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Thousands gather for vigil in Hagley Park, Christchurch

Thousands of people this afternoon attended a vigil in Christchurch's North Hagley Park to honour those who were gunned down in a terror attack on two mosques in the city last week.

The 'Remember those who have lost their lives vigil' got underway just after 5pm when a prayer was spoken, followed by a reading of the names of those taken that day.

Members of the New Zealand Opera have sung the national anthem to the crowd, many of whom gathered on blankets under the warm evening sun. 

University of Canterbury Muslim Students' Association president Bariz Shah addressed the crowd:

"Through knowledge we can eradicate ignorance. And once we have eradicated ignorance, we cannot act foolishly in the future."

The Head Boy from Christchurch's Cashmere Boy's High School, Okirano Tilaia, gave an inspiring speech, telling New Zealanders to "redefine who we are as a community, city and nation.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can," he said.

"Hatred cannot drive out hatred, only love can.

"We are ultimately one - together we will stand tall."

The vigil has made use of the stage for the cancelled Bryan Adams concert.

Vigils have taken place across the country since last Friday's shootings.

On Friday, the call to prayer was broadcast nationally followed by two minutes of silence observed at Hagley Park, opposite the Al Noor Mosque in Deans Ave.

An anti-Islamophobia rally, Kia Kaha Aotearoa: Stand Against Racism, was held at Aotea Square in Auckland at 2pm today.

rnz.co.nz

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    Thousands gathered for the vigil of remembrance at Christchurch’s Hagley Park. Source: 1 NEWS