The dead have no voice. Others must speak for them.

A teenage boy who softly told the world it would've been better if he'd died instead of his brother and father, when all three were shot while worshipping at Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch eight days ago.

A young Prime Minister who resolutely told the world what the Muslim community and the country most called home had lost when a gunman killed 50 men, women and children, and injured almost as many again, at two Christchurch mosques in one of the worst terrorist attacks in modern history.

Her words of inclusion and promise of already-fulfilled gun law changes echoing off satellites to audiences across the globe.


A stranger, thousands really, who didn't know those who died, but mourned them — online, at home, at school and work and, for so many, at vigils from the far north to the deep south.

Tonight, it was at Auckland Domain where around 4000 came to collectively acknowledge and grieve the lives lost, and to call - in many cases firmly - for change.

 AUT students Levonne Heka, Summer Tomai and Vaivasa Ualesi at Auckland Domain last evening. Photo / Cherie Howie
AUT students Levonne Heka, Summer Tomai and Vaivasa Ualesi at Auckland Domain last evening. Photo / Cherie Howie

AUT student Vaivasa Ualesi was among those who joined young and old at the Jummah Remembrance: Vigil for lives taken in Christchurch.

She wanted to "stand with our community, especially when it comes to religion".

Her voice would be a kind one, in the hope others would follow.

"It shouldn't have happened ... but I'll be kind, I'll be accepting. I'll treat others the way I want to be treated."

Official speakers at the vigil, jointly-organised by Migrants Against Racism and Xenophobia, Racial Equity Aotearoa, Shakti NZ, Asians Supporting Tino Rangatiratanga and Auckland Peace Action, strongly challenged the rallying cry that last week's atrocity was "not us".

Sharon Hawke, of Ngāti Whātua Orakei, said hatred existed in New Zealand.


"White hatred is its foundation."

Israa Falah of the Auckland Muslim community said the massacre was the result of the normalisation of xenophobia.

People should call out racism when they see it, she said.

Auckland Grammer student Mahmoud Shady said the aim of incidents such as that in Christchurch were to silence people. But we refuse to be silent, he said.

"They don't want us to light up the dark."

Many vigils have already taken place, but more are planned, including The Christchurch March For Love at North Hagley Park from 10am tomorrow and a candlelit vigil at the same location from 5pm .


• The events in Christchurch are distressing. If you, or someone you know, needs mental wellbeing support or advice then call or text 1737 anytime. There is advice on coping after a traumatic event here It includes information for parents for children.