How can I help?

In difficult times, communities rally to support each other. Kindness and empathy go a long way.

When traumatic events occur, many of us feel a strong desire to help in whatever way we can.                           

New Zealanders were great at reaching out to support each other immediately after 15 March 2019. When events bring the Christchurch Mosque attacks back into the media or public discussion, it can be a good time to reconnect with people and check in on each other. You may like to go to public remembrance events to show solidarity.

Be aware of how you’re feeling and look after yourself too. You can choose to avoid social media and/or news media if it’s distressing you.

Helping our Muslim communities feel safe and welcome

New Zealand’s Muslim communities still feel vulnerable. You can support them and help them feel accepted and wanted. If you hear or see things which may cause distress, take action. You can call out harmful language, correct misconceptions, report social media posts, or if you are very concerned, you can contact:

  • Police – call 105 if it’s not an emergency and 111 if a crime is taking place or there’s a threat to life or property – both numbers are free from mobiles or landline phones
  • Office of Ethnic Communities - Freephone: 0800 656 656, Telephone: +64 4 494 5784, Email: ethnic.communities@dia.govt.nz
  • Human Rights Commission – InfoLine: 0800 496 877 (toll free) (Int. 0064 930 90874), Email: infoline@hrc.co.nz (for general enquiries), TXT: 0210 236 4253. Language Line, an interpreting service, is available.
  • Be the change: General information on social activism and discrimination | Youthline

Volunteering

Volunteering Canterbury is a great place to start if you're looking for a way to help out within the community.

On their website, you can search for volunteer opportunities by category, how much time you're able to commit, and what time you're available.

Donation advice

Donating money can be a useful way to support those in need. To ensure you're donating to a valid organisation, we've provided guidelines below.

From the Citizens Advice Bureau:
  • Ask the organisation what proportion of your donation goes to support the cause, as opposed to being used to pay administration and fundraising costs.
  • Ask what they plan to do with the money. This information should be on their website.
  • Make a complaint to Charities Services if you think someone is collecting for a non-existent charity or pretending to collect for a registered charity.

You can also search the Charities Services Register, to check whether someone asking for donations is a legitimate charity.

The Department of Internal Affairs offers further tips about how to make sure your donation will have an impact.