Following the shocking attacks in Christchurch, and the tragic loss of life of so many innocent men, women and children, it is important we stand together and support each other at this very difficult time.

In Māori culture, one of the most important aspects of losing a loved one is the tangihanga or tangi. The word means to weep, and to sing a dirge (a lament for the dead).

People travel from all around the country and world to come together at these funerals to share in the grief of loss and memories of those who pass. They are an important part of our culture. Public vigils can help serve the same purpose. Here are a few happening around the country over the next week. Wellington and Invercargill’s vigils took place last night. But other cities are holding them later this week.