We are deeply saddened by the terror attack in Christchurch. The impact of this attack is being widely felt across the country. We as a nation are hurting; in this difficult time, we welcome the positive leadership and solidarity being shown at all levels of our communities.

This attack targeted our Muslim whānau. The victims were exercising their right to freedom of conscience and religion in a democratic society. They should have been able to do so in peace and safety.

The Muslim community in New Zealand is diverse. It includes, but also extends beyond, some of those who have arrived in this country as refugees or migrants. We stand alongside you and will support you in any way we can. Your grief is our grief.

Violence and hate have no place in our society and we all have a role to play in eliminating it. New Zealand Red Cross is determined to respond by working with others to show that we are defined by our common humanity.

We are about people. The power of people working together across all our differences to confront the challenges we face together: to protect life and health; to promote dignity and; ensure respect for every human being. We try to stand up for these principles in practical ways wherever we are and we ask you to join us.

This was a dark day for New Zealand. It can also be the day we refuse to give in to, or accept, hate and discrimination in all its forms. New Zealand Red Cross is committed to improving the lives of vulnerable people by mobilising the power of humanity and enhancing community resilience, even, and especially, in times of conflict and disaster. 

Whilst we continue to grieve, we also continue with redoubled determination to build peaceful, diverse and strong communities wherever we are.

Kia kaha e te whānau

Let us grieve together, let us care for others together, let us rise together.