The terrorist attack on two Masjidain in Ōtautahi Christchurch that murdered 51 people and injured dozens more will affect Aotearoa New Zealand’s Muslim communities for generations to come.
Two years on from 15 March 2019, the Commissioners of Te Kāhui Tika Tangata Human Rights Commission acknowledge the grief and hardship that continues to be experienced by Muslim communities and whānau throughout Aotearoa and overseas.
Not only have people lost their loved ones in a mindless, violent act, their trauma is compounded by the hardship caused by the loss of family and community members who provided care, guidance and income.
Still others are recovering from physical injury and from witnessing the heinous attack in what should have been a peaceful, sacred, place of prayer and worship.
Loss upon loss. Hardship upon hardship. Difficulty upon difficulty.
Throughout this experience Muslim communities have opened their doors and hearts to all people in Aotearoa. They have shown strength in their efforts to support one another and start to restore a semblance of their lives.
People who gave their time to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack spoke about their desire to feel welcome in Aotearoa. Their wish for connections that would make them and their community feel safe.
We too believe that Aotearoa should and can be a place where all people feel they can openly express their identities, cultures and beliefs, and feel valued, accepted and safe.
We can all do our part.
On this day we again ask everyone in Aotearoa to give no tolerance to Islamophobic, racist, Anti-Semitic, and xenophobic behaviours in all their forms, from jokes and slurs through to acts of verbal and physical violence.
Let’s build a truly inclusive Aotearoa.
Tuhia ki te rangi
Tuhia ki te whenua
Tuhia ki te ngakau tangata
Ko te mea nui
Ko te aroha
Tihei Mauri Ora
Write it in the sky
Write it in the land
Write it in the heart of the people
The greatest thing is love
Behold there is life
Paul Hunt, Chief Human Rights Commissioner
Meng Foon, Race Relations Commissioner
Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo, Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner
Paula Tesoriero, Disability Rights Commissioner