Prioritise your safety to avoid the possibility of further harm. Choose a safe place to go to and trusted people to be with.
After traumatic events, it's normal to find that you feel more anxious about your safety and others' safety too. Remember, you're not alone - our Support Workers and other community organisations are here to help you to work out the next steps you can take. We want everyone who has experienced a crime or traumatic event to feel safe and supported.
It's important to prioritise your safety. After traumatic events, it's normal to find that you feel more anxious about your safety and others' safety too. Remember, you're not alone - our Support Workers and other community organisations are here to help you to work out the next steps you can take. We want everyone who has experienced a crime or traumatic event to feel safe and supported.
If you or others have been injured, see a doctor, go to a hospital emergency department or call an ambulance on 111 regardless of whether you decide to report the incident or not.
A professional medical assessment can help your recovery and ensure physical safety.
Depending on the incident, consider having the doctor prepare a medical report that can be shared with police, if you are comfortable doing that.
We provide 24/7 free, confidential emotional and practical support and information to anyone affected by crime, suicide and traumatic events, including their whānau and witnesses. We are here for you in your time of crisis to help you feel empowered, make choices and access the services you need to feel safe and in control. We are here for you if you choose to report a crime and even if you don’t.
You can call us or visit our How we can help page to find out more about who we are, how we can help you and how to access our support.
If you have insurance, make an insurance claim as soon as you can. Your insurance company will explain what you need to do next. It may be making a list of missing or damaged items, keeping any damaged items in case they need to be assessed by the insurer or keeping receipts for the expenses resulting from the incident.
It’s common for insurance companies to investigate this kind of claim. You can help them by remembering and noting down as much as you can about any events leading up to or during the incident.
If you don't have insurance, it can take more time to get back on your feet, but support is available to help you cope through what’s happened.
Most people find that unexpectedly witnessing a crime or traumatic incident or discovering the aftermath is disturbing and distressing. Even if you weren’t physically harmed you may still be psychologically affected by what you have seen or heard.
Witnesses often experience a wide range of strong reactions including shock and disbelief, fear, horror, helplessness, anger or grief. You may be overwhelmed or perhaps numb and unable to feel anything at first. You may find you're asking yourself if you could have prevented it, done something different, or helped. You may replay the events in your mind and find it hard to stop distressing thoughts and images. It is common to feel guilty that you witnessed or discovered something so major in someone else’s life and that you were physically unharmed.
It is important to recognise that just because you weren’t directly involved, it doesn’t mean you won’t be affected by what happened. We are here for you if you need support.
For many, a ceremonial blessing of the site where a person has died is an essential part of processing the loss. It acknowledges of the spiritual impact of the tragedy and protects and guides the spirit of the deceased. It respects and honours the dignity of the deceased person, their family, whānau, and community.
For Māori, it can include lifting of the tapu on the site and karakia. Other cultural and faith groups have their own unique blessing ceremonies. Some family or whānau members may choose to visit the scene and be part of a blessing ceremony and others may not. They may prefer to hold a private blessing or open it to whomever would like to come, including from the community.
If you are an immediate family or whānau member wishing to organise a blessing for the site, you could contact your kaumātua, local marae, church or faith centre, the police officer who has been working with you, a Police Iwi Liaison Officer, or speak to a Support Worker.
If you don't personally know the family or whānau but witnessed or discovered the incident, you can speak to a Support Worker if you'd like to attend a blessing, provided it is open to the public and the family or whānau are comfortable with that.
Call the police non-emergency number on 105
Fill in a New Zealand Police 105 report
Find your local police station - Talk to the person at the front counter and they will advise you about what to do. If your nearest station is a small or rural station, call 105 to make sure someone is there to help you. You may want to take a trusted person with you for support.
You may consider speaking to someone you trust for advice like a family or whānau member, close friend, community or cultural leader, or your Victim Support Worker.
You can anonymously report the incident by phone or by submitting an online form to Crime Stoppers.
Manaaki Tāngata | Victim Support
Call us 24/7 on 0800 842 846 to be connected to a Support Worker for assistance.
Support through the criminal justice system
Look in this directory to find a New Zealand lawyer
If you are experiencing family violence and harm, consider making a safety plan. This is a plan of future actions you can take to keep you and your family and whānau members safe if you feel threatened or are in immediate danger. Everyone’s situation is different; Manaaki Tāngata | Victim Support and other local support services can help you to prepare an individual plan that works for you, when the time is right.
Reporting what happened to police as soon as possible can keep you or others from experiencing further harm but you can still report a crime to police regardless of how long ago it happened.
