March 15 will be a "black day in the history of New Zealand" but Ahmed Ghoneim says it is a day that should not be remembered.
"You'll never forget the 51 innocent humans being killed like this. It doesn't matter what religion they are - you never forget," the Imam at Tauranga Mosque said.
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"But the date of March 15 is a date we should all forget,'' he said.
"There was a lot of the community coming together and a lot of uniting, but stopping on March 15 every year and making something special, it's just giving the message that it is something we would never be able to forget."
When the Bay of Plenty Times spoke to him on Friday afternoon, he said afternoon prayers went ahead as usual and members of the community were welcome to join at the mosque any time, not just on the anniversary.
The day after the shootings, Ghoneim came to the mosque on 18th Ave to find a crowd of people and piles of flowers, cards and messages of support laid at the building fence.
Tears pooled in his eyes as members of the community quietly approached him to offer their condolences and support. Despite his apparent grief, he had a sad but welcoming smile for each person he spoke to.
But on the one-year anniversary, no vigil or remembrance ceremony would be held at the Tauranga Mosque to mark the tragedy.
"We don't see the point of doing anything special on March 15," he said.
"It is not just because of our Muslim beliefs, it is the same for Kiwis . . . We will always be praying and remembering those who were shot, but the day itself, I don't think anyone sees sense in remembering it."
He said the people were praying in the mosque, also called "The House of God".
The outpouring of community support continued for months after the shooting and he did not feel vulnerable to a similar attack.
"New Zealand is always safe . . . it will not change New Zealand."