Christchurch attack: Government announces National Remembrance Service

Exactly two weeks after the shootings at the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques, a service will be held in Hagley Park to honour the 50 people killed.   

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a National Remembrance Service will be held on Friday 29 March. It will be jointly led by the Government, the city of Christchurch, local iwi Ngāi Tahu and the Muslim community.

Organisers are considering the possibility of broadcasting the service live to simultaneous gatherings in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin as well as events in smaller centres.

"In the week since the unprecedented terror attack there has been an outpouring of grief and love in our country," Ardern said in a statement. "The service will be a chance to once again show that New Zealanders are compassionate, inclusive and diverse, and that we will protect those values."

She said the terror attack provoked international attention and grief, and she anticipates guests and visitors from many other countries will travel to New Zealand to attend the services.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the service will be a time for unity.

"I am very proud of the way our city and nation have responded to this terrorist attack.  What happened on Friday, March 15, 2019 will never define us. It is what has happened since, the love and compassion, that's what defines us.

"Coming together on Friday will demonstrate support for all our communities, no matter where we were born, no matter where and how we choose to express our faith. We do not stand alone, we stand together.

"We will not be divided by hatred, we will be united by love."

Further details about the service will be announced in the days to come.