Seeing the humanity rise up from the people of New Zealand following Friday's tragedy in Christchurch left one Tauranga Muslim woman feeling stunned and overwhelmingly appreciative.

Saima Anis is of Pakistani descent, born in England. She has lived in numerous places around the world including England and Africa and has seen her share of terrorist attacks.

But it was how New Zealand handled the aftermath that amazed her, prompting her to write an open letter of thanks.

Anis was well-established in the Pakistani community in Tauranga, with a network of around 10-12 families.


She has a family of her own, with a Pakistani husband and two young daughters.

After Friday's attack, Anis headed down to the local mosque to be in the most peaceful place she knows.

Although she couldn't go in, she was stunned by the number of generous people and the immense kindness that surrounded her place of worship, from people who do not even belong to her faith.

A crowd is paying its respects to the victims of Christchurch

She said she genuinely had never felt so much like the community was "one people" before and that they were really were "all in this together".

Anis said she had been showered with kind offers after publishing her letter.

One woman offered to help with the groceries while others reached out to make sure she felt safe, even if that just meant walking with her to the bus.

The community made a special effort to make it clear to her they stood with her, she said.

She said many of her Muslim friends were feeling a large amount of fear.


Anis said New Zealand was a special place and wanted everyone to know that the Muslim community was so thankful, before correcting herself to say it was no longer necessary to single one group out anymore.

"We really are one community."