President's Message 16th March 2019

tu tahi tatou Christchurch – in our thoughts

What can we say to the people of Christchurch that will be meaningful following this horrendous event. We know that the people of Christchurch are brave, resilient and strong and our thoughts are with them. We send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives. We are so grateful and send huge thanks to the first responders who are now dealing with not a natural disaster but a man made one. But words are so inadequate at a time like this. The people of Christchurch have come through so much due to natural disasters; this terror attack on defenceless people at prayer is beyond belief. I come from the UK where terrorism and attacks happened. My home city of Manchester was bombed not just in the war but by the IRA and recently a suicide bomber at the Manchester Events Centre following Ariana Grande concert. The Dunblane school massacre took place at Dunblane Primary School near Stirling, Scotland. I never thought that terrorism would apply to New Zealand. How many times have I personally said “it won’t happen here, we’re too far away”. But the unbelievable has happened and how we deal with it as individuals, as a community and as a country is so important. I believe it has and will continue to draw all people of New Zealand closer together and will make us stronger as a nation. New Zealanders will show that love can always conquer hate.