The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (14:42): I commend the government on introducing this motion and add my condolences to those who have lost loved ones in our sister city of Christchurch. The actions of one crazed individual has brought about grief and sorrow to not only those who have been directly affected with the loss of their loved ones but also to the entire world, which shares in their sadness.
I also want to add my condemnation against those who commit acts of terrorism in the name of twisted ideology or complete misinterpretation and misunderstanding of religion. I do not know of any religion which advocates for slaughter, especially against innocent individuals who are just going about their daily life. I also condemn those who stoke the fires of hate by spreading vitriol in the name of populism. These people, and those who provide a platform for them, should be held accountable.
I wholeheartedly believe that much of the negative attitudes towards those who are different to us is due to a lack of knowledge and exposure. Many people have prejudices based on what they hear from sources, which may not be portraying all of the information, or even worse, providing information which is blatantly incorrect. It is important that we continue to promote multiculturalism and harmony in all facets of life.
I want to commend New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in her response to this tragedy. Her decisiveness, mixed with the genuine compassion she has shown, has demonstrated statesmanship. Love and tolerance are infinite concepts that are not diminished by their spread. The more that love, kindness and tolerance are practised, the better it will be for our community. I, along with all members in this place, stand by Christchurch. Kia kaha.