Christchurch mosque shootings live: The gift of a safer future

March 21, 2019 in News by RBN Staff


Source: Stuff

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Christchurch shooting tragedy and response

Mar 21, 2019 2:36 PM
Joel MacManus
2 minutes of silence at 1:32pm

Here’s the key things to know about the two minutes of silence which will be observed today.
*At 1:30pm, the Muslim call to prayer, the adhan, will be broadcast nationally on TV and Radio.
*It will be followed by two minutes of silence.
*At Hagley park, the Muslim community will pray from 1:34 to 2pm. The crowd is asked to remain silent.
*The event will end with closing remarks from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at 2:02pm.
*Non-Muslims who hear the call to prayer should stay as silent as possible and listen.
*Events are being held across the country to coincide with the Friday prayer, the Jumu’ah.
UPDATED MAR 21, 2019 4:25 PM
Mar 21, 2019 9:28 AM
Stuff Editors


* It’s been one week since New Zealand’s deadliest terror attack took place.

50 people died when a gunman opened fire last Friday afternoon, and another 29 are still in hospital with injuries.

* Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a ban on military style semi-automatic and assault rifles in NZ.

* Ardern said a national memorial will take place today. A two-minute silence will be observed at 1.32pm.

* Some $10m has been raised to support the families of victims.

* Here are some more events and ways to help, as well as etiquette for mosque visits and prayers.

* All victims have now been formally identified, and burials have begun.

One murder charge has been laid.

Do you know more? Email us at

Mar 21, 2019 5:05 PM
Stuff Editors
credit: Michael Wright/Stuff

Police interviewed alleged shooter at his home

Police said today that they had made extensive enquiries, and concluded that the correct process was followed when granting a firearms license to the accused gunman.

The accused filed an application for a firearms licence in September 2017 in Dunedin.

The vetting process was undertaken by a Police Firearms Vetting Officer in Dunedin, where the accused resided.

The accused initially listed a family member as one of his referees but that person did not reside in New Zealand, so new referees were requested.

He then provided two further referees who met the requirements of the process and were interviewed face to face by a Police Firearms Vetting Officer.

The accused shooter was interview at his home in October 2017, and a security inspection took place at the same time.

A long-serving contracted vetter for Dunedin Police was approached for comment on Friday morning.

The man, who is understood to live in a similar part of the city to the alleged gunman, undertakes firearms’ vetting for police for that specific area of Dunedin.

He told Stuff he was not in a position to comment, and nor was he allowed to comment.

The alleged gunman had notified his landlord about his weapons, and had a secure storage.
Reporting by Hamish McNeilly

UPDATED MAR 21, 2019 6:06 PM
Mar 21, 2019 4:52 PM
Joel MacManus
credit: Monique Ford/Stuff

Woman who was mistakenly identified as dead forgives police

When the alleged shooter appeared in court on Saturday, he faced just one charge of murder, though more are expected.
It was only after Stuff identified all 50 victims that it was noticed that the person named in court, who has name suppression, was not among them.
It appears that the error was due to a mix-up between victims and witnesses. The woman had family members who died, but she was not a the mosque herself that day.
The woman said that she was angry about the mistake, but that “I forgive them, these things can happen, it doesn’t change anything.”
Reporting by Charlie Mitchell, Sam Sherwood, and Martin van Beynen.
UPDATED MAR 21, 2019 6:14 PM
Mar 21, 2019 4:16 PM
Joel MacManus
credit: Alden Williams/Stuff
An armed police officer, Constable Michelle Evans wears a hijab and a flower outside Memorial Park Cemetery, where victims are being buried.
UPDATED MAR 21, 2019 4:52 PM
Mar 21, 2019 2:59 PM
Joel MacManus
credit: Dominico Zapata/Stuff

Mongrel Mob ditches ‘sieg heil’ rallying cry

The world’s biggest Mongrel Mob organisation, the Mongrel Mob Kingdom, which has over 400 members in New Zealand, has moved to sever its association with Nazi Germany.

In the wake of Friday’s mosque massacre in Christchurch, The organisation’s president, Paito Fatu, confirmed to Te Ao that it no longer uses the term “sieg heil”.

It has been the rallying cry of the gang for 50 years but Fatu says it’s time for another way.

Fatu says the kingdom has a new rallying cry: “I like our brothers and sisters to acknowledge each other by saying ‘Mongrel Mob’.”

The German phrase “sieg heil” translates as “hail victory”.

The Mongrel Mob adopted symbols that were associated with Nazi Germany in the early 1960s, drawing widespread condemnation. Fatu says that was the goal.

UPDATED MAR 21, 2019 4:53 PM
Mar 21, 2019 2:15 PM
Joel MacManus
Facebook blames media for spread of video

Facebook has criticised media organisations for playing a role in the widespread distribution of footage from the Christchurch terrorist attack while defending live video streaming functions on its platform.

In a 1900 word post uploaded onto Facebook on Thursday evening, Facebook Vice president of integrity Guy Rosen blamed a combination of “bad actors”, media channels broadcasting the footage and individuals sharing clips for the rapid circulation of the alleged shooter’s bodycam footage that originated as a livestream on its platform.

Stuff made the decision not to show any video or photos or use information from the livestreamed video.

Sky New Zealand briefly blocked the Australian Sky News from showing after they repeatedly showed footage from the video.

