Governor-General reflects on 'devastating terrorist attack against our Muslim community' during Anzac Day speech

Hundreds of people, including veterans and children attended the mid-morning Wellington Anzac Day service at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park to pay their respects to our war dead.

Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy addressed those in attendance, reflecting on the "devastating terrorist attack against our Muslim community" in Christchurch, where 50 people died on March 15.

"The effects continue to reverberate throughout New Zealand," she said. "We’ve asked ourselves how such a hateful act could be perpetrated here.

"It’s a question that has provoked much soul-searching. If the Christchurch attack was intended to sow hate and disunity, it failed.
"It has brought us closer together... we have found renewed strength."

Dame Patsy said Anzac Day commemorations had seen the country find "strength in joining others in commemorating the sacrifices of fellow New Zealanders in times of conflict in our nation’s history".

She touched on the post traumatic stress and undiagnosed mental illness that was experienced by many soldiers who returned home after World War One.

"Their suffering was often seen as a sign of emotional weakness and dismissed as shell shock. But for many, those psychological wounds never healed. They impacted on the sufferers’ families and their effects were felt through the generations."

"Anzac Day may have its roots in the First World War, but it encompasses all conflicts that have impacted on the lives of New Zealanders."

Finance Minister Grant Robertson, Wellington Mayor Justin Lester, Ambassador of Turkey, and National MP Maggie Barry were at the service.

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Dame Patsy Reddy spoke at the National Commemorative Service in Wellington. Source: 1 NEWS