Support is here for you when things get tough. You don't have to face it alone. Reach out to these confidential and non-judgmental services to discuss your situation and get the help you need.
Experiencing a house or property fire is extremely stressful and frightening. Serious fires are unpredictable, dangerous, and often uncontrollable, resulting in varying degrees of physical damage and even the total loss of a home or property. In some cases, several homes and properties in the same community may be affected.
Fires can cause serious physical injuries or fatalities, with far-reaching consequences for everyone involved.
Dealing with the aftermath involves investigations, potentially relocating, undertaking cleanup and repairs when possible, and managing potential financial losses. A house fire can result in the loss of not just your home but also valued possessions such as sentimental items, important documents, clothing, electronics, and children's toys. For business a fire can mean temporary loss of employment.
The emotional and financial toll, along with the loss of security and comfort that your home or property provided, can be extremely challenging to deal with. You don't have to cope alone, support is available for you.
Prioritise your safety to avoid the possibility of further harm.
Alert others in the house or property and crawl low and fast out of the house to escape any smoke. Once you're out of the building, stay out. Never go back inside. Call Fire and Emergency as soon as you are safe to do so.
If you see smoke or fire and believe there's a risk to people or property, call 111 and ask for 'Fire' immediately. If you're not sure whether it's a real emergency or not, call 111 and ask.
An emergency services official will check the water, electricity, and gas supplies. They will then either arrange to have them disconnected or let you know what to do next.
A FENZ fire inspector may attend to investigate the origin or cause of the fire. They may need to restrict people’s access to the site so that they can preserve or record evidence about the fire.
Before entering your home or property, they will ask your consent and explain what they will be doing, and how. The inspector will keep you updated throughout the process but be aware that investigations can take some time.
If it is suspected or confirmed that the fire was started deliberately, which is the crime of arson, police will also become involved.
Do not enter your fire damaged house or property unless an emergency services official has given you permission to. Your health and safety must come first. Fire damage can cause dangerous hazards. There can be, for example, carcinogenic ash and toxic gases that are unsafe to inhale, or electrical wiring or gas outlets that need professional checking or disconnecting.
If a FENZ investigation is underway and you need to access your home or property to get belongings, you can make a request to be allowed to do this by phoning FENZ on 04 496 3600 or using their online request for access to the site of an emergency form
If you are granted access to your property, prioritise locating your essential items such as medication, health equipment, valuables, personal identification cards and papers, insurance information and other key documents or records you will need.
If you’re renting, let your landlord/landlady or housing agency know as soon as possible and of any urgent repairs that must be done.
If you can't return you’ll need to organise some accommodation. You might need to stay with family, whānau, friends, or in a local motel for a night or two. It may be for longer if there has been serious damage to your home.
If the house can no longer be lived in, board up openings and secure your property to discourage trespassers. Your Fire and Emergency contact can advise you about this.
If you’re renting, let your landlord, landlady, or housing agency know as soon as possible that you are unable to return to the property. You can ask someone to contact them on your behalf.
FENZ provides valuable tips to help fire victims enhance the safety and security of their homes and properties. In the aftermath of a fire, it’s helpful to know what to do to protect yourself and others from future fires. Implementing these practical measures can boost your confidence and provide reassurance to you, your family or whānau that you are safe.
After the incident notify key people and organisations for guidance, assistance, and support.
When someone dies in an accident, ACC can provide a range of financial support to the family or whānau of the deceased. This may include helping to pay for the funeral and providing some ongoing financial assistance.
If you have survived a fire or lost property in a fire, you may have many emotions and practical issues to deal with. If you have had loved ones, including pets, killed or injured in the fire, you will be grieving their loss. You may be injured yourself and facing a long recovery or an uncertain future. If you had a lucky escape, you may feel great relief, but you may also feel guilt for surviving if others were not as fortunate.
You may be grieving for the property and/or possessions you have lost and feeling overwhelmed if you have lost everything. After a fire, the practical and emotional challenges of evacuating, relocating, restoring or rebuilding are huge. You may have lots of “what if” questions as you try to make sense of how the fire started or how the damage was so great. You may blame others or yourself. It is common to feel that the world is a less safe place after a devastating fire, and you may find yourself feeling on edge and fearful for your safety.
If children or young people live in the property that’s been damaged they are likely to need extra reassurance and support, especially if they have been displaced from their home. It’s common for children and young people to experience significant distress and on-going anxieties after a fire. Many remain worried and on alert in case another fire might happen.