Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 July 2019

New Zealand gang performs haka outside Christchurch mosque after attacks

The Black Power members performed the ancient Maori war dance in solidarity with the victims

Members of Black Power, a notorious New Zealand street and motorcycle gang, whose members are involved in organised crime, performed a haka (Maori war dance) near Deans Avenue Mosque on Sunday to honour the victims of Friday's terror attacks.

The moment of solidarity took place after a white supremacist shot and killed at least 50 people in what was the worst peacetime murder of civilians in New Zealand.

A gang member told the crowd, attending an all-day vigil at the site, that members wanted to show their support for New Zealand's Muslim community.

He said in an emotional speech that it was "sad" the terrorist attack had happened in Christchurch.

The men, some dressed in leather jackets and sporting tattoos, executed the haka in the middle of the road outside the mosque.

The spokesman of the gang, who declined to be named, said that all New Zealanders were "whanau" (family) regardless of race or beliefs.

"We, Maori, refugees, and Europeans. We are all Kiwis (New Zealanders)," he said.

"This country is not like this," he said. "This is our country and we look after it."

"God will have the final say, one day, towards the people who perpetuated this crime."

The crowd was silent as the haka was performed. The gang is feared in New Zealand and this was the first time most members of the public at the vigil had come into contact with its members.

The war dance is traditionally performed before sports matches to challenge opponents on the sports field. It is most known for being performed by New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby team.

In other tributes, many left flowers at sites involved in the attacks, church services were held, and others sang songs or played music in memory of those who lost their lives.

Updated: March 18, 2019 08:54 AM

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