Christchurch mosque attack: First responders look back one year on

Sunday marks a year since the tragic events of the Christchurch mosque attacks and for many who found themselves at the forefront of the unfolding atrocity, not a day goes by where they don't think about it. 

Len Peneha lived next door to Al Noor Mosque and heard the gunshots ring out on March 15 2019. He managed to pull several survivors over his six-foot fence to safety. 

He says he still thinks about it every single day.

"I'm ok, I have my moments, it's... I still think about it every day. Some days not as much as others but it's always in the back of my mind."

He also thinks about the people he couldn't save. 

"My biggest problem was the fact that a young lady that was lying in my driveway, being shot in the back and shot in the head, and being run over by him.

"Every day after we managed to go back I will always see her there...every day I came home I would have to drive over the spot and I will always apologise to her." 

Peneha is one of many people who showed bravery that day, paramedic Dean Brown was one of the first to arrive at Al Noor Mosque. To this day he's struck by the people he met at the scene. 

"They were very quiet, very calm. They asked for help but there was no screaming, no carrying on it were just an amazing environment to be working in as a sense, as a group of people, they just had everything you know held together and were just waiting for us to turn up," he said.

Christchurch's top Police officer District Commander John Price says the events a year ago still hurt. 

"Police are humans and when the soul and the heart of your community is ripped out through the actions of one person it hurts us all."

And Dr Adib Khanafer who led the surgical team at Christchurch Hospital that day is proud of the work of his colleagues and staff. 

"Not to lose a single patient that arrived at the hospital in a mass casualty that's amazing and I don't think it'll ever be replicated."

The memories of the events of March 15 will be forever etched in the minds of some of the city's bravest.