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Parliament pays tribute to tsunami victims

1 February 2005
Media Statement

Parliament pays tribute to tsunami victims

Prime Minister Helen Clark today moved a notice of motion in Parliament, on its first sitting day of the year, in memory of the victims of the Boxing Day tsunami.

The text of the motion is as follows:

"I move that this House express its deep sorrow at the loss of human life and the devastation of communities caused by the Boxing Day tsunami, and express its sincere condolences to all families who have lost loved ones in this tragedy."

Speaking in support of the motion, Helen Clark said:

"The Boxing Day tsunami was a catastrophe which took a heavy toll of human life and shattered many communities.

While it occurred in the Indian Ocean region, its effects were felt around the world as the death toll mounted in many nations.

New Zealand families too were directly touched by this tragedy. Some of our people will never come home, and some may never be identified.

Others have come home deeply distressed and troubled by what they witnessed.

Around the world, across religions, faiths, and beliefs; across ethnicities and national boundaries; the common humanity of people has shone through at this time of great adversity.

New Zealanders have willingly come forward to help in a multitude of ways, from donations for relief, through to work on the ground in South East Asia. I thank all who have helped in any way.

It is my hope that the permanent memorial to all those who have died, those who have suffered, and those who have experienced personal and community loss will be a strengthened sense of community worldwide.

Mr Speaker, I believe it would be appropriate for the House to stand for a minute’s silence at the end of our tributes this afternoon in memory of all those whose lives were taken in this catastrophe."

ENDS

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