14 Mar A message from Kevin Tso to mark the anniversary the Christchurch terror attacks
Today we remember the 51 people lost, the injured and the traumatised in the Christchurch terror attacks on March 15 last year. I acknowledge the strength and courage of all the victims on the journey to rebuild their lives. I reflect on what this tragedy has taught us as an organisation and as a country – that we are one.
The response from Victim Support demonstrated just how critical our service is. In New Zealand’s moment of its greatest crisis, Victim Support was ready, willing, and able to step up.
I am proud of how we placed victims at the heart; giving manaakitanga to those impacted. In their time of need victims turned to us for support and we delivered. Our support aims to put people on a pathway, giving them the tools and resilience to rebuild their lives, empowering them to solve problems and to gain independence. Our work continues for victims every step of their journey.
There have been many learnings along the way. We learnt that we cannot solve all problems and we are stronger together. Working collaboratively with other agencies, individuals, whānau and communities in a multi-faceted approach enables us to meet the diverse needs of the victims we support. We can build sound and strong relationships with others based on trust and confidence to make a meaningful impact for victims.
I am inspired by the strength and bravery of the victims affected by the attacks and the lessons each and every one of them have taught us – that we can lift ourselves up from beyond the negativity borne out of tragedy, to find hope for the future. We can take collective and individual responsibility to co-exist, for the betterment of humanity. We do this through understanding, accepting and respecting differences of our diverse cultures and communities, so we live life not in fear, but proactively and positively.
There are some great stories of our response to this tragedy and you can read all about these here. Please share this with your whānau, colleagues and friends – Victim Support’s response was amazing, and this is an opportunity to let people know.
“Anei au, tō pou whirinaki” (I am here, your pillar to lean on). Our support remains a work in progress. We will be there to provide support to victims through the anniversary, through each stage of the trial scheduled for 2020, and for as long as they need us.