The Christchurch interview that broke a panellist on The Project New Zealand.

Patrick Gower is one of the most recognisable faces on New Zealand television. He’s a veteran of Kiwi journalism and has covered many horrible, hard news stories.

But nothing compares to this.

Since the Christchurch mosque attacks on Friday, Gower has been in the South Island city covering the tragedy and speaking with family members of the victims.

Mamamia’s daily news podcast The Quicky shares the tales of bravery and hope after the Christchurch attacks. Post continues below audio.

On New Zealand’s version of The Project, Gower explained how it was an interview with a young man named Abdi on Sunday that finally “broke” him.

“There’s no question that the last 72 hours has changed me. There’s just a mist of extreme grief everywhere in Christchurch,” he explained, describing scenes of loved ones searching for their lost family as “like a warzone”.

Gower explained that Abdi recounted what happened to his three-year-old brother Mucad Ibrahim, the youngest victim of the terrorist attack.

“He said words that I will never forget, ‘Everybody started running, and I just lost the boy’.

“Think of that, think of how horrible that is, not just for the three year old but for the brother,” Gower said.

“And that broke me. It wasn’t because it was really sad, it was because for the first time in my life I really comprehended something that was truly evil.

“I’ve seen evil before through my career but this went deeper… Something truly evil happened to the boy Mucad and it broke me.”


Footage of the interview showed Abdi recounting what happened to Mucad.

“Everything was just going too fast. I just thought it was fireworks. Everyone was running, and I just started to run and just lost the boy,” Abdi said, as tears started forming in his eyes.

Gower was lost for words: “I don’t know what to say to you, but, but I’m just. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”

On The Project, Gower said that the victims – whether they had lived in New Zealand for decades or just months – were all Kiwis.

He said he had one last thing to say to little Mucad: “Rest easy, my little Kiwi brother.”

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