Representives of the Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Jewish communities in New Zealand have met to reaffirm mutual support amid the increasing violence spearheaded by Islamic State in the Middle East.
The militant Sunni movement has seized control of large areas of Iraq and Syria and today released an unverified video showing the execution of a fourth Western hostage.
The president of the Federation of Islamic Associations, Anwar Ghani, said many of the conflicts overseas were geo-political and wrongly interpreted as being religious.
He said it was important for New Zealand's religous groups to promote peace in the country.
Concern at Australia's combat role against IS
In Australia, a former senior defence official has said he has concerns about the government's decision to take on a combat role against the IS fighters in Iraq.
The ABC reported that Allan Behm, a risk analyst, said no British or American politician had properly explained why they were using air power to resolve problems that actually require large numbers of troops.
Mr Behm said there were political pressures on the American and British leaders to be seen doing something.
He said the Australian prime minister Tony Abbott would welcome a big and noisy distraction from his problems with domestic policy.
Media reports say Australian warplanes will begin bombing Islamic State positions in Iraq tomorrow night and, with Baghdad's permission, 200 Australian special forces troops will be deployed to advise and assist Iraqi forces.