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“This is not New Zealand” – sector rallies after attack

New Zealand’s international education sector has spread a message of tolerance and love as it ramps up additional support services for those affected by the terror attack on two Christchurch mosques.

This image of two hugging figures, one wearing a hijab, was shared in solidarity with New Zealand's Muslim population. Photo: Education New Zealand

The international education sector has also rallied behind its message of cultural understanding and inclusivity

“We will not be bowed by hatred and division”

In separate messages, education providers and representative groups condemned the attack and reassured international students,and their parents, the country is safe.

“The terrorist attack in Christchurch was an assault on the values that New Zealanders hold dear – values of international friendship, tolerance, care and a global outlook,” said Education New Zealand chief executive Grant McPherson.

“These values are at the core of international education and they are more important now than ever.”

Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel wrote on Christchurch Educated that the outpouring of love and compassion showed the world the city stood united.

“We will not be bowed by hatred and division. We will not be defined by the horrific acts of one extremist who came here with the intention of carrying out a premeditated attack,” she said.

“As Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said to the leaders of the Muslim community on Saturday, ‘This is not New Zealand’.

“And I say, ‘This is not Christchurch’.”

In the aftermath of the attack, the international education sector has also rallied behind its message of cultural understanding and inclusivity.

“At this time our international students need to know they are loved and cared for and our nations will do all we can to ensure living and studying occurs in a safe, loving and caring context,” ISANA NZ president Terry McGrath and ISANA Australia president Bronwyn Gilson said in a joint statement.

“ENZ will continue to promote New Zealand internationally as an inclusive and welcoming study destination – why? Because international education changes hearts and minds,” concluded McPherson.

A list of resources for students is available on the New Zealand’s Ministry of Education website.

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