• Roger Sowry
Social Welfare

Social Welfare Minister, Hon. Roger Sowry, today agreed to provide a one-off grant to fund counselling services for witnesses of the Raurimu massacre. "There are a number of people, besides the families of the murder victims, and those injured in the tragic shootings at Raurimu, who are not able to access assistance provided by ACC or the Counselling Support for Families of Murder Victims Scheme."

"This additional funding is for counselling services for people who witnessed the shootings but who are not family members of the victims and were not injured themselves."

"These counselling services will help them come to terms with the tragedy and enable them to move on with their lives. This special grant, of up to $7,500, recognises the exceptional circumstances surrounding this tragedy," Mr Sowry says.

Chief Executive of Victims Support, Laureen Outtrim, welcomed the Minister's announcement.

"We have long recognised the traumatic effects on persons who witness terrible events such as this," Mrs Outtrim says.

"Given the large numbers of people who witnessed and were involved in this tragedy, this acknowledgement by Government in recognising their needs is welcomed and will be of great value to those so involved."

Mrs Outtrim says anyone wanting information on accessing this counselling should contact their local Victims Support.