Mosque attacks  |  24 Feb 2023

A new initiative, Unity Week, is being launched to remember and honour the lives lost in the horrific March 15 Christchurch Mosque attacks.

The event runs from 15 to 21 March and is an initiative of the Sakinah community Trust, a non-for-profit led by seven women who lost loved ones in the tragic attacks.

Hamimah Ahmat, one of the founding members, says it’s amazing what can be achieved with communities of different backgrounds if we all follow the principles of respecting each other and accepting our similarities, as well as our differences.

“We believe that everyone, regardless of their background or community, should feel welcome, respected, and loved for who they are and where they come from.

“Our message this year is that unity begins with U; we all have a part to play, so please join in because it’s sure to be an enriching experience,” says Ms Ahmat.

Christchurch Mayor Phil Mauger says Unity Week is a great chance for people to reflect on the past and work towards a more unified future.

“We want Christchurch to be known as a place where everyone is valued, respected and safe and I look forward to being a part of Unity Week,” Mr Mauger says.

This year, one of New Zealand’s funniest and best loved personalities, Dai Henwood, will be speaking at the event which holds a place close to his heart.

“New Zealanders are great at unifying around tragic events, but making unity a daily habit in the good times not just the bad makes for a stronger society,” Mr Henwood says.

Ms Ahmat says there are many ways people can get involved, and urges people to join the movement by coming to hear Mr Henwood speak, attending one of the local events, or creating their own Unity Week within their community. “We are also happy to have the support of partners including Meta again for another year of Unity Week,” says Ms Ahmat.

Dai is speaking at 7.30pm to 9pm on 8 March at the Christ’s College Auditorium, Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch city. Tickets are available at Eventfinda from 9am Friday 24 February. Tickets are free, but we ask people to bring along a koha to the event, with proceeds to support those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Find out more about other Unity Week activities at