It is 12 months since this lovely peaceful South Pacific nation, so isolated from the world and all the terrors it possesses, was sullied forever by the shooting deaths of 51 innocent New Zealanders and overseas guests at their places of worship and supposed sanctuary in Christchurch.
Forty nine other innocent worshippers suffered gunshot wounds ranging from critical to serious.
They, together with many who did not suffer physical harm that day but who lived through the trauma, will have mental scars to the day they die.
I cannot believe 12 months has elapsed since this shocking event was inflicted on Christchurch, a place that has suffered so much in recent years, and on my beloved country.
The court process has yet to play out and will in the fullness of time. Nothing will be said here about that.
I want to talk about a country that has been forced to lose its innocence, like a child who lives in a war-zone. The eyes are now somewhat dulled and cynical.
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A wariness can creep in when looking at strangers now.
Some in our country will never ever be the same as a result of the loss of dear loved ones and the effects of wounds suffered.
Their lives are shattered for no other reason than that they practise a faith in their God as is their right.
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Many of these victims and others at the mosques that day, together with their extended families, made a choice to come to this apparently peaceful land, supposedly accepting of all faiths, races and lifestyles to live their lives in peace, something that many were not able to do in their own homelands.
The survivors have, since that day, struggled to keep their lives together.
Widows and fatherless children now have to confront their futures without a beloved husband and father, their provider and protector.
Many were new to our society, still struggling to understand our way of life, our culture and our language.
Many relied on Dad as the family driver, a simple thing, but so difficult to deal with.
Hopefully all will have strong networks within their mosque communities and their own extended family and friends with access to other New Zealanders who can help them.
More than a few in those mosques a year ago were refugees, traumatised by war, famine, religious persecution and corrupt government in their own lands, now re-traumatised in a place they thought of as a haven.
I struggle to understand how such hate can exist for any human to want to take so many lives in such a planned and sustained attack. How can someone hate so blindly, mercilessly and with such evil?
What has happened since that day in this country gives me faith and pride in my fellow New Zealanders.
The majority have opened their hearts to the surviving victims and their families, hopefully enabling them to continue to live and thrive in this beautiful land as Kiwis by choice.
A few, no doubt, will find it too hard to remain, missing family too much. I am so sorry your dreams and lives were so shattered.
Despite constant comment to the contrary I strongly believe New Zealanders are, deep down an open, compassionate and accepting lot.
Many of us or our recent forebears arrived on these shores from many lands as strangers within the last 180 years, to be welcomed, mostly, by Maori and other migrants.
We understand compassion and the difficulties of trying to get established in a strange land, maybe not first hand, but anecdotally within our families from tales passed down from the colonial days or the large migrations of the 20th century.
We have histories that extend back to other homelands and cultures and similar reasons why New Zealand became the country of choice for our ancestors.
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Changes since that awful day have been made to gun laws.
No matter what gun law was in force at the time anybody who could systematically plan and execute this massacre would have had the motivation and connections in the far right nut world to get the weapons needed for the infliction of such misery on so many totally innocent women, men and children.
Has our government over-reacted?
I personally see no need for weapons such as the AR-15 to be in the hands of civilians but I understand a person's right to an interest in firearms.
Time will be the judge of the government's actions. Doing nothing was not an option for a government of any hue after such a tragedy.
Twelve months on, where do we go from here?
We never ever forget what happened, we never ever trivialise terrorism or its perpetrators.
We call out and stand up to haters of all kinds.
We cannot ever allow this to happen again.
Where to get help:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Whats Up?: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.