Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai has expressed strong support for the Muslim community following Friday's terrorist attack in Ōtautahi were 50 people have died.
What we have seen in Ōtautahi is a devastating loss of innocent lives. May all those who lost their lives rest in peace with all our love,” said Mrs Tumahai.
Tumahai adds, “We now have a responsibility to allow the Muslim community to grieve in a manner that is theirs and to bury their loved ones with dignity and respect. Ngāi Tahu has offered to provide whatever support is needed by those affected, and we are in close contact with city and community leaders to ensure that can happen at the appropriate time, whenever that may be,” she said.
Tumahai and the Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu will look to open up marae to the many Muslim whānau who require marae to hold tangihanga.
“All our local marae are currently closed at the advice of the New Zealand Police for security reasons. However, when we are certain that we are safe to re-open marae, Tuahiwi, Rāpaki and Ngā Hau e Whā will be available for tangihanga, manaaki or accommodation if needed.”
“Our priority is clear: aroha ki te tangata. No matter how angry or scared we are feeling at the moment, we must come together as one strong community to show care and compassion for those who made Aotearoa their home and who have now lost precious loved ones.”
“We will continue to work alongside local and central government and community leaders at this most tragic time to ensure they have the full support of Ngāi Tahu.”
Whānau who wish to donate money to support the victims and their families are encouraged to donate to the Christchurch Foundation’s Our People, Our City fund.