Kia kaha Christchurch...

Our little country rocked by terrorism and hatred, it's difficult to think of the words to describe how it feels.

I'm devastated by the loss of life and damage done to so many. My thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have been impacted, especially those who lost someone.

I'm angry at those that committed these awful acts and those that enabled it (directly or otherwise). I will not read, share or accept anything they've posted nor name them - there is no excuse or reason that would make this okay. Do not give them the publicity or fame.

I'm disturbed to see that some are using this tragedy to push their hateful agenda. This just aligns them with the appalling hatred that took 40 lives and hurt so many more. Blaming the victims is unforgivable.

I'm saddened that many Muslims feel unsafe in our country, that the police recommended they do not attend their local mosque. Our country is far from perfect, but we cannot become that country. Religious freedom is one of the many reasons people come to New Zealand and we must protect it.

I'm determined that we must give nothing to racism. We will only prevent this by rejecting hate, coming together to support and care for each other. This is already happening across Aotearoa and it's heart warming. It's critical that this outpouring of support and aroha does not drift away.

CommunityDamian Light