Christchurch terror attack: Monday live updates

These live updates have now ended. 

What we know:

  • Fifty people were killed at two Christchurch mosques on Friday, and 50 hurt
  • The victims' ages range from three to 77
  • The terror suspect - Australian citizen Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28 - has been charged with murder, but police say other charges will follow
  • He has reportedly sacked his duty lawyer, and plans to represent himself
  • Jacinda Ardern says he will face justice in New Zealand
  • The suspect's sister's home has been raided by Australian police
  • A national day of mourning is planned, the date yet to be decided
  • New Zealand's largest gun show in Kumeu has been cancelled
  • Four people have been arrested in the UK over "frankly disgusting" comments made about the attacks
  • More than $4.5 million has been raised on Givealittle for the victims' families, and another $1.8 million on LaunchGood
  • The Government will announce gun law reforms within 10 days

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

If you need to talk to someone about what you've read or seen in the past few days, call or text Need To Talk? on 1737.

7:05pm - The Australian Government has warned its travelling citizens to avoid overseas demonstrations and protests as they may find themselves targeted.

"The terrorist attack, motivated by extreme right-wing ideology, has drawn strong condemnation internationally," it said in a statement on the Smart Traveller website.

"Demonstrations and protests against Australia may occur. Australians travelling overseas should continue to use common sense, be vigilant and exercise caution. They should look out for and report suspicious behaviour, as they would in Australia.

"They should monitor the media and other sources for information about possible new safety or security threats, and follow the advice of local authorities. They should avoid demonstrations and protests, as they can turn violent."

It said the Government will continue to assess the risks posed to Australian tourists.

6:35pm - Police have welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement of an inquiry into the alleged gunman's activity leading up to the attacks.

"It is important we learn any lessons we can from this tragedy," Police Commissioner Mike Bush says.

He echoed her encouragement for gun owners to surrender their firearms if they feel uneasy about them.

"We would ask that they please call their local police station or arms officer first for advice on the safe transport of the firearm to police, and to alert our staff ahead of time, given the current situation."

5:55pm - The earlier bomb scare at Auckland Airport was a "misunderstanding", according to police. They're confident there's no threat to the public. 

5:50pm - Police Commissioner Mike Bush has told media only one attacker is believed to have been involved in Friday's massacre.

As the terror attacks unfolded, there were reports of multiple shooters in Christchurch.

5:25pm - Police are responding after a passenger made a bomb threat at Auckland Airport's domestic terminal.

The scare comes a day after a suspicious package was discovered at Dunedin Airport (which turned out to be a hoax) and three days after suspicious items were investigated at Auckland's Britomart train station.

5:15pm - Changes to New Zealand's gun laws will be announced within 10 days, the Prime Minister says.

Cabinet met on Monday to discuss firearms reforms and made "in-principle decisions", Jacinda Ardern told media on Monday afternoon.

She says Friday's attacks "exposed a range of weaknesses in New Zealand's gun laws".

An expanded Cabinet that included the Green Party was in total agreement about the need for changes," Ardern says.

She reassured gun owners, particularly those in rural communities, that the changes are not directed at them, and acknowledged there would be a "short period of uncertainty" for those people.

There will be an inquiry into the events leading up to the Christchurch attacks, which will examine the alleged gunman's travels and activities within New Zealand and whether the massacre could have been prevented.

The inquiry will involve the NZSIS, the GCSB, Police, Customs and Immigration.

Ardern says a date for a memorial day is being worked out but it will not happen this week.

4:35pm - The body of one victim has been returned to their family, police confirmed to Newshub.

4:30pm - Some of New Zealand's biggest brands are reportedly pulling ads from Facebook and Google to protest the Christchurch attack livestream.

The gunman filmed the massacre at the mosques using Facebook Live. The horrific footage aired uninterrupted for 17 minutes, and was widely available on social media for hours afterwards despite platforms trying to remove reuploads.

NZME reports ASB, Lotto NZ, Spark, Burger King and others will stop advertising on Facebook and Google to take a stand against unmoderated content.

In the hours after the shooting, Kiwibank independently suspended all its digital advertising.

4:05pm - Pop culture fans who attend this year's Armageddon Expo won't be allowed to wear costumes inspired by military clothing or take in realistic-looking toy firearms.

In a Facebook post, organisers said the event's cosplay and props policies had been updated in the wake of the Christchurch attacks.

"For all events moving forward, real life and imitation military clothing of any kind will not be permitted under any circumstances," the post reads.

