'We stand united': Tributes flow after mosque tragedy

Flowers have been placed at the mosque in Clyde St in Dunedin. Photo: Christine O'Connor
Flowers have been placed at the mosque in Clyde St in Dunedin. Photo: Christine O'Connor

Dunedin mayor Dave Cull said the city stood united with the Muslim community after the horrific events in Christchurch.

"Today's events strike at the heart of everything which our community stands for.''

Dunedin has taken in dozens of Syrian refugees in recent months, and has just started housing Afghan refugees.

"Many of these people have come to Dunedin and other parts of New Zealand for sanctuary from atrocities in their countries of origin,'' Mr Cull said.

"They have been met with an overwhelmingly positive response from our community, with many offers of support to help these families settle in.

"I want to reassure the Dunedin community, and particularly our Muslim community, that we stand united with them.''

Southern District Health Board is ready and able to help Canterbury DHB cope in the aftermath of today's mass shooting if necessary, chief executive Chris Fleming said.

However, southern hospital beds or clinicians had not yet been called on, he said,

"As is always the case, we are prepared to provide any and all support that we can to help the people of Christchurch and to our colleagues at the Canterbury DHB and other health services.

"The team in Canterbury is well set up and experienced to manage an emergency response.''

Mr Fleming said the SDHB team were all shocked by the events unfolding in Christchurch.

"There is, at present, no change to operations in the Southern DHB based on incidents that have occurred in Christchurch today.

"Our thoughts are with the people of Canterbury at this time.''

An Invercargill mother and her daughters have placed flowers at the Islamic Community Centre in Invercargill in solidarity for those affected by the shooting.

Anna Mackay said her daughters Keilani (11) and Brylee (9) were watching TV and thought that would be a nice gesture.

"The girls and I thought to bring flowers to show that although my children have a different faith, we just need to love each other more."

Keilani (11) and Brylee (9) brought flowers to the Invercargill Muslim Community Centre. Photo: Luisa Girao
Keilani (11) and Brylee (9) brought flowers to the Invercargill Muslim Community Centre. Photo: Luisa Girao

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