Beautiful Auckland mural pays tribute to Christchurch terror victims

NZ 19/03/2019

An Auckland artist has painted a moving mural in honour of those that died in the Christchurch terror attacks.

Paul X Walsh has used a wall at the Avondale Art Park in Auckland to create a memorial featuring the image of Rashid Naeem alongside the words "Remember the heroes, 15.03.19."

Naeem, a school teacher, watched his son die before trying to physically overpower the gunman and being shot himself, the moment captured on the gunman's body camera. He later died from his wounds in hospital.

Walsh says his work is meant to honour the original and adopted nationalities of Naeem.

"This piece is in the parking lot known as the Avondale Art Park, at 1925 Great North Road. The green and black background represents both Pakistan and New Zealand, united in mourning.

"I wish I didn't know who Naeem was. I wish he was back at his job as a teacher today, and I wish I was painting something else.

"But some coward changed everything, and I have had to respond in the only way I know how; by honouring the lives of my fellow New Zealanders who didn't make it home on Friday.

"We will not forget you."

The mural is not the only way Naeem has been honoured after his heroic actions at the Deans Ave mosque with Pakistan president Imran Khan saying he will recognise him with a national award.

"Pakistan is proud of Mian [Sir] Naeem Rashid who was martyred trying to tackle the terrorist and his courage will be recognised with a national award," Khan tweeted on Sunday.