It was with great shock that we all learned of the tragedy that occurred in Christchurch on Friday afternoon. At this difficult time, my thoughts and prayers are with all those who are affected. College staff and leadership also extend their heartfelt sorrow at this loss.

Like many of you, I am shocked to realise that such a horrific act of violence could be perpetrated in New Zealand. The consequences of this attack are far-reaching and will be widely felt in our nation, particularly by our Muslim, refugee, and migrant communities.

As GPs we are privileged to witness and celebrate diversity in our practice every day. At this time, I believe it is important to stand together as a community and reject any act of hate or discrimination.

Many of our GPs in Christchurch will have both staff and patients affected by the attack. Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) in Canterbury are offering significant support to our members. 

I understand that many of us will want to support those efforts in some way. Some ways that members can offer assistance are listed below. 

If you or someone you know requires urgent support in the meantime, there are contact details for a range of services below.

Kind regards

Dr Samantha Murton
President

Need help?

Need to talk?

  • Free call or text 1737 any time to speak to a trained counsellor, for any reason. Resources are also available on the Ministry of Health website.
  • The Medical Assurance Society in conjunction with Medial Protection Society offers counselling services to support their members. Call 0800 225 5677, option 3 to access this free, confidential service.
  • Free call Lifeline on 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357
  • Free call the Suicide Crisis Helpline on 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO (24/7). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those concerned about family or friends. 
  • Free call the Depression Helpline on 0800 111 757 (24/7) or text 4202.
  • Free call the Samaritans on 0800 726 666 (24/7).
  • Free call Youthline on 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8.00am to 12.00am), or email talk@youthline.co.nz

Need more staff?

NZLocums offers locum recruitment services for New Zealand GPs and rural hospital medicine doctors.

They are happy to receive requests for locum support from members. Contact the NZLocums team on 0800 695 628 or visit the website for more info.

Need time out?

Those affected by the tragedy may be looking to spend time away from work with their families.

College members with holiday homes or properties available for use have shared details here (member login required). 

If you would like to express your interest in a property, click the link above.

Offer your support

Members may like to offer support to those affected by the tragedy in one of the following ways:

1. Directing colleagues to support services

A comprehensive list of services is available to the left. Consider sharing these with friends and colleagues.

2. Donate to victim support

Several fundraising pages have been established for victim support services. Some of the largest include: Give A Little Victim SupportEveryday Hero Victim SupportLaunchGood United for ChristchurchGive A Little Handshake People Fundraiser 

3. Work as a locum

NZLocums offers locum recruitment services for New Zealand GPs and rural hospital medicine doctors.

They are happy to receive expressions of interest from members interested in supporting their colleagues in Canterbury GPs. Contact the NZLocums team on 0800 695 628 or visit the website.

We recognise that this attack was particularly alarming for our Muslim, refugee and migrant communities. If you would like to offer locum support to GPs elsewhere in the country, use the contact details above.

4. Offer time away 

Those affected by the tragedy may be looking to spend time away from work with their families. If you have a holiday home or property you'd like to offer, you can register its availability here

A list of properties will be made available, and the contact details of interested parties forwarded on to property owners.