The children of the Putaruru mother, father and grandma poisoned after eating wild boar and left temporarily paralysed will be given the remaining $60,000 of a fundraising campaign.

Naveen Eapen, a spokesman for the St Thomas Marthoma Church of New Zealand, said the church decided on Sunday to put the funds in a term deposit for the couple's two children.

"Part of the fundraising was for the kids as well and it was said the kids could be orphaned. So we thought it was appropriate that we put it in a trust fund for the kids to benefit them long term."

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The decision was made after the Weekend Herald revealed Shibu Kochummen, 36, his 65-year-old mother Alekutty Daniel and his wife Subi Babu, 34 had only received $42,520 of the $102,764 raised for them.

The three adults were hospitalised in November last year when they started vomiting, convulsing and were paralysed after eating wild boar.

The church raised money on their behalf. collecting $30,000 through a Givealittle page and $70,000 in a separate parish-led fundraising initiative.

The fundraising stopped in January, but six months later $60,000 has still not been released. The church paid $42,000 in January so the family could travel to India to collect their children, aged 7 and 1, who were being cared for by relatives.

Eapen said after the family recovered and ACC agreed to cover their costs, the church considered what else it could do with the remaining money, including returning it to the people who donated it or giving it to another organisation such as St John or the Cancer Society.

"We were just enquiring to see what the legal obligations were."

However Eapen said none of the money had been touched and the church decided at the weekend to put into an account for the children after concerns about how it might be spent. A term deposit had been chosen over a trust because of the cost of setting it up.

Church members were speaking to a lawyer and the banks about the best and fastest way to do this and expected it would be transferred within a week, he said.


"We haven't used even a dollar."

One of the church bishops in India, Dr Joseph Mar Thoma, who had earlier instructed the church not to release the money without his approval, told the Herald that the money would only be used to meet Kochummen's needs.

He said the money had been withheld in case the Indian government would not cover their medical costs. The church was also waiting on Kochummen to submit his expenses.

Eapen was not aware of Thoma's comments when asked about it.