The tragedy that has unfolded in Christchurch is shocking and we are all grief-stricken by the loss of so many people in our community.
It is beyond belief that such an attack could happen in Christchurch or anywhere in New Zealand.
Christchurch is a city that welcomes people from all cultures, religions and backgrounds.
The outpouring of grief in the city since Friday and the acts of love and compassion that our residents have shown to all those affected by this tragedy is proof that we are a city that cares and stands united.
We will not be bowed by hatred and division. We will not be defined by the horrific acts of one extremist who came here with the intention of carrying out a premeditated attack.
As Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said to the leaders of the Muslim community on Saturday, “this is not New Zealand.’’
And I say “This is not Christchurch’.
I want to assure you and your families that we remain committed to having a welcoming, safe environment for everyone.
You are welcome in Christchurch, and we will continue to do all that we can to make you feel safe and a part of our community.
You can find information about support services available here>
Mayor of Christchurch