Family members, staff, trustees and friends of J R McKenzie Trust extend their heartfelt sympathy and aroha to the Muslim community of Christchurch and all Aotearoa New Zealand. We join with all the groups in the resettled communities sector in this stand of solidarity expressed in the following press release issued by organisations we currently support. The Trust has offered further support today for these organisations to enable their leaders to stay and work in Christchurch in the immediate and medium term to help strengthen the communities, and in the longer term to bring sector and influencers together to discuss – what they need now and what practical steps need to be taken to stop this from ever happening again.
March 15 2019
Refugee Sector shows solidarity in the face of Christchurch Mosque shootings
In the month that celebrates our multicultural nation with Race Relations and Neighbours day, today March 15th is a day of tragedy for the Muslim community and all New Zealand.
Several refugee support organisations have responded to the shootings by offering their support and sharing heartfelt thoughts to the Muslim community in Christchurch. The organisations working closely with refugee communities, of which several are Muslim, are shocked and appalled by today’s events.
Board Chair of Belong Aotearoa (Formerly known as Auckland Regional Migrant Services), Rahul Watson Govindan has this to say:
“The events unfolding in Christchurch are a very direct attack on our shared values and humanity. We are all united in support of the victims of this shocking crime, and offer our support and aroha to those affected.”
Dr Ann Hood, Chief Executive of Refugees As Survivors NZ (RASNZ) states:
“This shocking action is not representative of NZ attitudes towards our fellow country people and people around the world who follow Islam. We join with New Zealanders everywhere to express our horror at this atrocity committed in our country. We will do all we can to support those impacted by this tragic event”.
Abann Yor, General Manager of ARCC (Aotearoa Resettled Community Coalition) states:
“From the community voice, what’s happening in Christchurch is not really reflective of New Zealand’s shared values. New Zealand is a safe haven for many humanitarian backgrounds. This shooting is not something we can tolerate and we will be standing with those who’ve been affected by it. We know that diversity is our strength as a nation, regardless of our background. Islam is a religion of peace and love and our hearts will be with the Muslim community in New Zealand”.
Refugee support organisations are standing unified and in solidarity to support all those affected now and in the days and weeks to come.
Belong Aotearoa | Refugees As Survivors NZ (RASNZ) | Aotearoa Resettled Community Coalition (ARCC)