Help rid NZ of racism, PM asks students at school where two died

1:52 pm on 20 March 2019

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has implored a Christchurch high school which lost two students in Friday's massacre to help her rid the country of racism.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaking at Cashmere High School.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks at Cashmere High in Christchurch. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Two Cashmere High School students and a former student died in the massacre at two Christchurch mosques.

During her second visit to Christchurch since the tragedy, Ms Ardern told a school assembly it was natural to have questions after an attack which felt "completely alien" to New Zealanders.

She said it was okay to grieve and encouraged those who were struggling emotionally to call or text the free mental health line on 1737.

Ms Ardern said students who were feeling helpless could help make New Zealand a safe environment by ridding the country of racism and extremism.

"Show those outpourings of love... look after one another... let New Zealand be a place where there is no tolerance for racism... that's something we can all do."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaking at Cashmere High School.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaking at Cashmere High School. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Ms Ardern repeated her call for New Zealanders to avoid saying the accused shooter's name, asking students to instead remember those who'd died.

"Don't say his name. Don't dwell on who he is. Dwell on your students and friends, on the Muslim community," she said.

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