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Message from the Chair


Dear Members and Colleagues,

I think we are all immensely saddened by last Friday’s events at the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques in Christchurch. We grieve for all in New Zealand and are deeply affected ourselves. We send our thoughts to the families and friends of all those murdered, all who are wounded physically and emotionally. Amidst all the discussion and analysis in our media, one phrase has keeps coming back to me: “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept”. I wish more of our politicians had taken heed, examined their viewpoints, and taken a stand more respectfully and constructively over the past two decades.

The saying may not have been coined by Lt-General David Morrison in his 2013 International Women’s Day speech but resonates again with me now in this context. We all have responsibility to think about how we can increase understanding of different philosophies, viewpoints, opinions and religions. It can sometimes take moral courage to speak out respectfully and build bridges. NZ Prime Minister Adern has certainly shown us great leadership in affirming the citizenship and rights of all peoples in New Zealand, irrespective of how long they have lived there or how they arrived. She has kept the focus on the bereaved and tellingly robbed the perpetrator of airtime. Thanks Jacinda.

Sue Salthouse