Government reconsiders compensation for terror-affected Christchurch businesses

The Government has agreed to reconsider compensation for a group of shops suffering financially in the wake of the terror attacks.

After they were cordoned off for 10 days from March 15, businesses say they lost thousands of dollars due to clients being too scared to return to the area.

A Newshub investigation found two shops next to the Linwood Mosque were going out of business and others on the verge of it.

Business owners near the Linwood mosque describe themselves as the 'forgotten victims', as they haven't seen a cent of support from the Government.

Saurav Verma is the local Linwood accountant. He estimates he's lost $50,000 worth of business due to the terror attack, and believes his neighbours are even worse off.

"Businesses have taken a hit, especially in the books," he says.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says their situation was raised directly with the Prime Minister on March 16 and a commitment was made.

"I understood right from the get-go that they would be looked after, and unfortunately it doesn't appear that that is the case," she says.

Instead the Government ruled there was no need for emergency assistance because no one had been laid off. But a visit to the affected shops on Tuesday showed that's not the case.

Now the Government's had a change of heart and it's listening.

"It seems from Newshub's story that that's no longer the case, so I'm prepared to take another look at this now," Minister Phil Twyford says.

"We'll try and move as quickly as we can to look at the situation and see whether there's any support if there can be given, and I hope it's not too late."

But the Government's U-turn comes too late to save nearby business owner Trish Bailey, who is set to leave Linwood in two weeks.

She's hoping the review could be enough to help neighbouring businesses survive - even if hers can't.


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