Several hundred people gathered at the Christchurch Arena for the remembrance service, which was also livestreamed.
A similar service planned for last year was canceled due to the sudden spread of the coronavirus.
Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel welcomed those in attendance, acknowledging the families and friends of the 51 people killed as a result of the terror attack."You and they are in our hearts forever," she said.
She also acknowledged those who were injured on that day and "everyone who was traumatised by what they saw and experienced".
"I thank those who have shared their stories. I know how painful that can be. However, a seed of understanding is planted each time such a story is shared. And it is with understanding that we see that differences sometimes mask all that we have in common.
“And it is all that we have in common - our shared humanity - that brings us together in times of need and again today."
The remembrance service was also an opportunity to thank the first responders, emergency response teams, paramedics and hospital teams, along with the bystanders, passers-by and neighbors who stepped in to help save lives.
"It has been heart-warming to hear stories of lasting friendships forged in the hours and days after the attacks. No longer strangers, we are neighbors in the true sense of the word," she said, according to stuff.co.nz.
"We can all be proud of how we responded and how we supported each other with kindness and compassion. And although March 15, 2019 will always be a day when we can instantly recall where we were and what we were doing when we first heard the news of the attack, it is for the outpouring of support that our city will be forever remembered."
Australian gunman Brenton Tarrant was last year sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.