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Statement from Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick

Pānui pāpāho

16 March 2019

The surreal shock of what happened in Christchurch yesterday has turned to deep sadness today and we are all looking for ways to show our support and aroha.

The response of the Muslim community, including our own Rotorua Muslim community, has been very humble. Those who myself and Council staff have been speaking to are overwhelmed with the love they are being shown.

Right now everyone is still coming to terms with what has happened and our natural instinct is to immediately ask what can we do and how can we show our support. What local Muslims have told us when we asked what we can do to help right now is to show love and caring towards each other.

We will work with our Muslim community to consider an appropriate way for Rotorua to formally mark this tragedy and to reflect and stand together with those who are most deeply impacted.

In the meantime, people are invited to attend a candlelight vigil being held at Tamatekapua tonight (7pm).

I would also encourage those who want to show their support for the victims and their families to give to the official Givealittle page set up by Victim Support New Zealand.

Details about both the vigil and the Givealittle page can be found on Council’s Facebook page and we’ll keep the community informed of what else is happening.

While this has been the darkest of 24 hours for our country, how we now help and support each other as a community is what will make the difference.

[ENDS]

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