.
‘I don’t think anyone would fault us for the effort we’ve put in … there has always been a huge amount of energy.’
New Zealand commemorated the shooting on Saturday with an emotive national remembrance service in Christchurch attended by around 1000 guests, including family of the dead.
Many in Christchurch’s Muslim community are spending Monday with private services to remember the dead.
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