This note originally appeared in an email from Brad MacAfee to all staff on March 15, 2019.
Dear Porter Novelli colleagues,
With heavy hearts, we have once again witnessed an act of hate and terrorism – this time against the Muslim community in New Zealand, where 49 people were killed and more injured at two mosques in the city of Christchurch. Calling March 15 one of New Zealand’s darkest days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the incident as “an extraordinary act of unprecedented violence. It has no place in New Zealand. Many of those affected will be members of our migrant communities – New Zealand is their home – they are us.” We mourn with the Muslim community and the people of New Zealand.
We reached out to our Porter Novelli New Zealand colleagues, and thankfully everyone is safe. Strahan Wallis, Porter Novelli Southern California Managing Director (MD), a proud Kiwi and former New Zealand MD, shared his grief and a call to action earlier.
I’m reminded of our Porter Novelli “We Stand for Love” campaign, where Strahan educated many of us on the generous New Zealand traditions about aroha (Maori word for love) and even the inclusive haka tradition.
“Haka has been a part of New Zealand for a long time. It will always be Maori, but It doesn’t matter if you’re Maori, Chinese, Vietnamese… We’re all one when we hear haka performed.”
– Inia Maxwell, Maori leader, Ngāti Whakaue (tribe), Ohinemutu (village)
Today and every day, through our words and actions, it is important that Porter Novelli join in solidarity with all who stand for aroha.