Over 400 weavers from across Hawai'i have completed a mile-long lei in memory of those who lost their lives in Christchurch.
The Lei of Aloha for World Peace group flew all the way to Aotearoa last night and will present the “Lei of Aloha” in front of the two Christchurch mosques, the local hospital and police station to express the love and compassion from our Pacific 'cousins'.
The group's mission statement says the Lei of Aloha is about connection, "We sit side by side, weaving lei, weaving conversation, weaving friendship, weaving leaves of every colour: red, yellow, pink light green, dark green. Weaving people: gay, straight, Hawaiian, Asian, Hispanic, Caucasian, young, young at heart. Once woven and joined together, it is impossible to tell us apart - We are One."
Organiser Joe Tolbe says, “We’re bringing all the aloha to help with the grieving process of those families who have lost their loved ones.”
“Since arriving into Christchurch we were lucky enough to witness a Māori karakia and other religions practice their faith this morning ahead of the town's march which I felt was moving,” Tolbe told Te Ao.
The lei is made out of Ti leaf which consists of 33 strands that are twisted and woven together over three days. The last time Lei of Aloha for World Peace created a piece of this magnitude was in 2017 for the Las Vegas shootings.
Lei contributions came from different areas of the Hawaiian Islands - Photo / Supplied
A ceremony to bless this special lei and its protectors took place at Nalu's in Kihei, Maui before the crew left Hawai'i for Aotearoa.
“Weaving the love and aloha to wrap around the people of the world, brings us together to grieve, to heal, to connect, and to lift our collective spirits.”
The Hawaiian contingent are in Aotearoa for just a few more days and say they are grateful to all the supporters who made their journey possible, including their GoFund Me supporters and Air New Zealand.