Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is speaking in Christchurch today as the mourning city marks six months since New Zealand's worst ever terror attack.
Earlier, the PM said mental aftershocks of the Christchurch mosque shootings will likely rumble on for years, as she announced an $8 million mental health support package.
As Ardern dropped in to West Spreydon School, and met with staff and students participating in the Sparklers programme which supports and promotes the wellbeing of young Cantabrians, she pledged a further $8.68m for mental health services in the region over the next three years.
It comes on top of the $8.5m invested in Budget 2019 in response to the March 15 attacks.
The Prime Minister said the support will help meet the long-term mental health and wellbeing needs of people affected by the terror attacks.
"As we mark six months since the horrific events of March 15, we remember the remarkable community spirit and unity that was on display in the weeks that followed," she said.
"But we also acknowledge we will be dealing with the trauma of that day for years to come."
Ardern praised Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) for its "incredible job" from the emergency response treating victims, through to supporting their physical and mental recovery.
But she stressed that there is more work to be done.
"It's vital that survivors, families, the Muslim community and the people of Christchurch know that we will be there to support them for the long-haul," Ardern said.
The additional funding will enable ongoing and meaningful support, including:
• Treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and other serious issues.
• Community mental health and addiction support.
• Cultural competency training for GPs.
• Allowing extended GP consultations for those directly affected by the attacks.
• Building community resilience.
The Prime Minister thanked everyone involved in supporting people affected by the terror attacks – from community leaders and organisations to medical and mental health staff.
"Your efforts have made a huge difference in the most challenging of times," she said.
"Today's announcement means our mental health services can continue to deliver the support that is needed now and into the future."