City to gather at vigil tonight

As a tribute in the wake of last Friday's Christchurch mosque attacks, an image of a burning candle is projected on to the Dunedin Railway Station last night. Photo: Peter McIntosh
As a tribute in the wake of last Friday's Christchurch mosque attacks, an image of a burning candle is projected on to the Dunedin Railway Station last night. Photo: Peter McIntosh
A strong message of peace and solidarity will be delivered in Dunedin tonight.

Thousands of people are expected to gather at Forsyth Barr Stadium in a public display of caring and inclusiveness as a response to the Christchurch terror attacks.

Organised by the Dunedin City Council and the Otago University Amnesty International Group, the vigil will start at 7pm, and people will be able to enter the stadium from 6pm.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull encouraged people to attend to share in their grief, offer support and demonstrate the city offered a caring and inclusive home.

It was an important way to support the Muslim community and the broader community as they faced the trauma together, Mr Cull said.

The vigil will begin with a welcome from the manawhenua and include speeches by Mr Cull, representatives of the Muslim community and the university Amnesty group, and prayers from faith groups.

At 7.50pm, there will be a call for Muslim people attending to participate in their formal sunset prayer time, which is at 8pm.

People are encouraged to gather on the pitch, though some seating will be available for those with mobility issues.

The North and Mitre 10 Mega stands will be open, and key information will be displayed on a big screen.

All public bus services will be free from 5pm, and free shuttles will be available from the Octagon to the stadium.

Shuttles will run every five minutes from 5.15pm until about 6.50pm, and will leave from Anzac Ave immediately after the event.

Rugs, blankets and water bottles are allowed to be brought into the stadium. Water will be available at the venue, but not food.

Access is through Gates B and C, except for those who have mobility issues, who are asked to use Gate C.

Both Arabic and New Zealand sign language interpreters will be used.

There will be an armed presence at the venue for security purposes.

Students and staff from the University of Otago will walk in silence from the Memorial Bridge in Union St at 5.45pm.

An earlier vigil will be held by the Otago University Students Association on the memorial bridge at 1pm.

An image of a burning candle will be projected on to the Dunedin Railway Station from just after sunset to midnight, until Monday.

Dunedin vigil

  • Stadium opens at 6pm.
  • Vigil starts at 7pm.
  • All public buses free from 5pm.
  • Free shuttles from the Octagon and back.
  • Rugs, blankets and water bottles allowed.
  • Bags will be searched.
  • Armed police presence.
  • Arabic and New Zealand Sign Language interpreters.

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