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Hundreds of members of the public gathered outside Dunedin's Al Huda mosque in Clyde St for nearly three hours in a show of support for the city's Muslim community.
While they grieved for their fellow Muslim brothers and sisters in Christchurch, members of the mosque were also coming to terms with the knowledge the accused, Brenton Tarrant, identified Dunedin as his initial target before the Christchurch attacks.
Bouquets of flowers and messages of support have lined the entrance to the mosque since Friday afternoon.
In an emotional address outside the mosque, senior member Haizal Hussaini said his community was still grieving but it was also time to return to some sort of normality.
"This is very emotional at this stage for us, which is why we have been keeping quiet while we grieve, but normalcy needs to go on, children need to go to school tomorrow and we need to pray in our mosque,'' Mr Hussaini told the crowd while fighting back tears.
As the gates leading into the mosque opened the crowd remained quiet as people quietly made their way inside.
Outside, the large crowd sang songs and at one point members of the Araiteuru marae performed a haka and waiata.
Former chairman of the Otago Muslim Association Steve Johnston said it was still difficult to come to terms with the possibility they may have been the original target.
"Knowing that he lived here among us and we were a potential target is very difficult, but our dawah, prayers, are with our brothers and sisters in Christchurch.
"It's going to be a new kind of normal for us.''
As overwhelmed with grief and sorrow as they were, they had been equally overwhelmed with the response from the rest of the Dunedin community, he said.
"You know it's there, but to see it expressed like this, it's overwhelming.
"Thank you everyone for your support.''
After prayers, the city's Muslim community had a meeting with police, Mayor Dave Cull and other officials, where assurances about the situation and their safety were given.
Hundreds of people gathered in the Octagon for a candlelit vigil on Saturday night.
Among those at the vigil were the Alhallaks, who resettled in Dunedin three years ago after escaping Syria.
Manahal and his wife Shahla said they came to the vigil with their four children because a family friend had died in the shooting.
"Dunedin is our home and we feel good to see so many people here supporting us,'' Mr Manahal said.
- Plans for a public memorial service in Dunedin, to mark the Christchurch mass shooting and stand in solidarity with the muslim community, are expected to be unveiled later today.
Mayor Dave Cull said the plans were still being finalised, in discussion with police and members of the city's Muslim community, but it was important to do something.
Residents wanted to "support each other and express our grief'' publicly, and that would happen within days, he said.