Mar 21, 2019 1:16 PM
Joel MacManus
Sonny Bill Williams arrives in Christchurch
Blues and All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams has arrived in Christchurch, and praised New Zealand’s support for the Muslim community after the terror attack last Friday.
As New Zealand’s highest profile sporting Muslim, Williams took leave from the Blues to be with his people at their hour of need. He will attend today’s Friday prayers.
Earlier this week, Williams announced on social media that he had partnered with the MATW Project to raise funds for victims’ families.
UPDATED MAR 21, 2019 5:41 PM
Mar 21, 2019 12:10 PM
Stuff Editors
How hate ran riot on the internetTen minutes after the gunshots had stopped ringing through the Masjid Al Noor in Christchurch on Friday, March 15, James was sent a link to the live-streamed attack. The accused gunman was still on the run, and emergency services were still arriving at the scene.

In the following minutes, he was sent more links — this time to messaging boards — where he watched an anonymous community begin to spread the video, along with the man’s manifesto, as far and as wide as possible.

“As soon as it was posted there was a group of people who got to work making sure this material went viral,” says James, who asked that we didn’t publish his surname. “No matter what Facebook or Twitter did, they were never going to be able to get rid of it.”

Mar 21, 2019 11:53 AM
Stuff Editors
Call to prayer todayFamilies and the community are expected to return to the scene of the terror attacks on Christchurch’s Masjid al Noor and the Linwood mosque for the first time for prayers today.

Police and contractors raced to prepare the mosques in time for Islam’s sacred day of worship, which will include a memorial for the dead.

Two minutes of silence will follow the 1.30pm Call to Prayer, which will be broadcast on television and radio.

“We appreciate the support that the people of New Zealand have given to us at this time, and the opportunity to do this,” community leader and head of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, Mustafa Farouk, said.

Mar 21, 2019 11:33 AM
Stuff Editors
Attacks on mosques in Birmingham, UKCounter-terrorism officers in central England are investigating attacks on five mosques in which windows were apparently shattered by a sledgehammer.

The attacks in Birmingham are being treated as linked. No motive has been established.

British Home Secretary Sajid Javid says that the attacks are “deeply concerning.”

Mar 21, 2019 11:06 AM
Stuff Editors
Suspected gunman visited AustriaAuthorities in Austria say the alleged Christchurch mosque gunman visited the country, but are declining to provide further details.

Interior Ministry spokesman Christoph Poelzl said an investigation by the BVT domestic intelligence agency is continuing but “a first result from this is that it can now be confirmed the person in question spent time in Austria.”

Earlier this week Hungarian authorities said the suspect visited Hungary as a tourist last November by train from Romania.

Austria’s far-right Identitarian Movement is close to parts of the nationalist Freedom Party, which controls the country’s Interior Ministry.

Mar 21, 2019 9:33 AM
Stuff Editors
Sonny Bill Williams: ‘It’s beautiful’ that Kiwis have been helping Muslims

The resilience of my brothers is amazing. We will all return to our maker one day ❤️ Alhumdulliah. Peace & blessings family

— Sonny Bill Williams on Twitter (@sonnybwilliams)


Sonny Bill Williams


The resilience of my brothers is amazing. We will all return to our maker one day ❤️
Alhumdulliah. Peace & blessings family

518 people are talking about this
UPDATED MAR 21, 2019 9:34 AM
Mar 21, 2019 9:14 AM
Stuff Editors
Erdogan insists on showing video, againTurkey’s president has again screened clips of a video taken by the Christchurch mosque gunman, a day before the foreign minister of New Zealand, which is trying to stop its use, is due to visit Turkey.

Erdogan broadcast the video at an election rally Thursday in Eskisehir, central Turkey, to criticise the Turkish opposition, which he claimed “did not see the big picture'” and threats against Turkey.

Erdogan has sparked outrage abroad by showing the videos at election rallies. He also triggered tensions with Australia for comments suggesting that Australians and New Zealanders with anti-Muslim views could return home in coffins.

A spokesman for Erdogan said the president’s words earlier this week were “taken out of context.”

Mar 21, 2019 7:59 AM
Stuff Editors

Over $10 million has been raised for victims of the Christchurch terror attacks across three fundraisers. As of Friday morning, Givealittle page has raised more than $7.7 million – the most ever for a campaign since Givealittle began in 2008 – with over 85,000 people donating.
Mar 21, 2019 7:49 AM
Stuff Editors
Funds for victims’ families top $10m

Fundraising campaigns for the families of the victims have raised over $10m.
Givealittle page has raised more than $7.7 million – the most ever for a campaign since Givealittle began in 2008.

More than $169,000 has also been donated to a fundraiser on Everyday Hero, which was set up after the volume of donations caused problems on the Givealittle site.

Both pages were set up by the NZ Council of Victim Support Groups, the government’s primary provider of support services for people affected by homicide.

Another fundraiser on LaunchGood has raised more than $2.4m. The money will be distributed to families by the New Zealand Islamic Information Centre (NZIIC).

Mar 21, 2019 7:26 AM
Stuff Editors

Only a week after attacks on two mosques killed 50 worshippers, the Government has banned sales of “military-style” semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. In the world of politics, it’s a lightning fast response, especially when compared to the deeply contentious, long-running gun control debate in the United States.
Mar 21, 2019 6:47 AM
Stuff Editors
Facebook: AI failed to detect shooting videoFacebook says its artificial intelligence systems failed to automatically detect the New Zealand mosque shooting video.

