Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has spoken out about Hollywood's plans to make a movie about the Christchurch terror attacks saying it feels "very soon and very raw".
Ardern said she only found out about the plans for the movie hours before the announcement was made.
"I have no involvement or no knowledge," she told TVNZ today.
"It feels very soon and very raw for New Zealand.
"While there are many stories that should be told at some point, I don't consider mine to be one of them. They are community stories and family stories.
"It's not for me to tell people what they can and cannot do in the film making community."
While she had not spoken with the filmmakers, she was sure they had heard her view.
Her comments follows public calls for the shutdown of the movie about the Christchurch terror attack amid growing pressure from the Muslim community for her to publicly denounce it.
The proposed movie, titled They Are Us, is about the Government's response to the Christchurch mosque attack and has been met with anger and disbelief.
The movie's producers are accused of "white washing" the story and making a profit from a tragic story that is not theirs to tell, among other criticisms.
The planned movie is said to have "blindsided" the Muslim community, which is still grieving from the terror attack.
According to the announcement, Australian actress Rose Byrne has been cast to play the "inspiring" role of Jacinda Ardern in the movie about the terror attack that led to the murder of 51 people in Christchurch in 2019.
In a poignant piece published yesterday, award-winning journalist and poet Mohamed Hassan accused the movie industry of erasing the Muslim community from the narrative, and using them as "props".
"All of us were grateful for the beauty we witnessed in the days that followed, the empathy and warmth and shared grief we were able to experience as a country. It was a moment that shaped us, gave us a path forward through the darkness. But that process has not ended. We are not healed. We are not ready to move on, and the road is long and difficult," he wrote.
A petition to shut down the film about the Christchurch mosque attacks had about 55,000 signatures this morning.
The National Islamic Youth Association began the petition on Friday night, saying it sidelines the victims and survivors and instead centres on the response of a white woman.
"NIYA holds the position that the development of such a film does not represent the lived experiences of the Christchurch Muslim community, neither of the wider New Zealand Muslim community who have faced the horror and terror that the March 15 attack subjected them to," the petition states.
It calls on the funders, producers and the New Zealand film industry to boycott the film and urges Ardern to publicly denounce it.
The petition accuses the film of being "tokenistic" and states New Zealand screenwriter and producer Andrew Niccol should not be the one to make it.
A family of a March 15 terror attack victim has also written to Hollywood star Rose Byrne asking her to refuse the role, saying it was too soon.
Ardern's office earlier released a statement saying that neither she nor the government have any involvement in the film.