Students from across the New Zealand city gathered for a vigil in honour of those who were killed or injured in the Christchurch mosque shootings. They performed an emotional haka together.
The vigil, one of several which have taken place, was organised by Okirano Tilaia, the Head Boy of nearby Cashmere High School. At least seven people connected with the school, including three current students, are believed to have been killed or injured.
Thousands of students came together to chant karakia, Maori prayers, and sing a waiata, or mourning song, before performing a haka. Although it is often described as a war dance, hakas are regularly performed to honour the dead at funerals.
Students from different high schools joined in. The prefects at St Margaret’s College had made paper chains. A student representative explained that they represented the idea the gunman had “tried to tear a city down like paper, but he didn’t realise that we are linked”.
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