A senior executive at the social media giant responded in a blog post to criticism that it didn’t act quickly enough to take down the gunman’s livestream video of his attack in Christchurch that left 50 people dead, allowing it to spread rapidly online.

Facebook’s vice president of integrity, Guy Rosen, said “this particular video did not trigger our automatic detection systems.”

One reason is because artificial intelligence systems are trained with large volumes of similar content, but in this case there was not enough because such attacks are rare.

Rosen said another challenge is in getting artificial intelligence to tell the difference between this and “visually similar, innocuous content,” such as live- streamed video games.

UPDATED MAR 21, 2019 7:07 AM
Mar 21, 2019 5:02 AM
Stuff Editors
Firearm compensation should be fair

Professor Alexander Gillespie, professor of international law at the University of Waikato, said the gun law changes announced today “will start to address some of the loopholes in the law. It sounds like it’s a very strong step forward”.

He said: “It will be good to see what additional steps are being considered with regards to other measures, such as registration of all remaining firearms.

“I think the vast majority of firearms owners will want to be fully compliant with the law, but there will be a small, tiny percentage of people who will hope to avoid the law.

“To encourage compliance, the compensation scheme needs to be fair and market-based. Lawful firearms owners have done nothing wrong and their compensation should be fair. It’s going to be very expensive.

“There’s a question on whether the Government will be trying to soak up some other firearms that are not covered by the ban, like old rifles. Best practice overseas would be to provide compensation for those firearms too. The Government should take the chance to soak up those things that are out there in the community. If you put on a financial incentive they will come back.

“You’ve got to be seeing this not just in terms of the reaction within New Zealand but the international reaction. A lot of countries are watching New Zealand right now, especially those, like the US, that are concerned with their own firearms issues. The stronger the action, the more serious Jacinda Ardern shows the Government is taking it, and she has shown she is taking it very seriously. This kind of response you only see once in a generation, if you’re lucky.”

Thousands of guns were handed back under a buy back scheme in Australia following the Port Arthur massacre. (File photo)
Thousands of guns were handed back under a buy back scheme in Australia following the Port Arthur massacre. (File photo) credit: FAIRFAX
Mar 21, 2019 4:39 AM
Stuff Editors
Mosque carpet will be buriedPreparations are underway for a massive Friday prayer service to be led by the imam of one of the mosques where worshippers were killed.

Imam Gamal Fouda told the Associated Press that he is expecting 3000 to 4000 people at the prayer service, including many who have come from abroad.

Workers at the Al Noor mosque have been trying feverishly to repair the destruction, Fouda said.

“They will bury the carpet,” he said. “Because it is full of blood, and it’s contaminated.”

Fouda said that he expects the mosque to be ready to open again by next week and that some skilled workers had offered their services for free.

Mar 21, 2019 4:30 AM
Stuff Editors
‘We walk alongside you in grief’

Grant Robertson had a message for the grieving families in Christchurch. “We cannot know your grief but we can walk alongside you at every stage of that grief, and we can show you the aroha and the manaakitanga for which New Zealand is known and our resolve that we will find light from this darkest day. We will be with you forever.”
Mar 21, 2019 4:17 AM
Stuff Editors
Robertson hopes for Bangladesh’s return
Sports Minister Grant Robertson says he hopes that in time Bangladesh’s cricketers and supporters will feel it is safe to return to New Zealand following their team’s narrow escape from the Christchurch mosque shootings.
Robertson told Cricket New Zealand’s awards evening in Auckland on Thursday that he had written to the Bangladesh Minister of Youth and Sport and the president of the country’s cricket board expressing his relief that the team were safe.
Team members were on their way to the Masjid Al Noor Mosque when the shootings started there last Friday. Their test against the Black Caps, due to start the following day, was abandoned and the cricketers, under police guard, flew to Bangladesh that day.
Robertson said he emphasised in his letters that “violence and hatred shown by one individual must not be allowed to destroy the friendship and respect that the New Zealand and Bangladesh cricket teams and our nations have long shared.
“My hope is that in time the players and supporters will feel safe enough to return to New Zealand and I know that they know that they will be welcomed with open arms.”
UPDATED MAR 21, 2019 4:19 AM
Mar 21, 2019 3:58 AM
Georgia Forrester

For her 9 month birthday today we received the gift of crawling. While her mum got her the gift of having a safer country to grow up in.

— Clarke Gayford on Twitter (@nzclarke)


Clarke Gayford@NZClarke

For her 9 month birthday today we received the gift of crawling.
While her mum got her the gift of having a safer country to grow up in.

1,175 people are talking about this
Mar 21, 2019 3:58 AM
Georgia Forrester
Ministry of Education to review school lockdown procedures
The unprecedented lockdown of city schools during the Christchurch shootings will be reviewed, the Ministry of Education announced on Thursday, as principals grapple with the aftermath of the unprecedented event.
Schools’ reactions to the the lockdown order varied: Some had children “commando crawl” to the bathroom under teacher supervision while at others, students watched the shooter’s live streamed video at their desks.
Many schools struggled to maintain the lockdown as anxious parents breached restrictions around access, or had problems communicating with families during it.
Early indications are that some have not performed lockdown drills as frequently as they should – once every term.
Mar 21, 2019 3:52 AM
Georgia Forrester


50 people have died with another 29 still in hospital with injuries. One murder charge has been laid.

* Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a ban on military style semi-automatic and assault rifles in NZ.

* Ardern said a national memorial will take place. A two-minute silence will be observed at 1.32pm on Friday.

* All victims have now been formally identified, teen Muhammed Haziq Mohd-Tarmizi was named the 50th victim.

Events and ways to help. Etiquette for mosque visits and prayers.

* Those who watched the live stream are advised not to suppress the trauma.

* Human Rights Commissioner says it was “pointless” to adopt the view the “coward killer” wasn’t from NZ.

Do you know more? Email us at

UPDATED MAR 21, 2019 7:28 AM
Mar 21, 2019 3:44 AM
Georgia Forrester
Muslim leader says terror attack has brought community together
A Muslim leader has described the coming together of communities after the Christchurch shooting as being like a jacket getting “zipped up”.
At the Te Raranga (combined Christchurch Christian churches) service of prayer and hope at Latimer Square in Christchurch on Thursday night, New Zealand Muslim Association adviser Muhammed Shaakir Ismail said the terror attack had only made communities closer.
“We were like two flaps, like two sides of a jacket, but all this incident has done now for us is that we have zipped up the jacket and now we have integrated all together,” said Ismail, who is also an imam at Auckland’s Avondale Islamic Centre.
credit: Joseph Johnson
Mar 21, 2019 3:38 AM
Georgia Forrester
ACEM welcomes new gun laws
The peak body for emergency medicine in New Zealand has welcomed today’s strengthening of gun laws.
Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) President-Elect Dr John Bonning, who is based in Waikato, said: “Strengthening gun control, registration and licencing makes people safer. We congratulate Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and call on Parliament to pass these laws as quickly as possible.”
ACEM President Dr Simon Judkins said: “Nothing like last week’s terrorist attack on the Muslim community in Christchurch must be allowed to happen again. As the Prime Minister has stated, these moves are in everyone’s interest.”
Judkins said mass casualty events like the terrorist attack in Christchurch, and the response of healthcare professionals, underlined the importance of emergency care.
“We have seen how critical it is that emergency department teams across New Zealand and Australia are properly staffed, resourced and supported to ensure specialist emergency medicine doctors can deliver the best critical care,” Judkins said.
Mar 21, 2019 3:35 AM
Georgia Forrester

Here’s what people here and across the globe have been saying online in regards to NZ’s gun law changes:

New Zealand took more action on gun control during the 24 hours after its first mass shooting than the US has during the 20 years after Columbine.

— Adam Best on Twitter (@adamcbest)


Adam Best


New Zealand took more action on gun control during the 24 hours after its first mass shooting than the US has during the 20 years after Columbine.

2,178 people are talking about this

So bummed that it took less than a week, and we didn’t debate this for fifteen years before realizing we should ban these stupid weapons.

— Taika Waititi on Twitter (@taikawaititi)


Taika Waititi


So bummed that it took less than a week, and we didn’t debate this for fifteen years before realizing we should ban these stupid weapons.

David Farrier


well, it’s official: new zealand has banned military-style semi-automatics & assault rifles, as well as all high-capacity magazines.

so, so proud of this.

3,167 people are talking about this

Amongst all the tragedy – I’ve never been more proud to be a New Zealander. 💛

— Rose McIver on Twitter (@imrosemciver)


Rose McIver


Amongst all the tragedy – I’ve never been more proud to be a New Zealander. 💛

David Farrier


well, it’s official: new zealand has banned military-style semi-automatics & assault rifles, as well as all high-capacity magazines.

so, so proud of this.

81 people are talking about this

This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like. We must follow New Zealand’s lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States.

— Bernie Sanders on Twitter (@berniesanders)


Bernie Sanders


This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like. We must follow New Zealand’s lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States.

The Washington Post


New Zealand bans military-style rifles, prime minister says just six days after 50 killed in mosque attacks 

11.6K people are talking about this

This is how you do it.

— Jimmy Kimmel on Twitter (@jimmykimmel)


Jimmy Kimmel


This is how you do it. 

New Zealand’s Prime Minister announces ban on all assault rifles following massacre

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines will be banned in the country following the mass shootings…

5,728 people are talking about this

This is what a leader does. #NewZealandStrong

— Julianne Moore on Twitter (@_juliannemoore)


Julianne Moore


This is what a leader does.

Shannon Watts


BREAKING: Less than a week after a horrific mass shooting that killed 50 Muslim worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand, the country has banned semiautomatic rifles and established a nationwide buyback program. The ban will take place immediately to prevent stockpiling. 

