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“They Are Us” – Response From Some Shuhada Families And Bullet Victims

The 15th March Whānau Trust is composed of 78 affected whānau of shuhada and bullet wounded victims.

The 15th March Whānau Trust has an advocacy and welfare support role.

The recent media interest in the proposed movie entitled “They Are Us” have raised a number of issues which we want to clarify.

We believe it is too early for a film or a docudrama. Our Prime Minister has correctly summed up the situation, when she mentioned that the impact of the terror trauma is still raw. We are still suffering and for the sake of the affected whanau of March 15th we would kindly request to have some patience when planning for such a movie or docudrama. This is not the time.

We are still in the healing period and such film or docudrama, regardless of the empathy of the producer/director will traumatise us and our children. We trust you understand this is a sincere plea.

We also believe that given the context, it is inappropriate to sensationalise or commercialise the massacre, or any of the associated roles of persons related to this terror tragedy. This is a time when we are facing on-going trauma.

We understand that there is obviously great deal of a worldwide interest in such move or docudrama, but we would kindly plead for giving us time and space to heal.

We acknowledge all the aroha that the wider community have shown to us and this aroha has provided us much solace and comfort in our healing process. We are all part of the Aotearoa New Zealand family and that is the symbolism and message we derive from “They are us”.

Finally, we would like to express that the Muslim Association of Canterbury (MAC) do not represent us, nor are authorised to speak on our behalf. We also do not want them to be an intermediary. If we need any external help from any organisation, we shall approach them directly. We also have not at any time been consulted by any party relating to this project.


15th March Whānau Trust

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