A missing person flypast during Friday's Whanganui Unity March will have special significance for students at the New Zealand International Commercial Pilot Academy (NZICPA) in Whanganui.
Twenty-five-year-old Ozair Kadir, of India, was a student at the International Aviation Academy of New Zealand in Christchurch. He died in the terrorist attack at the mosque in Deans Ave last Friday.
Although the Whanganui academy staff and students did not know Kadir, they wanted to honour a fellow aviator.
NZICPA chief executive Phill Bedford said the missing person flypast was a traditional, deeply sentimental way of showing respect to someone who has died.
"I see it as showing our deepest respect to all the victims and, in this case, a way of showing respect to a fellow aviator, a student pilot in Christchurch, who was a victim," Bedford said.
"The missing person flypast involves a number of aeroplanes. We will have three that will fly over the venue [at Majestic Square] and then one will climb away until it disappears from sight, representing the missing person."
NZICPA has a number of Muslim students and Bedford said since the attack there had been "significant pastoral care wraparound" for the students which would continue.
"They are coping as well as can be expected. People have normal emotions of grief and having more caution. We have a full-time pastoral care officer and an employee assistance programme if more specialist assistance or counselling is required.
"Our sympathy goes out to the wider Muslim community, the victims and their families."
The Whanganui Unity March starts at 12 noon on Friday, March 22, at the St Hill St entrance to Cooks Gardens.
Organiser Jack Bullock said there would be a short march to Majestic Square where there would be several speakers, the flypast and a minute's silence in memory of the victims.
"It's quite moving the number of people who have contacted me about supporting the march, some who wouldn't normally come to something like this," Bullock said.
"Please take the time to join us in showing your support to the victims of the Christchurch terror attack, to our local community and to the world that we stand together, we are a kind, loving and caring, inclusive nation."
Speakers include Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall, Islamic Association of Whanganui president Dr Mukarram Mairaj, Vijeshwar Prasad of the Rangitīkei-Whanganui Multicultural Council and Whanganui MP Harete Hipango, with the event MC-ed by Carla Donson.
Bullock said he had asked for a representative of Whanganui iwi to speak and was awaiting confirmation.
"Dr Mukkarram Mairaj says he will be joined by his Muslim sisters and brothers," Bullock said.
"Born and raised Pasifika will be attending. MP Harete Hipango has rearranged her schedule so she can be there."
On Friday evening there will be a peace vigil at Queens Park. The vigil is at 6.30pm at the Handspan sculpture. People should bring LED lights, not candles.