Joint statement by Mayor K Gurunathan and Mayor Mike Tana 19th March 2019
This Friday at 1.40pm, the exact time a week ago, when the attacker opened fire on the innocent in Christchurch, school groups on the Kapiti Coast and Porirua will respond with a simultaneous Haka. The three main colleges in Kapiti (Otaki College, Paraparaumu College, Kapiti College) have committed to this synchronised unified response. A call has gone out to primary schools to join us.
Let those taking part observe a minute of silence at 1.39pm in respect of those killed, their families and the people of Christchurch. And then deliver a resounding haka in defiance of everything the attack stands for. We will not be terrorised. We urge those participating to livestream, record and upload their haka videos online.
"As a migrant who has found a home here, I know that there can be no other response as powerful and deep seated in the NZ psyche than the haka which has the ability to unite all Kiwis" says Mayor K Gurunathan.
Mayor Mike Tana said Porirua was a diverse and inclusive City. "We stand with all our communities to support Christchurch. Unity will show strength and the way forward. We are particularly proud that our young people wish to be part of this unified response to such a horrendous event," he added.
We are asking other mayors to join us. We appeal to the media to help us reach as many as possible.
The brutal merciless killing has shocked and numbed the nation. We enter a time of deep reflection gathering in small and large groups to convey our heartfelt grief and pain to the families of the victims and to the Muslim community at large for what has happened. As New Zealanders we are shocked that this has happened in our country.
But, as our Prime Rt. Hon Minister Jacinda Ardern had quickly and correctly observed, the attacker's social media postings showed he had deliberately chosen New Zealand to prove that even a nation like Aotearoa New Zealand, far from the international turmoil of war and terror, cannot escape this global evil. It's a calculated strategy to attack our strength as a largely tolerant, peaceful society of diverse communities.
We cannot allow that to happen. There is a season for all things. Today is a season for deep reflection. Of standing together as families, neighbours, communities and as a nation in support of the victims and their families, and each other. There is also a season for defiance. A defiance that is growing. A defiance that says:
WE ARE KIWIS
WE ARE ONE
WE ARE NEW ZEALANDERS
WE WILL NOT BE TERRORISED.
As Mayors of Porirua and Kapiti Coast, we call on other Mayors and their communities to respond similarly. Let a thousand haka resound across the country with this message.