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March 15 Attacks

The Christchurch Foundation began engagement with those most impacted, and the wider community, on the 29th of June 2019. We began once Victim Support had concluded their distributions. Raf Manji lead a comprehensive and iterative project over a three month period. This involved over a hundred meetings as well as many emails and phone calls. Our distribution framework was developed using the information we received from the communities and international best practice.

As of 5 March 2020, we have distributed $9.27M of the $11M we have received.

Funds Distribution Update

Victims’ Fund - $7 million

As of 6th March 2020, $6,830,000 has been distributed.

  1. Shaheed Fund: $3,570,000 has been distributed to the next of kin.
  2. Bullet Injured Fund: $1,000,000 has been distributed to the bullet injured.
  3. Children and Widows Support Fund: $1,230,000 has been distributed.
  4. Medical Support Fund: $415,000 has been distributed.
  5. Hardship Fund: $615,000 has been distributed.  128 grants have been made from this fund.

Education Fund - $1.5 million

The Education Fund, a long-term legacy for the children of the Shaheed and Bullet Injured, currently totals $1,622,000, which will support 108 children with a grant for post-school education or training. So far, 5 grants have been made.

Community Support Fund - $500,000

Supported by the Abrahamic Fund, 20 grants have been made or pre-approved from this fund, totalling $470,000.  Grants have been focused on youth development, health and wellbeing, spiritual support, community events, and building capability and capacity within community organizations.

We have worked hard to make it easier for generous people, businesses and countries from around the world to support those impacted by the attacks.  We have received over $11 million in pledges and cash.  We are still receiving gifts and will continue to do so.

The document below explains our Fund Distribution Plans and was announced on November 26, 2019.

Fund Distribution Details – English
Fund Distribution Details – Hindi Translation
Fund Distribution Details – Urdu Translation
Fund Distribution Details – Arabic Translation
Fund Distribution Details - Bengali Translation
Fund Distribution Details - Farsi Translation

It is important to understand that these funds are not compensation, reparation or restitution. They are a gift that represents love and support.

The Christchurch Foundation has received well over 18,000 individual gifts.  The largest single gift was just over 1.5 million New Zealand dollars.

Many gifts were received from children from out of their pocket money or fundraising activities that they ran.  Community groups from around the world, many ethnicities and religious groups have also contributed.  Schools around New Zealand also gave on mass.

In the immediate response to the shootings The Christchurch Foundation made the following commitments to our donors and the victims:

  • We would honour the wishes of our donors
  • We would focus on providing medium to long-term support to the victims
  • We would seek guidance from the victims about how the funds could be used to deliver the greatest benefit.

This statement, and the supporting document show how the funds will be distributed, as approved by the Trustees of The Christchurch Foundation, our process for making that decision and what will happen now.

In those instances where donors have asked us to, we have matched their gift to funds that were aligned to how they wish to support the victims.

Of the $11 million, $2 million has been distributed since we took over from Victim Support.  This leaves $9 million. Of this $9 million, $1.5 million is allocated by donors to an Education Fund, $1 million to the Abrahamic Fund and $0.4 million to a Medical Support Fund for the severely injured.

We felt it was important that the Muslim community helped to determine how the remaining $6 million was to be distributed. To facilitate this, the original plan was to establish an advisory group formed of members of the community who would provide recommendations, but consultation made it clear that the preference of the community was for a more direct approach.

Former Christchurch City Councillor Raf Manji acted as The Foundation’s independent advisor to collect community feedback and to provide recommendations about how the funds were to be distributed.

We would like to acknowledge the exceptional work undertaken by Raf Manji. Mr Manji has provided us with clear recommendations which are based upon what the victims have told him.  He has also conducted extensive research about best practice to support communities when they are the victims of terror attacks.  It has been a significant voluntary contribution from Raf, and we thank him.

On the 20th of November, our Trustees met and have unanimously agreed to the recommendations made by Mr Manji. The Christchurch Foundation has been asked to begin distributions immediately.

More detail about his recommendations and how the remaining funds will be distributed are included in supporting documents (linked above). We have also translated the details into several other languages and provided the research materials we have used.

The Christchurch Foundation recognises that through his work on the Listening Project, Raf Manji, has established strong and trusted relationships with the community on The Foundation’s behalf. We therefore recognise there is a continuing role for The Christchurch Foundation to advocate for and support victims and the wider community for the foreseeable future. Raf will work with us through November 2020.