"All realistic looking/ imitation firearms, whether they are handmade, a toy or not, will not be permitted."

The ban means ticket-holders won't be allowed into Wellington's Westpac Stadium if they're dressed as characters in military dress from popular video game Call of Duty, science fiction TV show Stargate or Marvel's Captain America.

3:50pm - Westpac says scammers are taking advantage of the nation's grief by targeting those wanting to donate to victims' families.

The bank has provided details about how to identify the scam emails, which carry false Westpac branding.

3:35pm - The New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF) has apologised for an "inappropriate" fundraising appeal sent out this morning.

An email was sent out appealing for donations to the foundation, which chief executive Jason Myers said was set up to be automatically sent out on Monday.

Christchurch terror attack: Monday live updates
Photo credit: NZAF

"As the situation unfolded on Friday, our concerns immediately turned to those directly involved and our team in Christchurch," he said in a follow-up apology email. "Regrettably, this led to the appeal not being put on hold as it should have been."

He offered an apology for the oversight and stated the foundation's support for Christchurch.

3:20pm - President of the Islamic Associations NZ Mustafa Farouk says right-wing terrorists have failed in their mission to make Muslims feel unwelcome in New Zealand.

"We know we are living in a community that loves us, one of the most beautiful and peaceful countries in the world," he told media.

"We never expected anything like that would happen here. Those right-wing people picked New Zealand specifically. They want friction and division between our countries.

"They have failed woefully because what they have done is increase the love and feeling we have for our country."

Farouk says the Muslim community has received a "tremendous outpouring of aroha".

"What happened last Friday is not going to stop us from achieving what we want to achieve."

Rehanna Ali, the Federation's Women's Affairs manager, explained the details of the Muslim burial process, including treating the person as though they were still alive and wrapping them in white cloth.

3:10pm - An 18-year-old has appeared in the Christchurch District Court facing two charges under the Films, Videos and Publications Classifications Act.

3:05pm - The Ministry of Health has seen a significant increase in the number of calls made to the national mental health helpline.

Director-General Ashley Bloomfield told media the 1737 helpline received 544 calls on Sunday. The average call length was 38 minutes.

By 2pm on Monday it had received 300 calls - five times its usual volume. 

2:20pm - Gun City sold the alleged gunman four firearms.

Owner David Tipple told media on Monday afternoon that the gun store sold four A-category firearms and ammunition to the man in three or four separate police-verified online purchases between November 2017 and March 2018.

"We detected nothing extraordinary about the license holder," he says.

The military-style semi-automatic (MSSA) used in the attack was not bought from Gun City, Tipple says. He says he watched the gunman's livestream and did not recognise the weapon being used.

Tipple says Gun City is prudent in its sales and provided all details of the alleged gunman's order to police on Saturday.

"We fully support the Prime Minister's swift and decisive actions following the tragedy."

He says the idea of gun enthusiasts "panic-buying" weapons in case of a ban is a lie, and says now isn't the time for a gun debate.

"This man wrote in his manifesto that the purpose of using a firearm was to divide us. If we allow him to make us make changes in our ideology and behaviour, he's won."

He has threatened to leave the press conference if journalists keep asking questions about a gun debate. 

"We are not a country of emotional responses, we are a country of law."

1:55pm - Emergency services staff who attended the scenes of Friday's attacks have held an emotional press conference describing the horrors they witnessed.

111 emergency call handler Spencer Dennehy came back from her lunch break at 2pm and took a "very distressing" call from a woman whose husband and two-year-old child were inside the Linwood Mosque.

"She was trying to get to the mosque and we were trying to stop her and get her to stay away," Dennehy says.

Both the man and the baby survived the massacre but are currently in hospital.

"I had to go home and cry a bit," Dennehy says. "I didn't sleep very well, but after my second day shift I was just emotionally drained. I did go to the memorial and took flowers which helped a bit."

Paul Bennett, an ambulance officer who also attended the Christchurch earthquakes, called Friday "the most horrific scene I've seen".

"The earthquake was Mother Nature, you could explain it in your own head. The scene at Deans Ave was about hatred. "

He says he didn't go into the mosque because he physically couldn't get inside.

"We had to lift bodies over other bodies. There was a lot of blood. It was literally flowing off terracotta tiles. Having to lift bodies over bodies to do my job was horrific."

Bennett says emergency staff knew getting the injured from the mosque to the hospital was critical but the flow was "seamless" and those affected received "spot on" treatment.

Intensive care paramedic Jason Watson says the scene at the mosques was "chaos" but his team did an exceptional job.

