Today, New Zealand remembers the 50 victims of the Christchurch terrorist attack.
The National Remembrance Service begins at 10am at Hagley Park with some of the strictest security measures seen in this country for a public event.
It will be livestreamed at main centres and provincial centres around the country. Auckland’s Eden Park will also host an afternoon service beginning at 2.30pm.
Scheduled to speak in Christchurch are Muslim leaders Shaggaf Khan and Mustafa Farouk, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel.
Farid Ahmed, whose wife Husna Ahmed was killed in Al Noor Mosque, will also speak at the event.
British singer Yusuf Islam, previously known as Cat Stevens, is the biggest musical drawcard. Local performers Marlon Williams, Hollie Smith, Teeks and Maisey Rika will also perform.
Ardern said the focus should be on the Muslim community and the service would reflect that.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and leader of the opposition Bill Shorten would both attend the service. She said 59 countries would be represented at the service, as would the UNHCR. Many heads of state from the Pacific community would also attend.
The names of each of the 50 victims of the terrorist attack will be read by members of the Muslim community.
The service was jointly led by the Government, the City of Christchurch, Ngāi Tahu and the Muslim community.
There will be extensive road closures for the event, and the Christchurch City Council said people travelling to the event should factor in longer travel times.
Harper Ave, Deans Ave and Riccarton Ave will be closed to traffic, and Park Terrace will be closed to traffic and pedestrians.
AROUND THE COUNTRY
Despite rural events being cancelled, large viewings will take place in Wellington, Auckland, and Hamilton.
Eden Park will host Auckland’s Remembrance for Christchurch service on Friday afternoon. In conjunction with the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, Together – Auckland’s Remembrance for Christchurch will kick off at 2.15pm.
Auckland’s Muslim community has encouraged Muslims to perform their Jummah (Friday) prayers at Eden Park before the event, at 1.35pm.
Dave Dobbyn, Lizzie Marvelly and children from Islamic schools will sing the national anthem, and Kowhai Intermediate students will perform a waiata and a haka.
A livestream of the National Remembrance Service will be held at Waitangi Park, on Wellington’s waterfront from 9.30am.
The service will be opened by the Wellington Orchestra with the Pacifica Choir. There will be a prayer and Mayor Justin Lester will speak before the broadcast starts.
In Hamilton, the event will be livestreamed at Claudelands Arena. Mayor Andrew King and other dignitaries will make brief speeches before the livestream commences at 10am.
Tauranga City and Western Bay of Plenty District Council welcome people to join them at Trustpower Baypark Arena to watch the memorial service.
Rotorua Lakes Council has confirmed it will livestream the service on a big screen at Te Aka Mauri Children’s Health Hub and Library.
Palmerston North City Council is livestreaming the service in the events quadrant of the Square.
It will also be livestreamed at the McLauchlan Family Auditorium in the ASB Theatre, in Blenheim. Doors will open at 9am and attendees are asked to be seated by 9.45am.
Whanganui District Council will livestream at the Davis Lecture Theatre, Whanganui Regional Museum. There will be a short address from councillor Josh Chandulal-Mackay, members of the local Muslim community and iwi leaders. The livestream will take place from 10am to 11am.
The Far North District Council has cancelled six of seven remembrance services it had planned to host tomorrow for the victims of the Christchurch shootings on March 15.
The only one to proceed would be at Kerikeri’s Turner Centre, starting at 9.15am.
Mayor John Carter said events planned for Te Ahu Centre in Kaitaia, Council Chambers in Kaikohe, St John’s Hall in Kawakawa, Christ Church Parish Hall in Russell, South Hokianga War Memorial Hall in Opononi, and Broadwood Area School had been cancelled on police advice.
Dunedin will show live coverage on big screens at the Dunedin Town Hall between 10am and 11am. The main entrance of the Dunedin Town Hall will open to the public at 8.30am.
The Dunedin event will include speeches from Minister of Health Dr David Clark, Otago Muslim Association Chairman Mohammed Rizwan, Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull, Otago Regional Council Chairman Stephen Woodhead and Dunedin South MP Clare Curran.
National Remembrance Service, Christchurch
Order of service:
KARANGA Ngāi Tūāhuriri (Ngāi Tahu)
ARRIVAL OF THE OFFICIAL PARTY
MC – Julian Wilcox Chief Operating Officer – Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu
Dr Te Maire Tau Ūpoko, Ngāi Tūāhuriri (Ngāi Tahu)
WORDS OF WELCOME
Mayor of Christchurch Lianne Dalziel
Performed by Marlon Williams
MUSLIM INVOCATION – DU’A
Shaggaf Khan, President of the Muslim Association of Canterbury
Farid Ahmed, survivor of Al Noor Mosque terrorist attack
Dr Mustafa Farouk, President of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand
READING OF THE NAMES
Read by members of the Muslim community with the Christchurch Interfaith Society standing in support.
Yusuf Islam / Cat Stevens
MUSLIM INVOCATION – D’UA
Governor-General of New Zealand Dame Patsy Reddy
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Hollie Smith and Teeks
Dr Te Maire Tau
Ūpoko, Ngāi Tūāhuriri (Ngāi Tahu)
WAIATA – HE HŌNORE
He hōnore he korōria
Maungarongo ki te whenua
Whakaaro pai e
Ki ngā tāngata katoa
Ake ake ake ake āmine
Te Atua, te piringa, tōku oranga.