As she spoke at an open vigil held at New Zealand’s biggest mosque, Masjid e Umar in Mt Roskill, the Prime Minister said she is humbled by the support and solidarity of the Muslim community and told that she has only “echoed the humanity of New Zealanders” in the days following the attacks.
“At a time when it would have been completely justifiable to close the doors and lock the gates, you did the exact opposite and on behalf of New Zealand, we thank you for that,” she said.
“I thank you also, for your kind words, I am humbled by them.”
“But I believe what I have done has not been about leadership. All I have done is simply echoed the humanity of New Zealanders.”
Dressed a hijab, Ardern greeted and hugged several of the attendees.
The mosque chairperson, Ahmed Bahmji, was tearful as he addressed the crowd. Bahmji praised Ms Ardern for her grace and strength following the attack.
“It’s very important from now on everybody will know that we have to be with each other,” Mr Bhamji told 1 NEWS.
“It’s humbling, it’s gratifying, it is unbelievable the support we have received from the entire community across the spectrum.”