The open, welcoming arms of the victims' families the day after the traumatic events of March 15 has made the biggest impact on Jacinda Ardern as she reflects on the six-month anniversary of the Christchurch mosque shootings.
In an exclusive interview with the Herald, the Prime Minister shared the moments that have stayed with her from the days after the shootings in two Christchurch mosques that left 51 people dead.
Ardern was in transit in New Plymouth at the time the shootings started, 1.40pm on a Friday, and headed to the local police station when informed of what was happening.
"My reflections will probably exactly mirror New Zealanders, as in knowing the moment I first heard the news, and then watching [TV coverage], and then receiving those briefings straight off the bat around just how horrific the scale and extent," she said.
"But without doubt it was the visits I made on the Saturday that I think will leave the biggest mark on me."
That was the day after the shootings, and Ardern had given a press conference in Wellington that morning before flying to Christchurch with other ministers on the Defence Force 757.
Deciding to don a black hijab with gold trim, Ardern met Islamic leaders at a refugee centre with media present.
She then went to at Hagley Park to meet privately with the families of those killed, and followed that with a visit to the injured in hospital.
Those meetings she later revealed were "very emotional", and those moments are the ones that stand out six months later.
"Not knowing what to expect in the aftermath of such horrific trauma, to be met in the way we all were with arms outstretched and welcoming, and people that I'd seen the day prior in the images of them being amongst the attack, the very next day them using words like 'thanks' to the people of New Zealand for the outpouring of love they'd received.
When the call came: Inside Jacinda Ardern's 72 hours after mosque attacks
Q&A with Jacinda Ardern on her whirlwind trip to Paris and Singapore
Assault rifle and military style semi-automatic weapons to be banned
"It was extraordinary to me. It was just extraordinary that they reacted in that way."
The way she dealt with the families has been widely lauded, but Ardern said she was simply doing what every other New Zealander was also doing.
"That was a very genuine outpouring of grief and unity that we saw across the country, and I've often reflected that I felt I was only mirroring what I was seeing from every other New Zealander around me.
"I just happened to be in the position of having the podium and the place to speak and be amplified in that aftermath. But what I was talking about was simply a reflection of what I saw."
Ardern attended to many issues in those early days including supporting victims' families, organising a national memorial service, setting up a Royal Commission of Inquiry and putting together what would become the Christchurch Call to combat online terrorism.
But she is most proud of how Parliament banded together to support the first tranche of gun laws , which banned most semi-automatic firearms.
"In the immediate aftermath, I was just so heartened by the response of Parliament around that first set of gun legislation. We went in and presented those proposals and said the law will change [on the morning of March 16] without actually knowing whether or not we had the support of Parliament.
"To see everyone come on board and almost unanimously support that reform [Act's David Seymour opposed], I was proud of Parliament for that."
Previous Parliaments had debated reforms but failed to follow through .
"This was the moment where there was a really galvanised view amongst politicians and the public, so that was the time to act."
Ardern is hopeful that cross-party support will remain for the second tranche of gun law reforms, which would establish a national gun register, though the National Party has said it is unlikely to support them.
Also on the to-do list is changing domestic legislation to tackle online terrorism, which Ardern flagged in May on her way back from the Paris summit.
But she said the Christchurch Call - specifically the cooperation between governments, global tech companies and internet stakeholders - would make a bigger difference.
Ardern said there was still work to be done, not least around bullying of minority groups.
"No one wants to hear stories of members of our Muslim community saying that some of the abuse that used to get hurled at them, they stop noticing because it was just so normal. No one wants to hear that in New Zealand. We all know we have more work to do.
"It's only been six months. There's a big journey for us all yet to go."
• Firearms register announced as part of Government's second tranche of gun law reforms
• Judge changes date of Christchurch terror trial to avoid Ramadan clash
• Mosque shooting video: White supremacist Philip Arps' appeal against jail dismissed
• Watch: Closed until further notice - a life on hold after the mosque attacks