413 people are talking about this

Respect @jacindaardern 🙏🏻🙌✊❤️ #ardernup

— Magda Szubanski AO on Twitter (@magdaszubanski)


Magda Szubanski AO


Respect @jacindaardern 🙏🏻🙌✊❤️

Magda Szubanski AO


I believe I’ve coined a new term : to “Ardern Up” – meaning to show strength, decency, compassion and true leadership. Aus politicians, you really need to “Ardern Up” #Auspol #AusVotes2019

77 people are talking about this
UPDATED MAR 21, 2019 3:40 AM
Mar 21, 2019 3:16 AM
Georgia Forrester
Here’s an update from Guy Rosen Facebook’s VP of Integrity:
Since the attack, the Facebook team have been working directly with the New Zealand Police to respond to the attack and support their investigation.
Artificial Intelligence

Rosen said many people have asked why artificial intelligence (AI) didn’t detect the video from last week’s attack automatically. Although AI has made massive progress over the years, it wasn’t perfect. AI systems are based on “training data”, which means you need many thousands of examples of content in order to train a system that can detect certain types of text, imagery or video.

This particular video did not trigger our automatic detection systems. To achieve that we will need to provide our systems with large volumes of data of this specific kind of content, something which is difficult as these events are thankfully rare.
AI is an incredibly important part of our fight against terrorist content on our platforms, and while its effectiveness continues to improve, it is never going to be perfect. Facebook encouraged people to report content they find disturbing.
In Friday’s case, the first user report came in 29 minutes after the broadcast began, 12 minutes after the live broadcast ended.
As a learning from the event, Facebook is re-examining its reporting logic and experiences for both live and recently live videos in order to expand the categories [what users can report the material as] that would prioritise the broadcast to be reviewed by staff quicker.
Next Steps
Facebook are not in favour of adding a time delay to broadcasts, which would slow down users reporting videos.
It aims to improve its matching technology to stop the spread of viral videos of this nature. For example, as part of our response last Friday, we applied experimental audio-based technology which we had been building to identify variants of the video.
Facebook wants to react faster to this kind of streamed content. Facebook will explore how AI can be to get to user reports faster.
Facebook continues to remove content that’s against its community standards through the use of proactive detection technology.
Facebook aims to expand its industry collaboration through the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT).
The full release is available here.
Mar 21, 2019 2:48 AM
Georgia Forrester
Firearms won’t be delivered in the post
NZ Post has stopped the delivery of firearms while it reviews its policy on the matter in the wake of the Christchurch terror attacks.
An NZ Post spokeswoman said the company had made the decision to “remove exemptions given to a small number of licensed gun shops that allow firearms to be delivered through NZ Post”.
She said the review was part of steps to ensure the “health and safety of our people” and because “it is the right thing to do in these extraordinary circumstances”.
The news comes as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced an immediate ban on military style semi-automatics and assault rifles in New Zealand, as part of tighter gun laws following the shootings.
Mar 21, 2019 2:19 AM
Georgia Forrester

Air New Zealand puts on extra flights to Christchurch

Air New Zealand will operate two return services between Auckland and Christchurch using its Boeing 777-200 aircraft which can seat 312 customers, replacing the original scheduled A320 aircraft which can seat 171.
It will also operate an additional one-way service between Auckland and Christchurch using an A320 aircraft.
Friday's flight times
Friday’s flight times credit: Air New Zealand
UPDATED MAR 21, 2019 2:24 AM
Mar 21, 2019 2:03 AM
Georgia Forrester
How preschoolers make sense of the terror attacks
A preschooler builds a house with toy blocks and explains the sign on the outside says “No troubles”: “The police keeping everyone safe”.
In the wake of the Christchurch terror attacks, young children are trying to make sense of things they don’t understand through play, preschool teachers say.
Listening to them and showing them their play is important is vital, Roskill South Kindergarten head teacher Karen Ramsey says.
Children at Roskill South Kindergarten draw pictures to show love and kindness following the Christchurch mosque attacks.
Children at Roskill South Kindergarten draw pictures to show love and kindness following the Christchurch mosque attacks. credit: Supplied
Mar 21, 2019 1:53 AM
Georgia Forrester
Here’s an update from police on the reopening of the Linwood Ave mosque

The Linwood Ave mosque is expected to be released back to the community tonight, in time for Friday prayers.

— New Zealand Police on Twitter (@nzpolice)


Police also said: they have finished their work at the site, however will continue to have a presence there as reassurance in coming days.

