Around 2000 people attended the event, which included speeches from representatives of the local Muslim community and a candle lighting ceremony involving dozens of local groups, symbolising unity in the diverse Lower Hutt community.
Many people brought along items of remembrance including flowers, candles and personal notes.
Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace also spoke and told the crowd that as events unfolded on Friday he felt overwhelmed with feelings of sadness, frustration, helplessness, and disappointment that this could happen in our beautiful country.
“But as the days passed, I realised I was also witnessing some remarkable acts of kindness, goodwill and forgiveness,” he said.
“While the sadness still remains, I also see love, compassion, support, understanding and hope. What happened in Christchurch is an absolute tragedy, but it has brought us closer together. One appalling act will not divide us. In fact, it has made us stronger. It has brought us together tonight to stand as one, and show that love will always win over hate. We must continue to embrace our diversity and show our aroha for each other.”
A book of condolence will continue to be available at Hutt City Council’s Laings Road Administration Building for anyone wanting to express their condolences.
Published: 21 March 2019