Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
MP for Mt
29 March 2019
rangatira mā, e ngā reo, e ngā mana
(I acknowledge amongst us today our distinguished
leaders, speakers and those who bear authority)
Tahu Whānui, tēnā koutou
(My greetings to the whole of
E papaki tū ana ngā tai o maumahara ki
runga o Ōtautahi
(The tides of remembrance flow over
Haere mai tātou me te
(So let us gather with love)
rangimārie, ki te whānau nei,
(In peace, for this
E ora mārire ai anō rātau,
(So that they
may truly live again)
E ora mārire ai anō, tātou
(So that we all may truly live again)
gather here, 14 days on from our darkest of hours.
the days that have followed the terrorist attack on the 15th
of March, we have often found ourselves without words.
What words adequately express the pain and suffering of
50 men, women and children lost, and so many injured?
What words capture the anguish of our Muslim community
being the target of hatred and violence?
express the grief of a city that has already known so much
I thought there were none. And then I came here
and was met with this simple greeting.
Aleykum. Peace be upon you.
They were simple words,
repeated by community leaders who witnessed the loss of
their friends and loved ones.
Simple words, whispered
by the injured from their hospital beds.
spoken by the bereaved and everyone I met who has been
affected by this attack.
Asalamu Aleykum. Peace be
They were words spoken by a community who,
in the face of hate and violence, had every right to express
anger but instead opened their doors for all of us to grieve
And so we say to those who have lost the
most, we may not have always had the words.
have left flowers, performed the haka, sung songs or simply
But even when we had no words, we still
heard yours, and they have left us humbled and they have
left us united.
Over the past two weeks we have heard
the stories of those impacted by this terrorist attack.
They were stories of bravery.
They were stories of
those who were born here, grew up here, or who had made New
Zealand their home.
Who had sought refuge, or sought a
better life for themselves or their families.
stories, they now form part of our collective memories.
They will remain with us forever.
They are us.
But with that memory comes a responsibility.
responsibility to be the place that we wish to be.
place that is diverse, that is welcoming, that is kind and
compassionate. Those values represent the very best of
But even the ugliest of viruses can exist in
places they are not welcome.
Racism exists, but it is
not welcome here.
An assault on the freedom of any one
of us who practices their faith or religion, is not welcome
Violence, and extremism in all its forms, is not
And over the last two weeks we have
shown that, you have shown that, in your actions.
the thousands at vigils to the 95 year old man who took four
buses to attend a rally because he couldn’t sleep from the
sadness of seeing the hurt and suffering of others.
Our challenge now is to make the very best of us, a daily
Because we are not immune to the viruses of
hate, of fear, of other. We never have been.
can be the nation that discovers the cure.
And so to
each of us as we go from here, we have work to do, but do
not leave the job of combatting hate to the Government
We each hold the power, in our words and in our
actions, in our daily acts of kindness. Let that be the
legacy of the 15th of March.
To be the nation we
believe ourselves to be.
To the global community who
have joined us today, who reached out to embrace New
Zealand, and our Muslim community, to all of those who have
gathered here today, we say thank you.
And we also ask
that the condemnation of violence and terrorism turns now to
a collective response. The world has been stuck in a vicious
cycle of extremism breeding extremism and it must end.
We cannot confront these issues alone, none of us can.
But the answer to them lies in a simple concept that is not
bound by domestic borders, that isn’t based on ethnicity,
power base or even forms of governance.
lies in our humanity.
But for now, we will remember
those who have left this place.
We will remember the
first responders who gave so much of themselves to save
We will remember the tears of our nation, and
the new resolve we have formed.
And we remember, that
ours is a home that does not and cannot claim perfection.
But we can strive to be true to the words embedded in our
Men of every creed and race,
here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this
God defend our free land
And corruption, guard our state
country good and great
God Defend New Zealand
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