The Deans Ave site will be released to the community on Friday, and there are plans in place to allow Friday prayers to go ahead there.
Police thank the community for their understanding during this time.
UPDATED MAR 21, 2019 1:54 AM
Mar 21, 2019 1:50 AM
Georgia Forrester
US Pittsburgh Jewish community raise money for Christchurch victims
Following Friday’s heinous terrorist attack on two Christchurch mosques, the New Zealand Jewish community has been overwhelmed by enquiries and offers of financial support from its members, as well as overseas Jewish organisations and individuals.
This includes the Pittsburgh Jewish community whose synagogue was attacked by a white supremacist in October last year, for whom the Muslim community raised over US$200,000.
Together with Rabbis from Auckland and Wellington, Auckland based NZ Jewish Council spokesperson Juliet Moses visited Christchurch on Tuesday to convey Jewish sympathy and support towards the Muslim community devastated by the massacre and ascertain how the Council could best assist those families affected.
Moses said: “The focus right now is of course on the burial of loved ones, and dealing with the immediate aftermath of the trauma. The New Zealand Jewish Council is committed to consulting and working with the Muslim community to ascertain their immediate and longer term needs and how we can assist. We have begun that dialogue, but in the fullness of time we will have a better understanding of where we can best channel our funds.
We are well aware that the implications of the massacre for the families affected and the broader Muslim community will last a very long time, as will the need for support. One idea, given that both Islam and Judaism place a high value on education, is to assist with the educational needs of children affected. However, it will ultimately be over to the discretion of the Muslim community.”
Pictured: The Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018.
Pictured: The Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018. credit: AP
UPDATED MAR 21, 2019 1:50 AM
Mar 21, 2019 1:33 AM
Georgia Forrester
This is how the world reacted to NZ’s new gun laws
US Senator Bernie Sanders has applauded Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for announcing tougher gun laws in New Zealand.
“This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like,” he posted on Twitter. “We must follow New Zealand’s lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Representative and member of the Democratic Party, has also praised Ardern’s announcement.
“Sandy Hook happened 6 years ago and we can’t even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks w/ #HR8.
“Christchurch happened, and within days New Zealand acted to get weapons of war out of the consumer market. This is what leadership looks like,” she said on Twitter.
credit: AP
Mar 21, 2019 1:07 AM
Stuff Editors
Dunedin's stadium is packed tonight for the city's vigil for the Christchurch terror attacks. It's estimated 18,000 people are there. The north stand of the stadium has opened up to accommodate the crowds.
Dunedin’s stadium is packed tonight for the city’s vigil for the Christchurch terror attacks. It’s estimated 18,000 people are there. The north stand of the stadium has opened up to accommodate the crowds.
UPDATED MAR 21, 2019 1:36 AM
Mar 21, 2019 12:40 AM
Georgia Forrester

Here’s what The Washington Post writers think of Jacinda Ardern and today’s gun law announcement 

New Zealand is showing America how to respond to mass shootings, the Washington Post writes.
“… it was encouraging – even inspiring – to see politicians in New Zealand who had opposed gun control change their minds.”
UPDATED MAR 21, 2019 12:40 AM
Mar 21, 2019 12:15 AM
Georgia Forrester
Gunman mistakenly charged with shooting live person
The person recorded as being allegedly murdered by the Christchurch mosque shooter turns out to be alive and well.
When the shooter appeared in the Christchurch District Court on Saturday he faced one charge of murdering a woman whose name was then suppressed by Judge Paul Kellar.
The name has caused much confusion with media trying to compose a list of the fatalities. Because the woman’s name was included in the list, the number of fatalities came to 51. However police were adamant their number of 50 fatalities was correct.
Detective Superintendent Chris Page on Thursday said police had made a mistake in charging the shooter with killing a person who was connected to the shootings but still alive.
Mar 20, 2019 11:58 PM
Georgia Forrester
Two minutes of silence for shooting victims: What you need to know
Two minutes of silence will be observed across the country at 1.32pm on Friday. The Islamic call to prayer will be broadcast across all major free-to-air TV and radio stations.
The Muslim Call to Prayer for the Friday congregational prayer, the Jumu’ah, will be broadcast at 1.30pm, and will followed by a two-minute silence at 1.32pm, at Hagley Park, opposite the Al Noor Mosque in Deans Ave, Christchurch. This will be broadcast nationally to mark a week since the mosque shootings in Christchurch that killed 50 people.
Mar 20, 2019 11:07 PM
Georgia Forrester
More shooting victims discharged from hospital
Two of the Christchurch mosque attack victims have been moved from intensive care and another has been discharged from hospital.
Four-year-old Alen Alsati, who was flown to Starship in Auckland, remains in a critical condition and her father, Wasseim Alsati, is in a stable condition in Auckland City Hospital.
There are now 29 patients currently receiving care in Christchurch Hospital following Friday’s terrorist incident. Six are critically ill.
Mar 20, 2019 11:05 PM
Georgia Forrester

Nitro Circus’ Christchurch show will go ahead on Saturday

In a statement on their Facebook page, the group said their hearts went out to the people of Christchurch following Friday’s terror attack. “We look forward to riding for our fans as a salute to Christchurch’s strength and resilience and also aim to provide a brief escape from Friday’s dreadful acts.”
“Our athletes are hugely motivated to pull out all the stops and put on the best show ever as a mark of respect and fortitude for all those directly affected by the tragedy and to honour the people of Christchurch and New Zealand.”
UPDATED MAR 20, 2019 11:08 PM
Mar 20, 2019 10:48 PM
Georgia Forrester
More from Simon Bridges on the gun law changes
Reacting to the news at a media stand up, National leader Simon Bridges said: “The attacks on Friday changed New Zealand. The governments announced gun law changes in response and national supports those changes.
“It’s imperative in the national interest we keep New Zealander’s safe.
“The intention is excellent and I understand the need for urgency.
“I look forward to seeing the law and seeing if a week select committee is enough. National supports the changes.”
Mar 20, 2019 10:38 PM
Stuff Editors


50 people have died with another 29 still in hospital with injuries. One murder charge has been laid.

* Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a ban on military style semi-automatics and assault rifles in NZ.

* Ardern said a national memorial will take place. A two-minute silence will be observed at 1.32pm on Friday.

* All victims have now been formally identified, teen Muhammed Haziq Mohd-Tarmizi was named the 50th victim.

Events and ways to help. Etiquette for mosque visits and prayers.

* Those who watched the live stream are advised not to suppress the trauma.

* Human Rights Commissioner says it was “pointless” to adopt the view the “coward killer” wasn’t from NZ.

