Christchurch terror attack: Funeral plans begin for 50 killed

As the remains of those slain in the Christchurch terror attack are released, families will need to decide how best to farewell their loved ones.

Simon Manning, funeral director and head of the national disaster response team, says it will be up to each family to decide whether they want to be part of a mass service, or whether they want individual services for their loved ones.

"I suspect there will be a large funeral, but I'm just not sure of the numbers," Manning told The AM Show.

He says he and his team have been affected by the attack.

"If you think funeral directors don't get affected by things like this, you'd be wrong. It takes its toll."

Fifty graves are being dug for the victims of the attack and Manning says sights like this are sobering.

"When you hear a number, it doesn't mean anything. But, when you start to see signs, and 50 open graves, it is a very big, confronting sight."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern earlier said families are eligible for funeral grants of about $10,000, as well as partner and children payments, compensation for loss on income, and grants.