As the clock struck 1.32pm, a wave of silence fell over Hawke's Bay.

Heads were bowed and hearts were heavy as thousands gathered to honour the 50 dead and 50 injured in Christchurch's terror attack.

Hastings Boy High School students perform a haka in tribute to the victims of the mosque shootings in Christchurch. Photo / Paul Taylor
Hastings Boy High School students perform a haka in tribute to the victims of the mosque shootings in Christchurch. Photo / Paul Taylor

More than 300 people, of all denominations and nationalities came together to pay their respects on Friday at the Hawkes Bay Baitul Mokarram Masjid & Islamic Center Trust.

As the two minutes of silence came to an end, Hastings Boys' High School performed a rousing haka, followed by a waiata.

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"As a Christian pastor and a Kiwi, I am so sorry. You are loved," one sign read.

The author - Napier's Bay Vineyard Church pastor Sam Harvey said he felt compelled to make a stand.

"Like any other Kiwi, I am just really upset about what's gone down and it is a great opportunity no matter what our faith is to express love and support for one another and to stand together."

He said it was about using what was "meant to be an evil act to bring good out of it by building relationships and friendships that maybe otherwise wouldn't have come about."

The collective mourning and unity was marked by a heavy police presence.

Roads surrounding the Hastings mosque were closed to vehicles, and up to 40 police officers, some armed with guns watched over the people who poured through.

Senior Sergeant Greg Brown said from a police perspective it was really important that "everyone is safe".

He said they had deployed staff to a number of places of worship and other locations to ensure as people go about remembering the events, they are safe and "New Zealanders' can show true spirit of New Zealand".

"We will be doing that for a period yet as NZ settles into whatever the new normal is."

Across the city, at Hawke's Bay Hospital, crowds gathered and spilled outside the Memorial Chapel, while a human 'chain of love' was formed on the Cashmere Lawn.

Hawke's Bay District Health Board staff linked hands to form a human chain, recognising unity in tragedy.
Hawke's Bay District Health Board staff linked hands to form a human chain, recognising unity in tragedy.

A small service of reflection was held following the two-minute silence and it was particularly poignant for DHB staff as one of their locum physicians, Dr Amjad Hamid, was one of the 50 victims who died in the attack.

Dr Hamid, a senior medical officer, worked at Hawke's Hospital earlier this year, a spokeswoman said. He lived in Christchurch with his wife and family, but worked in Hawera and travelled around the country working as a locum.

She said Hawke's Bay DHB colleagues commented on his kindness and compassion for others.

"Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues who worked with him at this very sad time, and with the Muslim community and all of the victims' families and friends."

In Napier, more than 100 people gathered at the Soundshell on Marine Parade.

Observed by a sole police officer, people bowed their heads as the call to prayer drifted through the sea breeze while hushed traffic faded into distance.

Women and children gathered to pay their respects at the Hawkes Bay Baitul Mokarram Masjid and Islamic Center Trust. Photo / Paul Taylor
Women and children gathered to pay their respects at the Hawkes Bay Baitul Mokarram Masjid and Islamic Center Trust. Photo / Paul Taylor

Couples held hands, with some women wearing head scarves, others simply stood quietly, hands clasped.

"Kia Kaha Christchurch," one woman called as she walked by. "We are one," another followed.

For many, it seemed as though the assigned minutes of silence were not enough, as residents and tourists' remained frozen and silent.

Those who couldn't make it to the planned vigils stood at the entrance of shops and paid their respects.

Hawke's Bay's five councils all participated in the two minutes of silence.

Havelock North's Pippa Marffy pays her respects. Photo / Paul Taylor
Havelock North's Pippa Marffy pays her respects. Photo / Paul Taylor

On Saturday a Napier Muslim March is planned for midday, from Clive Square to Marine Parade.

In the evening, an Interfaith event will be hosted at the Soundshell from 5.30pm to 6.30pm.

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