Do you know more? Email us at

UPDATED MAR 20, 2019 11:59 PM
Mar 20, 2019 10:35 PM
Georgia Forrester
Trade Me supports Government’s firearms law amendments
Trade Me is supportive of today’s announcement by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to reform New Zealand’s firearms laws.
Trade Me CEO Jon Macdonald said the company has pushed for stronger gun laws for a number of years and was pleased to see the changes signalled today.
“We think today’s announcement was a move in the right direction. Clearly New Zealand has indicated, since the horrific attacks on Friday, that it wants change and we support that.
Macdonald said the halt on sales of all semi-automatics on Trade Me would stay in place.
“We have never allowed military style semi-automatics (MSSAs) or high-capacity magazines on our site and we’re pleased to see the ban extended to the rest of the country. We already go beyond the new standards that the Prime Minister has announced.”
In addition to the changes announced today, Trade Me repeated its call for a firearms register. “We’ve been on public record advocating for a firearms register, including in a submission to Parliament in 2016.
While we appreciate there is substantial work in the set-up of a register, we believe it would lead to a safer New Zealand in the long term.”
Trade Me also acknowledged the good work done by the NZ Police within the framework of the law. Last year the NZ Police and Trade Me worked together to ensure that any firearm sale required the buyer to have a valid licence through a real time check.
“Our requirements for buying firearms on Trade Me have always gone above and beyond the minimum legal standards and we intend to continue doing that.”
UPDATED MAR 20, 2019 10:37 PM
Mar 20, 2019 10:30 PM
Georgia Forrester
Here’s the full update from Police Commissioner Mike Bush regarding the identification process of the shooting victims
On Thursday, police have completed the identification procedures for all 50 victims of Friday’s terror attacks in Christchurch.
This means that all victims are now able to be released to their families.
I would like to personally acknowledge the families of the victims, and thank you for the support you have shown NZ police and our coronial colleagues as we worked through the formal identification process.
We know that the wait to have your loved ones returned to you has been difficult and our thoughts have been with you.
I want to reassure you again that we absolutely recognise how vital the return of your loved ones is. We have been doing everything in our power to return them to you as quickly as possible, while also ensuring that we have the evidence and information we need for a criminal prosecution.
I also want to acknowledge and thank religious and community leaders, who continue to provide invaluable support to the families impacted by these terrible attacks.
Police will continue to release victim names, once all necessary notifications have been made.
A police team of family liaison officers remains on the ground in Christchurch and will continue to support families.
Mar 20, 2019 10:23 PM
Georgia Forrester

Here are some key points from Police Commissioner Mike Bush’s last update: 

The identification process of all 50 victims has been completed and the next of kin have been advised. More than 120 people were involved in the identification process.
As a result of Ardern’s recent announcement, some firearms are now going to be reclassified as military style semi-automatic firearms (MSSAs). Many people who, up until now have owned these firearms legally, will no longer be able to possess them on their current licence conditions. This means those people will now be in unlawful possession of their firearm.
People are advised to hand in their firearm to police. To organise this, members of the public will need to complete a form on the police website. Or you can call police on 0800 311 311.
Bush said it was important these firearms were handed into police for safe keeping to ensure they can “never be used again in an act of violence so horrific as we saw last Friday”.
UPDATED MAR 20, 2019 10:29 PM
Mar 20, 2019 10:15 PM
Georgia Forrester
Police announce process to hand over reclassified MSSAs
Here’s a full update on the recent gun changes from Police Commissioner Mike Bush:
Last Friday, our country was shocked by a brutal and senseless attack. We recognise our world has changed.
Police focus is on ensuring the immediate safety and peace of mind of our communities.
Today, the Government has made immediate changes to classifications in the Arms Act which will mean some firearms are going to be reclassified as military style semi-automatic firearms (MSSAs).
At 3pm today, changes have been by an Order in Council under section 74A(c) of the Arms Act came into force adding two more groups of semi-automatics under the MSSA definition:
• a semi-automatic firearm that is capable of being used in combination with a detachable magazine (other than one designed to hold 0.22-inch or less rimfire cartridges) that is capable of holding more than 5 cartridges; and
• a semi-automatic firearm that is a shotgun and is capable of being used in combination with a detachable magazine that is capable of holding more than 5 cartridges.
As a result of these changes many people who, up until now have owned these firearms legally, will no longer be able to possess them on their current licence conditions.
This means for many people, you will now be in unlawful possession of your firearm.
Given this is an immediate change, there is an amnesty to allow the notification and hand in their firearms to Police.
To organise the hand in of your firearm, you will need to complete a form on the Police website.
Those who are unable to do so can call Police on 0800 311 311.
When the form is submitted Police will be notified you are in possession of a firearm that needs to be handed in.
We will contact you to organise a suitable time and place for you to hand over your firearm.
This may mean you bring it to Police at an allocated time, or a Police employee comes to you directly to collect the firearm.
I can’t emphasise enough that in the current environment, it is important you do not take your now-unlawful firearm anywhere without notifying Police.
It is absolutely vital that we manage the safe and organised transport of all firearms into Police custody.
There is clear information on our website around what firearms are affected by the change and what to do if your firearm if affected.
The Government has signalled there will be further changes made over the coming weeks to ban all military style semi-automatics and assault rifles permanently.
While legislation is being finalised, the Government in the interim has acted to restrict the potential stock-piling of these guns, parts and high-capacity magazines, prevent additional purchases and encourage people to notify Police about their intention to hand in their firearms.
We will continue to update the public and especially the firearms community as required.
Mar 20, 2019 10:10 PM
Georgia Forrester

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said in relation to the gun laws the prime minister has announced today, those New Zealanders who own these types of firearms are no longer lawfully in possession of those firearms.

