Waitaki thanked for Christchurch attack response

Published on 05 September 2023

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Waitaki District Mayor Gary Kircher met with writer and peace activist Farid Ahmed yesterday, and was thanked for the Waitaki districts response to the 2019 Christchurch terror attack.

Mr Ahmed, whose wife was killed during the attacks, has since then written and spoken extensively about how he forgave the terrorist. He gifted the Mayor a copy of his book “Husna's Story: My wife, the Christchurch massacre & my journey to forgiveness” as a token of appreciation.

Following the attack, Oamaru held a candlelight vigil at Takaro Park on Friday 5 April 2019, with speakers including the Mayor and Upoko David Higgins.

Amid an upswell of support for New Zealand’s Muslim community the bench outside the Oamaru Court House became a temporary memorial for flowers and messages of support. Some Council staff also wore headscarves in a gesture of solidarity, one Friday after the tragedy.

“I believe the tragedy was one thing, but the reaction to the tragedy from Kiwis was super, it was world class. We need to keep that unity going, and it is best for our country to keep that unity going.” says Mr Ahmed.

“The leadership Mr Ahmed has shown in the community, it’s been something people have been able to hold onto and see that the relationships built in the aftermath of the attacks are something to be built on, something that can bring people together” says Mayor Gary Kircher.