OPINION: Two weeks on from the terror attack in Christchurch and it still feels very raw. Friday March 15, 2019 is the day everything changed in our country.
It is a day we will never forget.
Fifty people lost their lives peacefully observing their beliefs in the Al Nur Mosque, a place of sanctuary for Christchurch’s Muslim community, a place where they should have been safe.
We can only imagine what they are going through at this time and we have extended our deepest sympathies for their profound loss.
In a country like ours that practices religious tolerance, an attack on one of us feels like an attack on all of us. The response from every corner of the country reflected that.
We came together as a nation to express our shared grief and our indignation, and to offer support for the victims and their community.
New Zealanders are a practical and tolerant people, not afraid to express our values to the world. While everything else may have changed since March 15, New Zealand’s essential character has not, and will not.
The Government’s response has been swift. We recognised that our gun laws need reform and announced sweeping changes within a week of the atrocity.
We believe the vast majority of New Zealanders will support us in tightening the rules for gun owners.
Tomorrow the National Remembrance Service will be held in Christchurch. Local and international dignitaries, communities and individuals from around New Zealand and overseas will come together for the victims of the Christchurch attack, and all those affected by it.
They will remain in our thoughts and we will continue to support them as they rebuild their lives.