"A good half of patients that I saw go in I expected to die within an hour. The fact that only one has [died] is incredible and a huge plus for the Christchurch ambulance community.

"Our team did this job, and then turned up at work the very next day. And we're going to work today. And that says a lot about the dedication of our team."

Logistical manager Craig Downing says ambulance staff are part of the Christchurch community and are feeling the losses deeply.

"We send all our love to those 50 families who have lost their loved ones, and we send aroha for those fighting for their lives in hospital."

He says he has "immense pride" for his organisation.

"The staff who work in Christchurch are incredibly resilient people. They have had to endure earthquakes, Port Hills fires, bus accidents and now this. The feeling I have is an overwhelming amount of pride."

Downing says they've been overwhelmed with generous offers from people wanting to help those on the ground.

"The people of Christchurch have been outstanding and we, along with our other emergency services like Police and Fire, wish to support the people of Christchurch and we will be there every hour of every day."

1:23pm - If found guilty, Brenton Tarrant should be locked up for life and forced to listen to the Muslim call to prayer five times a day, says Gerry Brownlee.

1:15pm - Linwood Ave, where one of the attacked mosques is located, has been cordoned off to allow Muslims to gather and pray, RNZ reports.

The site was also blessed by Māori elders.

1:10pm - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has screened a montage of the horrific terrorist attack in Christchurch in an apparent attempt to rally his conservative voter base.

"We do not want to see a cross and crescent conflict again," Erdogan told spectators, referencing the medieval crusades.

1:05pm - A man armed with a baseball bat and a knife has stabbed a teenager in a supermarket carpark near Heathrow Airport.

The Sun reports he was shouting "kill all Muslims", and police have said it appears to be a "terrorist incident inspired by the far right". The newspaper noted the attack came just days after the similarly-inspired attack in Christchurch.

1pm - David Tipple, the owner of Gun City, has announced he'll be holding a media conference at 2:30pm. He's so far refused to talk publicly about the Government's announcement it'll be restricting sales on semi-automatic weapons. 

Meanwhile, a memorial service has been held at Lincoln University

12:52pm - Nominations are rolling in for 'Egg Boy' Will Connolly to be made Australian of the Year.

Connolly, 17, made headlines when he broke an egg on the head of Australian Senator Fraser Anning over the weekend, after Anning's awful response to the Christchurch attack.

There's strong social media support for the teenager to be formally honoured. 

12:47pm - Some gun owners are giving up their weapons in light of Friday's attacks.

"This is one of the easiest decisions I have ever made," wrote Twitter user @SirWB, gun owner of three decades, with a photo of a police arms surrender form.

"My stepdad, a farmer and pest shooter, has owned multiple guns for decades," wrote journalist @annaloren. "I just got a message saying he's handing them in to the police."

Cabinet is expected to discuss tighter gun control when it meets today.

12:40pm - Pauline Hanson has angrily defended herself against accusations the alleged Christchurch gunman's manifesto "almost reads like One Nation immigration and Muslim policy".

The far-right Australian politician who has spent her career railing against Muslims and immigration was asked by Sunrise host David Koch if she felt "complicit with this atrocity".

"I feel for those people and I feel for those families who have lost lives. The same across the road here when we had the Lindt Cafe terrorist attacks," she replied.

"We have problems but you've actually got to discuss it and debate the issue. Why we have these terrorist attacks in this country. Why is it happening around the world? Why is it happening in many places?"

She then turned the conversation to the UK, saying people were "leaving England to come out here because they have lost their country".

Hanson also defended once selecting Fraser Anning, the Aussie Senator who's despicable comments about the attacks have caused international backlash, to run for her party.

Watch the full clip.

12:25pm - Worried about how to talk to your kids about the events of the last few days? Parenting expert Nigel Latta has some tips

12:20pm - Orewa College students have sent a stunning tribute to Christchurch.

Students arranged themselves into the message 'Kia kaha' and a heart.

12:15pm - Suspected gunman Brenton Tarrant has reportedly sacked his duty lawyer and plans to represent himself. 

Richard Peters told NZME Tarrant didn't appear to be unstable, aside from holding extreme views.

It's a scenario Massey University law professor Chris Gallivan feared.

"If he self-represents, the courts probably will struggle to stop him using this as a platform," he told The AM Show, comparing the situation to that Norway faced in the aftermath of the 2011 massacre of 77 people.

"Anders Breivik didn't recognise the jurisdiction of the court and used every opportunity he possibly could to spout his vitriol and worldview."

