Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern has acknowledged the extraordinary courage of 10 people recognised for acts of bravery during the March 15, 2019 terrorist attacks.
“The courage demonstrated by these New Zealanders was selfless and extraordinary. They have our deepest respect and gratitude for their actions on that day,” Ms Ardern said.
“Each of them put their life on the line to save others. If not for their collective actions, the loss of life could have been even greater.”
The New Zealand Bravery Award list includes two awards of the nation’s highest bravery honour – The New Zealand Cross. It is the bravery equivalent of the Victoria Cross for New Zealand for gallantry. Since the establishment of the New Zealand Bravery Awards in 1999, only two other awards at the level of the New Zealand Cross have been made.
“Dr Naeem Rashid, who has been posthumously awarded the New Zealand Cross, displayed great courage and bravery in challenging the gunman in the Al Noor Mosque, with complete disregard for his own safety,” the Prime Minister said.
“In so doing, he enabled others to escape and paid the ultimate price with the loss of his own life. I want to acknowledge Dr Rashid’s wife and family particularly, who will know all too well that his acts that day were a reflection of who he was as a person.
“Abdul Aziz, who also has been awarded the New Zealand Cross, displayed great courage and bravery challenging the gunman, with complete disregard for his own safety. Mr Aziz’s actions deterred the gunman from re-entering the Linwood Islamic Centre and ultimately forced him to flee the Mosque.”
There are also four awards of the New Zealand Bravery Decoration and four of the New Zealand Bravery Medal.
“Senior Constables Scott Carmody and Jim Manning have been awarded the New Zealand Bravery Decoration for their exceptional courage in apprehending the gunman, ensuring no more lives were put at risk. Their actions that day went above and beyond – they essentially ended the gunman’s attack and did so not knowing whether he had an additional arsenal on hand.
“Ziyaad Shah’s bravery shielding another worshipper with his body in the Al Noor Mosque, while the gunman shot at them, hitting Mr Shah twice, has been acknowledged with the New Zealand Bravery Decoration.
“Liam Beale, also awarded the New Zealand Bravery Decoration, had been driving past Al Noor Mosque but left his vehicle as he heard gunshots and people screaming. He stopped members of the public from heading to the mosque, and then assisted victims,” Ms Ardern said.
Lance Bradford, Wayne Maley, Mark Miller and Mike Robinson have been awarded the New Zealand Bravery Medal.
“They placed their lives at risk, bravely searching for victims, assisting them and moving them to safety, while the gunman was active in the area.”
“On a day of such terrible loss and suffering, the actions of these ten individuals demonstrated the humanity, decency and compassion that New Zealanders value and hold dear.”
“We will always remember the 51 shaheed who died, including one of the recipients, and other victims,” Ms Ardern said.
Anyone can nominate someone for a New Zealand Bravery Award.
The nominations are assessed by a committee of senior officials with experience of dangerous situations. It includes representatives of the Police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, the National Emergency and Management Agency and the New Zealand Defence Force, supported by the Honours Unit in the Cabinet Office.
The committee made recommendations to the Prime Minister, who accepted them and advised The Queen and the Governor-General to approve these Bravery Awards.