Christchurch terror attack: Death toll rises to 50

The death toll from Friday's terror attack in Christchurch has risen to 50.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the updated toll was determined after the bodies were removed from the mosques where the gunman opened fire.

The official toll was 49 earlier on Sunday.

"It is with sadness that I advise the number of people that have died in this awful event has now risen to 50," Bush told media on Sunday morning.

Fifty are also injured, including two in a critical condition.

Suspect Brendon Tarrant, 28, will reappear in the High Court on April 5 where he will likely face a number of charges. Bush declined to say what they might be, except there will be more than the single murder charge announced on Saturday.

Three others were arrested soon after the attack.

An arrested woman has been released without charge. Two others will face charges, including a man who "went to assist children in the area to get them to safety", but was allegedly carrying a firearm. Bush said that was "not the right approach".

None of those arrested, aside from Tarrant, are believed to have taken part in the attack.

A list of the victims' names has been shared with families, but won't be made public until formal identifications have taken place, Bush said.

"That list was compiled as a result of work done with victims and senior religious leaders. It was done to give some certainty to victims' families. This is not a formal list," said Bush.

He said an email containing the alleged killer's manifesto was not sent to police before the attack.

"By the time we were advised of the email, the attack had taken place."

The email was sent to an email address belonging to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, operated by her staff, but only minutes before the massacre began. She never saw it, CNN reported.

Bush confirmed Tarrant's firearms licence was obtained in New Zealand in 2017.

If you would like to donate to the official Victim Support fund, go here. Victim Support's number is 0800 842846.