Fees of up to $16 are being charged for tickets to tomorrow’s national service to mark the anniversary of the Christchurch terror attack despite it being a free and public event.
But Christchurch City Council says it will reimburse anyone charged and has apologised for “confusion” over the process.
The We Are One national remembrance service will be held at Christchurch Arena tomorrow from 3pm.
The service is free to attend, however due to limited capacity in Christchurch Arena, and for security reasons, bookings are required.
Seats are ticketed and can be purchased through Ticketek.
The Herald can reveal that the event giant is charging fees for some tickets.
People who choose an ezyTicket -Ticketek’s print-at-home PDF ticket – are not charged anything.
But those who want a mobile ticket sent to their phone will be charged $5.50.
Anyone who chooses to pick up their tickets from the venue on the day will be charged $8.50 per transaction.
To have tickets mailed will also cost $8.50 and those wanting rural delivery or courier delivery will be stung$16 and $14 respectively.
Arguably, the latter options are not likely to be chosen at this stage given how close the service is.
On top of these fees – anyone who pays by credit card will face an additional 3 per cent.
The Herald is seeking comment from Ticketek about the fee.
A council spokeswoman said Ticketek was responsible for distributing the tickets because it is the licensed ticket provider for all events at Christchurch Arena.
“There was never any intention to charge people for the tickets for the service. It is a free, public event,” she said.
“We are sorry if some confusion has arisen from the service charges that Ticketek imposes for certain types of tickets.”
The spokeswoman said the “overwhelming majority of public ticket holders” have chosen the ezyTicket option to date.
As of 5pm on Thursday, only five general admission tickets had been purchased and incurred a fee.
“Christchurch City Council is happy to reimburse those people for the cost of the service fee,” the spokeswoman said.
“They can email [email protected] to request a refund.
“For all Muslim community attendees, ticketing has been arranged separately and they have not needed to go through the Ticketek system.”
Fifty-one women, men and children were killed when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques on March 15, 2019.
A further 40 were wounded and some have permanent injuries as a result.
The service to remember them was due to go ahead in March last year but due to Covid-19 it was cancelled.
The programme for this year’s service has been based on what was planned for last year, put together with input from those most affected by the attacks, including survivors and families of the victims.
Those who died in the attacks will be honoured in a portrait of remembrance on screen at the event and their names will be read.
The service will be jointly led by the local Muslim community, Christchurch City Council standing with Ngāi Tūāhuriri as mana whenua, and the Government.
Hon Lianne Dalziel, Mayor of Christchurch, earlier said the second anniversary was an opportunity for people to come together in unity, as they did in the wake of the attacks.
“We can join together to remember those who died and were injured and traumatised, along with the people who responded, from bystanders to the emergency services and hospital staff,” she said.
“It is also an opportunity to reflect on the response which rejected hatred and division and embraced love, compassion and unity.”
The event is being held on March 13, rather than the actual anniversary, as it’s hoped holding it on a weekend day will allow more people to attend.
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