Christchurch attack, one year on: 'We are stronger and more united' - Cashmere head boy

A vigil was held in Christchurch's Hagley Park on Friday night.
A vigil was held in Christchurch's Hagley Park on Friday night. Photo credit: AAP

Young people in Christchurch have rallied together to show support for the Muslim community.  

A vigil was held by school students in Hagley Park on Friday night to honour the 51 people killed during the March 15 mosque attacks.

Cashmere High School head boy Cameron Hudson says it's important for people to talk about that horrific day. Two of the school's students were among those killed in the attack, while a third was injured. 

"Of course there's the initial grief and shock but from that - we are stronger and more united as students," Hudson told Newshub.

Hudson said Friday night's vigil was about showing unity.

"We had a great range of different schools who showed up and that's what it's all about for us - the people who do want to come together."

Hudson said he'd like students to keep sharing their stories with others.

"I think it speaks to a general message of mental health and that we need to be checking up on our friends - checking up on our whānau."

A nation remembers 

New Zealand is remembering one year on since the terror attack which shook the nation.

A gunman sent panic through the Christchurch community on March 15 - entering two mosques and opening fire.

"The blood was splashing on me - and I'm thinking 'oh my god, oh my god'," a man inside one of the mosques told Newshub in the immediate aftermath of the massacre.

But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said the country has grown and changed since the attack.

"I had New Zealanders telling me that they had visited a mosque for the first time," she told reporters in Christchurch on Friday.

Jacinda Ardern.
Jacinda Ardern. Photo credit: Getty

Sunday's planned memorial events, including a National Remembrance Service in Christchurch, have been cancelled because of fears of the coronavirus.

People are encouraged to mark the day with quiet reflection.