© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2019

Mobile phone providers offered free services

Charlotte Grimwood

How mobile phone companies helped loved ones stay in touch on March 15.

Mobile service providers continue to offer support following the terrorist attack in Christchurch on Friday 15 2019.

Vodafone, 2 Degrees and Spark offered free calls to and from Christchurch for 24 hour to help loved ones stay in touch.

Spark opened its WiFi hotspots in Christchurch to customers of all mobile providers.

Meanwhile, 2 Degrees made national calling and text messages free from the Friday afternoon until 6pm on the Sunday (March 17).

Spark communications advisor Ellie Cross said: "We did this because it was the right thing to do. We wanted to show support to the Muslim community and the people of Christchurch more broadly during this horrific period. We have previously opened up free calling and WiFi for other emergencies and disasters where it is useful to the affected communities."

External communications advisor Meera Kaushik said Vodafone was "committed to fostering a deeply embedded culture of inclusion. One that values the full diversity of our people, our customers and the communities we serve".

Vodafone had put in place a special team for its customers directly impacted. This team would work closely with NZ Police and Christchurch Victim Support to coordinate efforts, Kaushik said.

Kaushik said as part of this, handsets had been provided to families, as well as free broadband and mobile for a year.