Jena Petrie | Tragedy for New Zealand
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Tragedy for New Zealand

Tragedy for New Zealand

I wouldn’t normally use this blog to talk about something so remote from writing but I feel the tragic events that happened in Christchurch last Friday warrant this exception.

In New Zealand, we pride ourselves on our clean green image, call our country relatively safe, and believe we are welcoming of people from other cultures, religions and skin colour. We have native people who are brown, Pacific Islanders too, who’ve moved here from their own countries for a better life; we have refugees from numerous other countries around the world and we have citizens from England, North America, Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, all combining to produce a multi-cultural society.

But last Friday, along came a killer, intent on showing us that his beliefs were right and ours were wrong. He killed fifty of our people in a devastating shooting and created one of New Zealand’s darkest days.

Our reaction was immediate – total shock, that anyone would treat us this way because no matter what colour their skin, no matter their culture or their religion, they were us. We felt offended, hurt, angry, and sympathetic towards the victims.

The outpouring of love and support to those affected has been amazing. For a small country with a population of less than 5,000,000, the people and organisations that have moved in to help have been staggering.

In a matter of a few days I’ve gone from feeling ashamed and vulnerable over the attacks on innocent people, to being proud of my fellow citizens. Once again we can hold our heads up. We can turn around from one of our darkest days, and once more, be proud of who we are and what we represent.

My sympathy is with all those who have suffered shock, loss and trauma from that horrific act.

Individually, we are vulnerable. Together, we are strong