I stand before you a Kiwi. It is the country of my birth and it will always be my home.
The unspeakable horrors of last Friday in Christchurch have been well documented and disseminated. I cannot even imagine the horror of that day or the overwhelming grief suffered by my brothers and sisters. I will always be your brother.
As a nation at the bottom (or top) of the world, we will always be small. As a people, we will always stand with those who cannot help themselves or who need assistance. I have sat sobbing this morning as I watched Kiwis gather for Friday prayers in Christchurch. We came to support our brothers and sisters. We wore headscarves, we stood in silence as Muslims prayed – a right they will always have at home. We stood en masse and performed a haka. It shook the earth. We will always stand together and defend those who have been wronged.
To those who believe in the hate and unspeakable violence perpetrated last Friday, you will not break nor divide us. WE will be strong, resolute and determined to make all religions, colours and peoples, rich or poor welcome in our home.
New Zealand is heartbroken at present. We will come through this but above all, people of all faiths will be welcome in my country as long as Kiwis exist. We are appalled and saddened by your loss, but we are one people who will always defend and protect you.
“You are Us”