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"I hope you feel the arms of New Zealand around you," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement.
There could have no misinterpretation of the public’s response yesterday.
A colourful crowd lined the street outside the courthouse in Lichfield St cheering for those who had spent the last three days bravely facing the gunman and sharing their stories of grief and pain.
"We are one" — and other slogans that united a nation in the wake of the racist attack — were emblazoned on placards as people embraced those who had become the faces of the tragedy.
There was singing, haka and an overwhelming sense of relief.
Wasseim Daragmih, who was shot three times and whose young daughter suffered severe injuries at the hands of the shooter, approached those gathered with arms aloft.He called them "family" and hailed the strength of his fellow survivors.
Abdul Aziz Wahabazadah was the hero who chased Tarrant away from Linwood Islamic Centre armed only with an empty firearm.
He stood atop barriers, victorious, posing for photos and speaking with wellwishers.
During yesterday’s sentencing, Justice Cameron Mander praised those who had presented their statements for their "dignified" conduct, which was maintained as the killer was led into the cells.
Hamimah Tuyan — whose husband Zekiriya was the "last of the martyrs", dying in hospital 48 days after being shot — was there to witness it and said the sentencing lifted a huge weight from her shoulders.
While the killer being locked up forever would not bring the victims back, she said it was the next best thing.
Dr Tuyan beamed when asked about the public show of support outside court.
"This is New Zealand and we are seeing yet another example of the big hearts New Zealanders have," she said.
"The humanity, the compassion — you can’t match it."