Bali bombing survivors prepare for commemoration

By Brendan Manning

A survivor of the 2002 Bali bombing says she doesn't expect New Zealand to follow Australia's lead in paying for survivors to attend the 10-year commemoration of the terrorist attack.

Three New Zealanders - Jamie Wellington, 31, and Mark Parker and Jared Gane, both 27 - were among 202 people killed when bombs ripped through a popular nightspot in downtown Kuta.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard confirmed yesterday that she will attend a memorial service on the holiday island on October 12. Survivors will be given an assistance package to cover airfares, ground transport, accommodation, travel insurance and visa costs - similar to the assistance provided for the first anniversary.

Assistance will also be granted to family members of the 88 Australians who died.

Amanda Stanaway of Auckland was honeymooning with then husband Andrew when the blast occurred.

She said Ms Julia Gillard's offer to survivors and their families was beautiful.

"But I don't think New Zealand's in that position - it's too small a country.

It would be nice, but a bit far-fetched."

The New Zealand Government helped about 75 people get to Australian and New Zealand commemorations in Bali in 2003 and another 10 to attend a service in Wellington.

Ms Stanaway said she had to fight hard for funding to attend the 2003 commemoration, which she described as "healing''.

A spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully confirmed there will be official representation at the memorial service in Bali but there was no decision on whether survivors would be offered help to attend.

Ms Stanaway said she has post-traumatic stress disorder and is still affected by the bombing.

"It's hard, I'm filled with anxiety and fear most of the time."

She said she feared for her husband's life when they were separated for more than six hours in the bombing's aftermath.

He suffered extensive burns to his arms, legs and hands while helping people escape Kuta's Sari Club.

- APNZ

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