Bangladeshi origin Farid Uddin Ahmed, whose 44-year-old wife Husne Ara Parvin was killed as she rushed back into a mosque to rescue him during Friday’s shooting, said he forgave the alleged gunman.
He refused to harbour hatred toward the Australian-born, self-avowed white nationalist, Brenton Tarrant, reports AFP.
"I would say to him 'I love him as a person'," Farid, who uses a wheelchair, told AFP.
Asked if he forgave the 28-year-old suspect, who is being held in custody after appearing in court, he said: "Of course. The best thing is forgiveness, generosity, loving and caring, positivity."
Parvin was among four women believed to have been killed by Tarrant, who documented his radicalisation and two years of preparations in a lengthy, meandering and conspiracy-filled far-right "manifesto".
She reportedly received bullets while trying to save her husband, family says.
She, 42, is hailed from Golapganj upazila in Sylhet and was married to Farid Uddin Ahmed of Bishwanath upazila.
The couple settled in New Zealand sometime after 1994, said her nephew Mahfuz Chowdhury told The Daily Star earlier.
Farid Uddin had been physically sick for years and was confined to a wheelchair. Parvin, like every other Fridays, took her husband to the mosque around one and a half hours before the horror unfolded, he said.
Leaving her husband to the mosque for men, Parvin went to the other mosque meant for women to offer her prayers.
As all hell broke loose at the mosque where her husband was, she rushed to the scene and caught in the line of fire, Mahfuz said quoting his relatives in New Zealand.
The death toll in the the mosque shootings rose to 50 after police said they found another body, as an overwhelmed hospital was forced to delay surgeries as it struggled to cope with the sheer number of wounded.
The body of the 50th victim was found at the Al Noor mosque, where more than 40 people had died after the attacker entered and shot randomly at people with semiautomatic rifles with high-capacity magazines, before travelling to a second mosque to do the same.
Thirty-four people were still in Christchurch Hospital, with 12 in critical condition and one child was moved to dedicated children's hospital in Auckland.