Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has paid tribute to the Fijian Muslims who fell in the Christchurch terror attack almost a year ago.

And during a visit to the Lautoka Mosque in Fiji today, she asked all communities to call out racism or hate, whether it is online or in person.

"As we approach the first anniversary of the terror attack in Christchurch against New Zealand's Muslim community, we are filled with deep emotion," Ardern said during today's address at the mosque.

"I want to remember Fiji's own sons killed in this tragedy: Imam Hafiz Musa Patel, Ashraf Ali Razat, Ashraf Ali.


"They were yours. And now they are part of us."

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She had met Ashraf's family and his grandson and had a special message for them: "Please know that New Zealand now carries him in their hearts and that you have a home in New Zealand now too."

Ardern unveiled a plaque remembering them inside the mosque.

She spoke of her emotional meeting in Christchurch with the loved ones of the dead and the missing the day following the attack.

"Amongst them was Mrs Patel. I still remember talking with you that day as you desperately looked for your husband, your Imam, I remember talking with you as you retraced your steps and feeling pained as I handed you over to a member of the Red Cross to continue to support you and to assist you.

"In your darkest of hours, I can tell you that I will never forget that grief I saw that day."

After her speech, Ardern said that Mrs Patel was looking for Heather, from Papanui, who had driven her around Christchurch to look for her husband the morning after the shootings.


"She tells me she just asked Heather to drive her around Christchurch until she found a crowd of people because she thought she would find information amongst that crowd, and that is where I found Mrs Patel.

"To Heather from Papanui, thank you for embodying the New Zealand spirit of generosity and kindness that we saw in the moments after that attack, and we hope we can reunite you with Mrs Patel."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern unveils a plaque at the Lautoka Mosque in Fiji today honouring those Fijians who died in the March 15 terror attack. Photo / Twitter
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern unveils a plaque at the Lautoka Mosque in Fiji today honouring those Fijians who died in the March 15 terror attack. Photo / Twitter

In her speech, Ardern said the Muslim community could have responded in anger, but chose love.

"Instead you chose to open your arms and embrace us. Instead you chose to comfort us as we sought to comfort you, and that was captured by the simple words: as-salaam alaikum, peace be upon you.

"Those words humbled – and united – us as a country, at a time when an attack struck against our core values."

Ardern talked about the changes to gun laws that the Government has passed and is passing, and the collaborative efforts to fight online terrorism in the Christchurch Call.

But she also said societies should be inclusive, and that meant calling out racism and hatred.

"Immediately after the attacks, Prime Minister Bainimarama called on all Fijians across all backgrounds and faiths to join him in making a pledge: wherever you are and wherever you encounter someone who says something racist or hateful, whether it is online or in person, say something.

"And so too do we carry that responsibility."

New Zealand was a country of 200 ethnicities and 160 languages, she said.

"But we reflected deeply on the fact that March 15, that terror attack, happened in our country. Despite that celebration of diversity, we still have work to do to strengthen New Zealand society. We are not perfect.

"That means thinking about how we can build an inclusive society, one in which diversity doesn't just exist but is valued."

Ardern will travel to Australia later today, where she will meet her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.