I moved to New Zealand in August 2001 and had just got a job in a restaurant on the Viaduct. On 9/11 I walked into work and heard the news about the World Trade Towers. I was feeling rather relieved to be in remote NZ far from the madness being generated in the US. I was shocked, therefore, when one of the Kiwi waitresses confided in me with real terror in her voice that the terrorists were going to bomb Auckland next — in fact, no one was safe anywhere anymore.
I tried to explain to her that New Zealand was the last place on anyone’s radar terrorist or not, as it simply was way too remote have any practical value as a target. But she wasn’t having any of it. At the time I simply dismissed it as a foolish young girl’s irrational fear, now I realize she was just giving voice to a widely held opinion, which was acted on in 2007, when around 300 police locked down a small town in New Zealand to arrest Maori activists. Now, after five years the Urewera four have been cleared of all but a couple charges, which should also be dropped. The right thing to do would to also have a public apology from the NZ government and compensation paid, but that is probably asking the government to be more human that it could handle. More info here: Police fail against the Urewera Four.