Holding signs and posters aloft, more than 200 people gathered at a vigil in Wellington last night to "share their sorrow" following the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.
The gathering outside the French Embassy gave people an opportunity to pay their respects, and for those from France, to be with others from their community.
A large French flag lay at the entrance to the embassy, which read: "Je suis Charlie; we're not afraid!"
Those who gathered at last night's vigil were greeted by French Ambassador Laurent Contini who, in French, thanked everyone for showing their support.
Through tears, Jeanne-Marie Cole said she was "sad and disgusted" by what had happened.
"They targeted the wrong people, it is about freedom of expression and they were just doing their job."
Stephan Ghez and Pascale Labout, French film-makers who have been travelling New Zealand for the past month, taped posters to their clothes displaying a front page of the Charlie Hebdo magazine with the slogan "L'amour plus fort que la haine" or "Love is stronger than hatred".
The hundreds of people who gathered were made up of travellers, expats, old and young, who all wanted to pay their respects.
Many of those who attended the vigil held posters and signs displaying some of the newspaper's more famous quotes and cartoons, and at one stage the crowd came together to sing the French national anthem.
A second vigil will be held at Auckland's Aotea Square from 5pm today. People were asked to come to defend "democracy itself and our freedom of speech".
Prime Minister John Key strongly condemned the attack.
"Our thoughts are with the families of those who have lost loved ones, those injured in this brutal attack, and the people of France," Mr Key said.
"The targeting of journalists going about their daily work is an attack on the Fourth Estate and the democratic principles of freedom of speech and expression, which must be strongly condemned."
Labour leader Andrew Little described the attack as a "shocking attack on freedom of speech" and "an assault on democracy and freedom of expression".
The union for New Zealand journalists said it stood in solidarity with the victims of the attack.
EPMU print and media organiser Paul Tolich said he condemned the use of violence to intimidate and silence journalists, whether they were reporters, photographers or cartoonists.
"A free press is a cornerstone of democracy and satire has always played an important role. We must not tolerate threats to the independence and freedom of the media."
Media Freedom Committee chairwoman and Press editor Joanna Norris said the "cold-blooded murder of our colleagues cannot have a chilling effect".
"The work of journalists, satirists and cartoonists around the world must be supported. Without freedom of expression, we lose the capacity to highlight and right wrongs, hold leaders and policy-makers to account and to challenge evil wherever it occurs."
At this stage there were no reports of any New Zealanders caught up in the attack. A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman said 64 New Zealanders were registered with the ministry as being in Paris.
"At this stage it appears no New Zealanders have been caught up in the Paris attack, however the New Zealand Embassy continues to liaise with local authorities."
The ministry's travel advisory for France has been updated with reference to today's attack, she said.
- Additional reporting: Rebecca Quilliam and the Bay of Plenty Times
Satirical mag steeped in controversy
Staffed mainly by journalists from the so-called "May 1968" generation of anarchists and mavericks,
is a well-known satirical feature of the French publishing scene, but not hugely popular. In a country with a population of 60 million, it had a circulation of only around 30,000.
The magazine, which has its Paris office near the Bastille monument in France's capital, has frequently drawn condemnation from Muslims for its caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. Just minutes before yesterday's attack, Charlie Hebdo - which translates as "Weekly Charlie" - had tweeted a satirical cartoon of extremist group Islamic State's leader giving New Year's wishes.
Its offices were firebombed and website hacked in 2011 after an issue featured a caricature of the prophet on its cover and for which the magazine was renamed "Charia Hebdo", a play on the word "Sharia".
Nearly a year later, the publication again published crude Muhammad caricatures, drawing denunciations from around the Muslim world.
The magazine's often vulgar cover images have also featured caricatures mocking Catholicism, Judaism, the military and politicians.
Charlie Hebdo's editor Stephane Charbonnier, 47, who was killed in Wednesday's attack, was placed on al-Qaeda's most wanted list in 2013.
He had been living under police protection after receiving death threats in 2011.