A community gathering will be held in Wharaurangi on The Strand on Monday at 7pm to express our sadness for the tragic events of last Friday and to show our solidarity with New Zealanders who choose love and reject hate. All are welcome to attend. Please visit the Whakatāne District Council Facebook page to find out more details.

Mayor Tony Bonne says this will be an opportunity to: “express our love and support for the Muslim community, and our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of all who perished in this horrendous crime. It will also be a chance to extend our prayers for the recovery of all of the people who were injured.

“A time like this unites the community as one and together, we want to make it absolutely clear that this act by one individual will not weaken our shared Kiwi values:

  • Tolerance for the views and beliefs of others
  • Acceptance of diversity
  • Compassion – as individuals, whanau, communities and as a country.”

He says this is a time to reflect on what has happened; and on the things that we may be able to do, to try and ensure that such senseless acts cannot happen again.