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Martin Moodie writes: Today The Moodie Davitt Report shares the pain, loss and tragedy of the people of Christchurch, New Zealand after the appalling terrorist attacks earlier today on two mosques, atrocities that have so far claimed 49 lives. A further 48, including young children, are in hospital with gunshot wounds.
Our company has particularly close bonds with Christchurch. Four of us (myself, Sinead and Declan Moodie, and Colleen Morgan) – a third of our team – hail from the city. So does our long-time correspondent Peter Dowling. It is a beautiful, and hitherto peaceful place, one that has born more than its share of hardship in recent times due to the two terrible earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, the second killing 185 people.
And now this. An expression of hate and of despicable violence. As New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern rightly said, such acts have no place in New Zealand. “Many of those affected will be members of our migrant communities,” she said. “New Zealand is their home – they are us.”
“We, New Zealand, were not a target because we are a safe harbour for those who hate. We were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone racism, because we are an enclave for extremism. We were chosen for the very fact that we are none of those things. Because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion. A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who need it. And those values will not and cannot be shaken by this attack. You may have chosen us — we utterly reject and condemn you.” – Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand
My good friend and ex-colleague, the Mayor of Christchurch Lianne Dalziel, said, “There are no words that can truly describe the horror of what has unfolded today. I cannot speak to the horror of what that represents.
“Our city has changed forever today. It is beyond belief that something like this should happen in our city and in New Zealand. Christchurch is a city that welcomes people from all cultures, religions and backgrounds and it breaks my heart to see this happen in our city.”
It breaks mine too. I received the news this afternoon by text as I stepped off a long flight from South Korea at Heathrow Airport. I, like all my team at The Moodie Davitt Report, am privileged to work in a business sector where internationalism is the common denominator and where bonds of tolerance and friendship reach across geographies, cultures, sexual orientation, race and religion.
Today I and my team stand as one in mourning for those lost or injured in Christchurch and in support of their families and indeed of the Muslim world. We are making an immediate initial NZ$20,000 donation in support of those affected*. We respectfully urge others to donate in this darkest of hours.
*Footnote: If you would like to donate directly, either click here for a Givealittle page set up by the New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups or here for details of The Christchurch Foundation, a city-run philanthropy scheme that will be creating a special ring-fenced fund in coming days.
“The Victims’ Support fund will be for the immediate [response],The Christchurch Foundation will work on rebuilding communities for the long term,” Lianne Dalziel told The Moodie Davitt Report.