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New Zealand's Ardern visits city where shooter lived

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 27, 2019 - Duration: 01:44s

New Zealand's Ardern visits city where shooter lived

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited the city of Dunedin on Wednesday, where the Christchurch shooter lived.

Ardern visited an early childhood centre where she read a book to children, and said she wanted to use the visit to listen to the community's concerns.

Gracie Jerome reports.

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New Zealand's Ardern visits city where shooter lived

These children have grown up in the same city where a suspected white supremacist lived before an attack on New Zealand's Muslim community.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wanted to hear from the people of Dunedin, on the country's South Island.

SOUNDBITE (English) NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER, JACINDA ARDERN, SAYING: "You know, one of the things that I've been very aware of, this was the city where the perpetrator of the terrorist attack in Christchurch was living at the time and the message I've received from our local MP's was that the Muslim community here were acutely aware of that.

I wanted to come to visit with them, to hear and talk about their concerns and just have a chance for listening really." An alleged gunman killed 50 people when he opened fire on two Christchurch mosques on March 15th.

Following the attack, Australian citizen Brenton Tarrant was charged with one count of murder.

He has been remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5, when police said he was likely to face more charges.

Far from a message of hate, Ardern says the stories she has been hearing from the people here are of love and support.

SOUNDBITE (English) NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER JACINDA ARDERN, SAYING: "There was one woman in the room who said she had lived in New Zealand for more than a decade but she had never felt more at home than she had in the last 10 days and I find that such an astounding message in the wake of what the community has experienced." Ardern has been praised by New Zealanders and world leaders alike for her show of solidarity in the aftermath of the Christchurch attack.

Less than a week after the March 15th attack, she brought in sweeping gun-law changes, banning assault and semi-automatic rifles.

And on Monday, she launched a top-level public inquiry into the massacre, hoping to prove to the next generation that there can be light in the darkness.

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