Kia Kaha – Stay Strong

Crying Kiwi

Christchurch Terror Attack

On March 15, 2019, a lone terrorist struck, murdering 50 and injuring many other members of the New Zealand Muslim community.

We have been shocked and horrified. We have also been proud about how this country, our people have responded, and now feel ready to comment on this tragedy.

All motorcyclists know the camaraderie that comes from riding a motorcycle. For us, the religion, color or creed of the person under the helmet is immaterial. They are simply people who enjoy the freedom of riding their motorcycles. People that we could, if needed, call on to help us in our hour of need.

The Christchurch attack has reminded all of us to extend our aroha, our love, our comradeship across all communities. Life is too short, too precious for hate and discrimination.

This was a cowardly act by a individual who deserves nothing more than to be locked away and ignored for the rest of his natural life. Our focus is on and must remain on, the families, the Christchurch community, of all faiths, and the response of our nation.

In the days and weeks ahead the response of our government will become more of a talking point. The laws that will be changed and the freedoms that will be curtailed. While we need to ensure that the resources and tools are available to help stop future terrorist attacks, our greatest response must be to remain a open and free society. Our greatest threat is where we seek to stifle discussion and debate. We must be open to debate on all topics. Our education system must encourage our youth to seek disagreement, to be comfortable with it, to understand that they are not always right. When we stifle debate, deny an outlet for differing opinions we allow conspiracy theories, isolation, hatred and ultimately terror to take root.

There is one thing that we must never do, must never allow.

The political debate must never become personal. A debate on imigration must never be about those that are here now. They are here and they are us. Debate the numbers, debate the economic impact, don’t debate the virtues, the ‘kiwiness’ of those that have chosen to, and been allowed to, move here and make New Zealand their home.

Just as we ride and acknowledge others that ride, without knowing who is under the helmet, we must acknowledge and respect others in our society. They too are travelers through the chaos of life. They have family, dreams and ambitions, fears and prejudices. They are us, and we need to be tolerant of us.

So, go and ride your motorbike. Enjoy the freedom it brings. Wave to other motorcyclists, be tolerant of drivers that don’t see you. Embrace your loved ones when you get home.

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Thanks for your support.

The MBW Team.