The boss of Victim Support has met with more than 150 victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings as the group grapples with the best way to distribute the millions donated by stunned New Zealanders after the attacks.
Victim Support chief executive Kevin Tso is expected to announce plans for the last distribution of donated funds to the March 15 victims this week.
Victim Support's Givealittle page raised more than $2 million in the first two days and was closed on May 30, having reached a total of $10.7m from more than 100,000 donors.
While more than $7m has already been paid out in the "emergency phase", over the past month Tso has met more than half of the 291 victims currently on the police list in their homes, in hospital wards, and at nearby venues to hear their views on how the rest should be distributed.
He's also spoken on the phone with victims based overseas, including Pakistan, India and Australia, and also heard views of others who emailed in.
"Victim Support realised after numerous conversations in the community that there was no single leadership group who could speak on behalf of all the victims," Tso said.
"Initially, our priority was to get donated funds to those as it was needed. Once the police list was available, we could use this data and its categorisation to make a range of lump sum payments.
"As we approached the last phase of payments, we knew that there would be vastly different views among victims about how these remaining funds should be prioritised. This became more evident as 14 different distribution approaches were suggested by the victims. These ranged from evenly distributing the funds across all victims, to only supporting the bereaved and injured."
Key themes emerged from victims on how the final payments should be made.
Ratio-based: While distribution preferences were varied and sometimes none were expressed, the most common preferences were for ratio-based distributions (increasing amounts distributed across escalating categories).
Prioritise the bereaved and severely injured: There is deep concern that those bereaved and the severely injured be adequately supported.
Take account of mental trauma: Those suffering mental trauma expressed their need to be included in the distribution.
"We deeply value the time and feedback of the victims who chose to meet with us, and their feedback is informing our approach. We aim to do this with transparency and fairness," Tso said.
"I want to thank the victims for their bravery, their time and sharing their views. Their experiences are still raw, so we are mindful of how difficult it is to talk about money and the use of the donations.
"As we have stated before, every cent of the donated funds will go to victims of the attacks. It's important that we see these payments not as compensation or entitlements but as gifts of unity and solidarity from more than 100,000 individuals across New Zealand and the globe as they were intended. These funds must be distributed as fairly and as transparently as possible to meet that intent."