12:07pm - Parliament's House leader Chris Hipkins says Parliament will only sit briefly on Tuesday to hear statements of condolences for those killed on Friday.

After that it will adjourn until Wednesday next week.

12:05pm - An expert in far-right politics says he's been warning the Government about their potential to cause harm to New Zealanders for a long time.

"The question is whether they have the sufficient resources to track them, and I think this case shows that possibly they haven't," said Massey University's Paul Spoonley.

"We really do have to look at the far-right."

The Prime Minister this morning acknowledged authorities may have been looking for terrorism in the wrong places over the past couple of decades.

11:55am - The South Island Wildlife Hospital is caring for a baby pukeko caught up in the response to Friday's terror attack in Christchurch.

11:50am - Rapper Drake paused a weekend show in Paris to pay tribute to the victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

"I want you to know, that when there's terrible things going on in the world, you know, we can still look around this room tonight and see something beautiful," Drake said.

Other hip hop stars have also sent their condolences, including Nicki Minaj ("My heart is with our Muslim brothers & sisters at this time; after the senseless act in New Zealand") and Chance the Rapper ("I've always loved New Zealand. It's such a beautiful, welcoming and once safe place that I've many times talked of moving to.")

11:45am - Auckland's Climate Symposium this morning opened with a minute's silence for those who lost their lives in Christchurch on Friday.

"On Friday morning, we heard the global call from 1.5 million young people to act to save our planet," Councillor Penny Hulse, Chair Environment and Community Committee, said in a statement. 

"By Friday afternoon, New Zealand quickly realised that we needed to act to save ourselves - from discrimination, intolerance and racism.

"Today as we gather to discuss action on climate change, I call on you all to use this same sentiment to act for good in every aspect of our society."

11:30am - Bauer Media staff in Auckland have been sent home after a serious bomb threat was made on Friday.

An employee told Newshub a threatening voicemail had been left.

Police told Newshub they responded to a report of a threat at around 10:30am on Monday morning.

"This threat happened on Friday, but it was only reported to police this morning. We have offered advice to the informant about how to handle the situation."

11:25pm - New South Wales Police has released a statement about its raid of alleged gunman Brenton Tarrant's sister's home earlier on Monday.

It says its Joint Counter Terrorism Team executed search warrants this morning at two different properties.

"The primary aim of the activity is to formally obtain material that may assist New Zealand Police in their ongoing investigation," the statement read.

"The family of the Australian man arrested in Christchurch continues to assist police with their inquiries."

11:18am - Trade Me has announced it is halting the sale of semi-automatic weapons in the wake of Friday's terror attack.

"We're obviously still reeling, like all New Zealanders, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families and friends," CEO Jon Macdonald said.

"We've had a lot of contact from Kiwis over the weekend about this issue, and many felt that we should stop the sale of these items in the wake of this attack.

"We've listened to these sentiments and we've put this ban in place while we await clear direction from the Government."

Macdonald said it's clear public sentiment towards semi-automatic weapons has changed, and the online auction site is willing to alter its policy to reflect that.

"There is a bit of work involved in doing this but we will have these listings removed later today," he said.

Trade Me has already placed heavy restrictions on the types of firearms that can be listed to 'A' category firearms in sporting configuration, and doesn't allow the sale of military-style weapons.

11:15am - A legal expert has concerns Brenton Tarrant - the suspected gunman - could use the legal process to "spout his vitriol and worldview" in a manner similar to Norway killer Anders Breivik.

"We have to ensure the victims are protected through that and that it is not a platform to be able to extol his worldview," said Massey University law professor Chris Gallivan. "But if he self-represents - the courts probably will struggle to stop him using this as a platform."

11am - The home of suspect Brenton Tarrant's sister has been raided by Australian police, Australian media has reported.

She lives just north of Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, 9 News reported.

Tarrant's sister and mother are reportedly being kept in a safehouse.

10:50am - The AM Show's Mark Richardson has backed calls for the Crusaders to change their name

He admitted at first thinking calls to change the name were an over-reaction.

"But then I thought nothing is an over-reaction, when it comes to trying to make amends and be understanding.

"Rugby is so dear to our hearts in New Zealand and here is our most successful sporting franchise, you could say, ever.

"If they were to change the name in response to this, I think that would be quite an appropriate thing to do."

The original crusaders were Christian armies who waged war against Muslims over land. 

Mark Richardson.
Mark Richardson. Photo credit: The AM Show/Photosport

Newshub sports reporter Ross Karl has also called for a change.

