22 Mar 2019

Chch terrorist attacks followed by grief, kindness, compassion

From Checkpoint, 6:26 pm on 22 March 2019

The killing of 50 innocent Muslim men, women and children at mosques in Christchurch last Friday has profoundly changed New Zealand forever.

It demonstrated the country is not positioned far enough away from the rest of the world to avoid the darkness cast by the shadow of the gunman, and sickening violence motivated by hatred and extremism.

The despair and trauma experienced in Christchurch has galvanised police, politicians and wider society to look inwards and ask hard questions.

Within a week, gun laws have been changed, the responsibilities of social media platforms have been put under scrutiny and held to account and the inchoate beginnings of a national dialogue on racism and what it means to be a truly pluralist and tolerant society is now underway.

The collective consciousness of New Zealanders will not have avoided being affected and shaped by the many stories of bravery and loss permeating through to the public over the past week.

It is a watershed moment, the repercussions of which will be felt  for years to come, and in ways none of us at present can fully comprehend.

But what started with terror and cruelty, was followed by displays of unity, kindness and compassion.

Watch a video montage of the week that changed us all here: