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  • New Zealand felt removed from the global voices of hatred. No longer | Elle Hunt | Opinion

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See the news New Zealand felt removed from the global voices of hatred. No longer | Elle Hunt | Opinion from Source Digital Trends on 15/03/2019 has been updated to day with the theme on feedixo.

New Zealand felt removed from the global voices of hatred. No longer | Elle Hunt | Opinion

New Zealand has never been the perfect country you might imagine from afar, from the quirky stories about lovelorn gannets and avocado heists, but it is generally safe, and stable, apart from the earthquakes. In these times, that makes it an idyll. It is telling that three days ago, the greatest threat in the island nation – the headline news – was an outbreak of measles.Then, in a matter of hours on Friday, 49 people were shot dead in attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island, their deaths livestreamed on Facebook. Explosive devices were found attached to cars, and the city was put on lockdown. There was no creeping threat, no public debate: New Zealand’s terror-risk level went from a perceived zero to an unequivocal high.It is, as my friend from Christchurch messaged me this morning, “inconceivable”. There are many words for this horror, but that is the one I and many others can’t get past. There is no terrorism in New Zealand, I’d have told you before I went to bed on Thursday night – and wondered why on earth you’d asked. Growing up there, I had the kind of idealised childhood my parents had in Britain in the 1950s. One reason my parents decided to move from Dorset, when my sister and I were young, was to recapture a way of life that seemed to have been lost elsewhere, where not only did you know your neighbours’ names, they’d stop by unannounced – that took some getting used to – and make it abundantly clear that their door was always open.New Zealand shooting: 49 dead in terrorist attack at two mosques – live updates Read more Even in the age of Islamic State, New Zealand remained entirely untouched. The 1990 Aramoana massacre, in which 13 people were killed by one man followed a dispute between neighbours.In recent years, the biggest threat in New Zealand has been the land itself. The last, great tragedy in our nation’s history – and it is comparable only in the scale of the crisis – also happened in Christchurch: the 2011 earthquake, in which 185 people died. (Two people also died in the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.) The country banded together for the recovery effort in a way that reinforced our sense of national identity: hardworking, collegial, enterprising, fair.That cannot be the case here. The “Kiwi way” on which we New Zealanders pride ourselves – mostly classless, happily multicultural, egalitarian, welcoming – has been challenged, and in the most devastating way possible. Like any imagined collectiveness, it was only ever partially true. It was certainly sometimes invoked complacently or defensively by pakeha (white) New Zealanders, to protect the somewhat imaginary identity we hold dear. Earlier this week, I saw a tweet from a fellow New Zealander, following news that a politician had been assaulted on his way to work: “New Zealand, no. We don’t do this.” Well, we...

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See the news New Zealand felt removed from the global voices of hatred. No longer | Elle Hunt | Opinion from Source Digital Trends on 15/03/2019 has been updated to day with the theme on feedixo.