Source: Green Party
Ka tika, me whai whakaaro ki a rātou kua
kapohia e ngā ringa tauwhiro ō Aituā.
kapohia e ngā ringa tauwhiro ō Aituā.
ao i tō koutou ngarohanga atu.
Nō reira, ki a koutou kua wheturangitia,
ki a koutou kua hoe i
ō koutou waka wairua ki tō tātou kaihanga
i te Wāhi Ngaro, hoea, hoea, hoea atu rā.
Kia mihia rātou e tangi atu rā, koutou e
tangi mai nā, tātou e
tangi atu nei. Huri noa, ki a koutou katoa e noho pani ana,
e noho kirimate ana, e noho pouri ana, kei kōnei mātou hei
pou aroha, he pou akiaki, hei pou tautoko mā koutou nōki.
I acknowledge the lives cruelly taken and badly injured in our Muslim community by a terrorist attack driven by hatred. We are holding deep love for your families and loved ones, and your entire Muslim communities. We are holding deep love for the city of Christchurch and all of us who are hurting and are angry.
You were praying. You were in the most profoundly peaceful state of harmony and compassion that a human can be in. You were with your children, your elders, your partners and siblings, your friends, and your closest loved ones. You were anchored in the collective love of your community, the collective practice of your sacred traditions under the shelter of your sacred place of worship. Your families have been ripped apart, your hearts broken, your wairua destroyed. As artist Ruby Alice Rose drew: “This is your home. You should have been safe here.”
I know that we must work together, all of us, to become an Aotearoa where everyone is safe to pray, or not—an Aotearoa where people are safe to be who they are. Manaaki and tika; caring for each other in a way that is just and right is what we should be upholding with every inch of our selves. Upholding my mana, my dignity is connected to upholding your mana, your dignity. I am as passionate about the well-being of your tamariki, your children, as I am about making sure my children are OK and have everything they need. These are the values we should be upholding with every inch of our being. This spirit of connection is how we will stay together and bring everyone with us.
I also acknowledge the calls from those in Muslim communities to ensure that we tell the truth right from the start. I note the Muslim voices highlighting the truth that New Zealand has a long history of colonial policy, discourse, and violence that sought to harm indigenous peoples. As tangata whenua, I am aware that we need to build connections now more than ever, to heal, and to create loving futures for everyone. I was privileged to sit with the elders at the Al-Mustafa Jamia Masjid mosque in Ōtāhuhu on Sunday. I shared with them the story of Parihaka and the violent Crown invasion into a peaceful community, and the recognition work that has begun because of our acknowledgment. They were grateful for the knowing of something they hadn’t known before. These are the bridges that we can build.
We must never again ignore or contribute to anti-Islamic hatred as part of the rise of white supremacy and extreme white-right ideology. As one young Muslim woman said, “we’ve now lost lives so I think it’s time that we started having the uncomfortable conversations.” The agenda that drove this violence wants to harm many other communities: Jewish communities, Sikh communities, Buddhist followers, people of colour communities, brown immigrants and refugees, tangata whenua and Pacific peoples, women and disabled peoples, and many others. I know the Muslim community tried to tell us these truths of the dangers that you faced and felt. We did not protect you. We will do better. I am pleased that we will support the Prime Minister and the programme across this House to ensure that we strengthen the systems and the gun laws that we have responsibility for.
So what do we do now? I am energised by the signs of people now reflecting on their own bias and prejudice and committing to fighting racism with all their might. I was asked to talk today about the hate that Muslim women wearing scarves receive, just going about their lives. I was asked to acknowledge stories like Muslim women doctors receiving abuse from the very people they are caring for, because of their headscarves. I want us all to commit to never accepting racism and bigotry from anyone in our beautiful country.
We know that people in your Muslim community need to know, as that rightful anger is harboured—we need to let you know that we hear you, that we get it. We know that you need to feel and see and hear that we have got your back, that we will do all we can to prevent this and protect you so that you aren’t left alone with that burden in your rightful anger. We need to create an inclusive world where no one feels excluded, so that no individual or group feels that the only choice they have left is to grab a weapon. How do we find safe avenues for people’s humanity to shine through, rather than their fear? It is time for us all to reflect. It is time to understand that words matter.
I acknowledge that today there is not one Muslim voice in this House. It is time to understand whose voices need to be put first. I acknowledge that the Muslim communities will choose how they grieve and that we cannot put our expectations on what emotions that might include. I also acknowledge the essential leadership role that tangata whenua have in taking us forward together, in bridging with our communities.
I want to end with thanks to all those who responded so bravely on Friday: to the police who put themselves in the line of fire to prevent further deaths, to all the ambulance paramedics who rushed to save lives, to all the nurses, doctors, and hospital staff who rapidly treated the wounded and continued to look after the survivors, to all the people standing on the street who did all they could to support those in need.
I want to thank the teachers and staff who looked after our tamariki and had to deal with the lockdown and keep children feeling safe and not confused. There were librarians who comforted people in the central city library. To everyone who held each other while the city felt under attack, to all those who continue to provide a warm embrace and a shoulder to cry on, you inspire me; you are the hope that we can have to make a real change.
I want to thank the Prime Minister. Her calm and strong leadership in one of the most harrowing situations that a Prime Minister could ever face is deeply appreciated. We know that the communities directly affected are incredibly grateful—we are all grateful. Kia kaha Jacinda Ardern.
We have a big shift ahead of us. We have lessons to learn. We have conversations to have. It’s just that this seems like it was too big a price to pay to get us to this point. In closing, to our Muslim communities, we love you, not just because you are us, but because you are you. Kia ora.