We’re heartbroken over the events in Christchurch – Kia kaha

U.S. Ambassador Scott Brown

The horror of the senseless terrorist attacks perpetrated in Christchurch cannot be overstated. The innocent victims (may peace be upon them), who were doing nothing more than exercising their freedom to worship, will never be forgotten.

The murderers who assaulted these houses of faith in Christchurch attacked all of us – our sense of decency, our values, and our humanity. We condemn this unfounded violence and hatred in the strongest possible terms.

This morning uppermost in our thoughts are our Muslim brothers and sisters, their whanau and friends, and all those affected by these shocking events. Contrary to the peaceful teachings of Islam, the perpetrators of these attacks preach hate and they seek to divide us. We must ensure they fail.

In the wake of this tragedy we saw tremendous heroism and bravery by police, emergency services, and other first responders – and everyday citizens helping each other when the unthinkable occurred. As I’ve come to know well, Kiwis always try to help. That speaks to the place New Zealand is- you are an inspiration to the world.

Aotearoa is a welcoming inclusive place. It is peaceful and tolerant and celebrates diversity.
We feel at home in New Zealand because of you and your fellow citizens’ warmth, and so we feel this attack deeply and personally.

On behalf of the people and government of the United States, I offer my heartfelt and deepest condolences for the losses you have suffered. Today, as always, the United States, stands with New Zealand.

To our Kiwi friends, Gail and I grieve with you and share your sadness.
We, and millions of others, share your pain, outrage, and loss.
We hold you in our hearts, and send you all of our love, our aroha.

Kia kaha,