We survived this tragic week but in Christchurch but some families will never be the same. It is heartbreaking to think of the agony they will be suffering.

Jacinda Ardern has done us proud. Confident on the local and global stage, she has stood by those suffering; the ambulance personnel; the surgeons, nurses; the police; the traffic controllers; heroes who all risked their lives to save others.

However, one can never forget the photos of those who were shot in cold blood, innocent all of them, including the very young, beautiful young students who had so much to contribute to their homeland in New Zealand.

What we needed and we got, was a Prime Minister who led from the very start and stood on the world stage as a caring, strong, compassionate leader.

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We sang the national anthem as a mark of our nation's togetherness, but at the Bethlehem Baptist church on Sunday morning we sang the four verses of our national anthem the first in Maori, then the 2nd and 3rd verses, including "Men of every creed and race, gathered here before thy face, asking thee to bless this place, God defend New Zealand". Beautiful.

Margaret Murray-Benge
Bethlehem

Begging ban

Regarding the housing trust pursuing a judicial review into banning begging (News, March 24) over concerns about their rights.

How about the rights of the people who have been accosted, threatened and the elderly having their medication taken off them when they leave the chemist. They were terrified - what about these people?

What about their rights?

Janet Drake
Tauranga