Fifty wāhine will conduct karanga at Auckland Domain tonight as part of the vigil being held in memory of the 50 people who lost their lives in Christchurch last week.
Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei iwi spokesperson Sharon Hawke says, “The idea was for each of the kaikaranga to represent those who were killed at the two mosques last week.”
Hawke told Te Āo Māori News that Ngāti Whātua will be opening the proceedings with a pūkāea which is a Māori traditional wooden wind instrument, followed by the 50 wāhine toa callers.
“We have been asked by the Islamic Women's Council of New Zealand and other groups to also wear a headscarf. We’ve had our own Māori women, such as Dame Whina Cooper rock that look so we thought we’ll do our bit because it’s a great loss.”
The Auckland local iwi has been in close contact with Ngāi Tahu showing their support for the Muslim community and have sent an official letter to iwi leaders with an undisclosed koha.
Police say they are expecting a large crowd of several thousand people to attend this evening's vigil, which starts at 6pm.
They have asked people to be patient and give themselves plenty of time in advance to get to the event as heavy traffic and congestion is expected around the Domain area.
A council traffic management plan is in place and there will be multiple road closures in the immediate area from 3pm.
The public are strongly advised people to consider using alternative transport options such as public transport to get to and from the event.
Police will be present at the vigil for community reassurance and as a precautionary measure to ensure public safety.