It may be half a world away but members of Tauranga's LGBTQ community are doing what they can to show support for those killed and injured in the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.
Katikati College head boy Ethan Morse said news of the shooting on Sunday (NZT) night "absolutely" had an impact on him and inspired him to organise a Pride March to be held on The Strand in Tauranga on Saturday.
Forty-nine people were left dead and another 53 injured after 29-year-old Omar Mateen opened fire at Pulse Nightclub, a gay club in Orlando, Florida. He was then killed in a shoot-out with police.
The 17-year-old said he had been considering doing something to raise the profile of the LGBTQ community in the area and the tragedy sparked the idea for the march and spurred him to action.
"It's to show respect and solidarity for those who passed," he said.
"To think about something that heinous, that sort of hate crime, that it can happen in today's society. Those people were in a sanctuary where they felt safe and could be who they wanted to be."
On his Facebook page Ethan wrote: "Enough is enough. I am leading a pride march in the streets of Tauranga. I will be marching down the Strand come rain or shine. Whether by myself or with friends. Feel free to join me as an ally, as a supporter, as a friend. Spread the word and show solidarity for the LGBTQ+ community."
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He said he hoped the march would help spread "kindness rather than hate" and would also raise awareness and tolerance of the LGBTQ community in the Bay.
The support and interest in the event had already been "amazing", he said. On Facebook already 36 people had confirmed they were going and 120 had said they were interested in the event.
The group would march from Red Square to the other end of The Strand and back where there would be an opportunity for a discussion. People are encouraged to bring rainbow flags or clothing.
Where: Meet at Red Square to march down the Strand
When: Saturday at noon
Bring: Rainbow flags or clothing