Christchurch, New Zealand is my home town and my wife is an immigrant. My workplace and my church are filled with people from all countries. Today is a day of great pain.
“Our thoughts and our prayers are with those who have been impacted today. Christchurch was the home of these victims. For many, New Zealand was not the place they were born, in fact for many New Zealand was their choice. It was the place they committed themselves to, where they were raising their families, where they were part of communities that they loved and who loved them. It was a place that many came to for its safety, a place where they were free to practice their culture and their religion.
“For those of you who are watching at home tonight and questioning how this could have happened here, we, New Zealand, we are not a target because we are a safe harbour for those who hate, we were not chosen for this violence because we condone racism, because we are an enclave for extremism, we were chosen for the fact we represent none of these things. Because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion, a home for those who share our values, refuge for those who need it.
“And those values, I can assure you, will not and cannot be shaken by this attack. We are a proud nation of more than 200 ethnicities, 160 languages and amongst that diversity we share common values and the one that we place the currency on right now and tonight is our compassion and the support for the community of those directly affected by this tragedy.
“Secondly, the strongest possible condemnation of the ideology for those who did this … we utterly reject and condemn you.”Jacinda Adern, Prime Minister of New Zealand