Resort hotel’s help for Yama

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Overwhelmed: Christchurch butcher Yama Nabi PICTURE: RADIO NEW ZEALAND/CLAIRE EASTHAM-FARRELLY

A Queenstown business has given $15,200 to a Christchurch man whose father was killed in the Al Noor mosque shooting after the Accident Compensation Corpor-ation (ACC) refused to help him.

Haji Daoud Nabi was murdered on March 15 during Friday prayer.

His son, Yama Nabi, was running late to prayer with his young daughter and when he approached the mosque he saw the cordon.

The butcher told NZ Herald he parked his car and told his daughter to stay inside it.

Yama started running past bodies and saw others, including a child, being shot.

He ended up at Christchurch Hospital desperate to find out the fate of his father, but wasn’t getting answers, so resorted to watching the gunman’s live stream repeatedly until he saw his father, lying dead.

It was later reported the 71-year-old welcomed the shooter with the words ‘hello, brother’ and was the first to be shot.

But, according to a Radio New Zealand (RNZ) report, when Yama applied for ACC help to cover the time he needed off work to recover from the mental scars, he was told he wasn’t a victim.

Enter The Rees Hotel Queenstown.

The Frankton Road property had originally decided to auction off 20 donated items online to raise money for Victim Support’s ‘Christchurch Shooting Victims Fund’ during April.

They included a scenic flight with The Helicopter Line, a rare limited edition vertical Champagne tasting of Taittinger vintages, and a five-night stay in a luxury Rees Residence with a personal ‘travel curator’ on call.

Additionally the hotel’s True South Dining Room hosted a VIP Winemakers’ dinner, with North Canterbury’s Pyramid Valley, proceeds from which went to the fund. They raised a total of $15,200.

When hotel boss Mark Rose found out about Yama Nabi’s plight, they decided to give Yama the donation directly.

“I read the story on RNZ [website] about Yama not being able to get ACC support because it was ‘mental’ and that he was short of cash as he couldn’t work, so I tracked the journalist down and asked her if she could put us in contact, which she did.

“[It’s] a good fit for the hotel as he is a halal butcher and we buy halal meat at times for our guests and [it] seemed more personal,” Rose says.

Rose says Yama was “in tears” when he found out about the donation, which has been transferred directly into his bank account. “He was quite overcome.”

tracey.roxburgh@scene.co.nz