Gun owners are asked to go online on the police website to follow instructions on what to do or ring 0800 311 311.
UPDATED MAR 20, 2019 10:13 PM
Mar 20, 2019 10:06 PM
Georgia Forrester
Mar 20, 2019 10:05 PM
Georgia Forrester
Live: Police Commissioner Mike Bush will be speaking to media at a press conference soon.
Mar 20, 2019 10:04 PM
Georgia Forrester
Gun shops keep quiet in the wake of Jacinda Ardern’s announcement
Three gun shops in Auckland Stuff spoke to said they had no comment on the changes announced by the Prime Minister.
“I’m busy listening to the prime minister so I don’t want to talk,” said one.
“There’s a lot yet to come out,” said another.
Mar 20, 2019 10:02 PM
Georgia Forrester
David Seymour on the gun law changes
“It is enormously disappointing that we are responding to a terrorist attack by abandoning our democratic processes.
The rushed process will deny the public the chance to have their say and could lead to legislation that fails to solve the problem.
Trying to pass a law in less than three weeks is a recipe for bad lawmaking.”
A spokesman notes this doesn’t mean Seymour’s going to vote for or against it necessarily.
Mar 20, 2019 9:54 PM
Georgia Forrester
Federated Farmers supports toughening up on firearms
Federated Farmers supports the government’s intention to toughen firearms regulations.
“This will not be popular among some of our members but after a week of intense debate and careful consideration by our elected representatives and staff, we believe this is the only practicable solution,” Feds Rural Security spokesperson Miles Anderson says.
“We are trying to tread a responsible path. The wrong guns can’t be allowed to get into the wrong hands.”
“Christchurch, Friday March 15 has changed everything.”
Our message to our members is to remember that at least this way, responsible gun owners are going to be recognised for being law-abiding, safety conscious and skilled, Anderson says.
“We agree with the Government there is no need for military style semiautomatic rifles in general public ownership. We also support the move to prohibit general access to, and possession of, detachable large capacity magazines for semiautomatic firearms.”
“We’re pleased farmers are still going to have access to sporting semiautomatic rimfire rifles, such as the .22 long rifle, and sporting semiautomatic shotguns with limited magazine capacity.”
These are needed for control of small, mobile pest species often found in groups (rabbits, possums, Canada geese) where quick follow-up shots is important for efficient, fast and humane destruction of these pests.
Federated Farmers considers there is a very limited need for centrefire semiautomatic firearms with large capacity magazines for professional pest management, but this access should be controlled by the kind of police checks, registration of individual firearms and the increased security requirements that currently apply to E category licences, Anderson says.
“The surrender or destruction of firearms that don’t meet the new controls will be disappointing to many farmers, and others.
But a clampdown is the responsible path to take to try to ensure we’re never witness to this kind of tragedy on our shores again.”
Federated Farmers will contribute to the Select Committee process outlined by the Prime Minister this afternoon.
Mar 20, 2019 9:46 PM
Georgia Forrester

National supports firearms reform

Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges has welcomed the changes proposed by the Government today to reform our firearms legislation.
“The terrorist attack in Christchurch last week has changed us as a nation.
“National has been clear since this devastating attack that we support changes to our regime and that we will work constructively with the Government.
“We agree that the public doesn’t need access to military style semi-automatic weapons. National supports them being banned along with assault rifles.
“We also support the Government’s proposals to limit the access to other high powered semi-automatic weapons and ammunition.
“We remain committed to ensuring the safety of New Zealanders and fighting extremism in all forms.
“National will work constructively with the Government to ensure we get this right.”
credit: Rosa Woods
UPDATED MAR 20, 2019 9:53 PM
Mar 20, 2019 9:38 PM
Stacey Kirk
That’s a wrap from the Prime Minister’s press conference.

To recap:
All Military Style Semi-Automatic weapons and assault weapons have been banned effective immediately.
The Government has also moved to ban a number of accessories which can take lower capacity semi-automatic to weapons of far greater killing capacity.
Related parts used to convert those guns into MSSAs are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines.
There will be an amnesty period, with a buy-back scheme to pay gun owners fair market value for the surrender of their weapons to police. Details of that are yet to be announced.
And an important PSA: There will be an online form made available in the next few days to begin the surrendering process to police.
Do not bring your guns to a police station unannounced.
Mar 20, 2019 9:32 PM
Stacey Kirk
There is no gun register and so the following figures can only be a best estimate of the amount of guns in New Zealand.

But here are the statistics the Government and police often work to:
  • There are 245,000 firearms licences
  • Of these, 7,500 are E-Category licences; and 485 are dealer licences
  • There are 13,500 firearms which require the owner to have an E-Cat licence, this is effectively the known number of MSSAs before today’s changes
  • The total number of firearms in New Zealand is estimated to be 1.2-1.5 million