10:35am - Politicians including Jacinda Ardern, Chris Hipkins and Trevor Mallard have signed a condolences book, as has Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy.

The book is at the National Library on Molesworth St in Wellington.

Jacinda Ardern and Dame Patsy Reddy.
Jacinda Ardern and Dame Patsy Reddy. Photo credit: Newshub.
Messages from Dame Patsy Reddy and Jacinda Ardern.
Messages from Dame Patsy Reddy, Chris Hipkins and Jacinda Ardern. Photo credit: Newshub.

10:30am - There are armed police outside Parliament and the Beehive.

Police outside Parliament.
Police outside Parliament. Photo credit: Anna Bracewell-Worrall/Newshub.

10:11am - Police data uncovered by RNZ shows 99.6 percent of people who apply for a firearms licence get one. There were 43,509 applications in 2017, and only 188 were declined.

That year there were 246,952 people with current licences. 

10:08am - Six people of Palestinian descent died in the attacks, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry has confirmed. It's not clear if they were Palestinian citizens. 

CNN reports they were Atta Elayyan, Abdel Fattah Qassem Al-Dokki, Ali Al-Madani, Amgad Hamid and Osama Abu Kowik and Kamal Darwish.

10:05am - The daughter of one of the survivors of the Christchurch terror attack says she will never forgive the attacker.

"We were praying. We had our heads down in devotion about to pray and for someone to come up behind us and start shooting at our most vulnerable - I can't understand it," Zahra Ditta told The AM Show.

Zahra Ditta.
Zahra Ditta. Photo credit: The AM Show

"It's going to take a very, very long time for us to rebuild."

10am - The petition to have racist Aussie Senator Fraser Anning booted out of parliament has surpassed 1 million signatures.

Anning issued a statement just hours after the horrific shootings, blaming Muslim immigration for the murders - not the gunman who slaughtered them.

'Eggboy' or 'Eggboi' and Fraser Anning.
'Eggboy' or 'Eggboi' and Fraser Anning. Photo credit: William Connolly/Twitter/ITV

He later punched a teenager who dumped an egg on his head. More than $37,000 has been raised for the teen so he can "buy more eggs", but the money looks likely to go towards helping the victims' families.

9:50am - Gun owners want a "discussion" before any decisions are made on banning semi-automatic weapons, like those used in the attack.

"New Zealand firearms licence owners are not the terrorists. We are legitimate owners," Council of Licenced Firearms Owners spokesperson Nicole McKee told The AM Show.

But so was the suspected gunman, having acquired his licence in 2017. 

9:30am - Judith Collins says the alleged gunman "came to our lovely country for the purpose of killing" and isn't "one of us".

She made the comments in a Twitter post.

"I think it's important for us to note that the person charged with these dreadful murders is not 'home-grown', is not a New Zealander, is not 'one of us' but is someone who, it appears from all accounts, came to our lovely country for the purpose of killing."

9:05am - National MP Gerry Brownlee has called for an immediate moratorium on sales of semi-automatic rifles.

"We can do that in Parliament tomorrow afternoon," he told The AM Show.

He also slammed those rushing out to buy weapons in the wake of the attack, calling it "insensitive", and said no one's going to be sympathetic to gun owners if they're forced to return their new purchases should the Government ban them. 

Gerry Brownlee.
Gerry Brownlee. Photo credit: Getty

9am - The four-year-old in Starship as a result of the Christchurch attack remains in a critical condition, a DHB spokesperson has said. 

8:45am - Australia is, like New Zealand, understandably in a state of shock. The alleged gunman was born there.

"All I guess we can say is overwhelmingly we are so, so, so deeply sorry," AM Show Australia correspondent Jason Morrison told The AM Show on Monday.

"He will go forever in the history of both of our nations as a black mark and we hope one that will be resolved."

8:27am - Former Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker wants the alleged gunman locked up for life.

"They deserve not to have a life any more," he told The AM Show.

"But they deserve to watch the rest of us going about our lives, realising that he's the loser. We are the people that care, we are the community. He will never, ever see that again."

Amanda Gillies of The AM Show with Bob Parker.
Amanda Gillies of The AM Show with Bob Parker. Photo credit: The AM Show

8:23am - Otago University Middle East specialist Professor Bill Harris told The AM Show the Christchurch shootings are the "worst attack of Muslims and of mosques in the West ever in modern history".

"This is a really big event and we need to react in a way that takes that into consideration," he said, backing a national day of mourning.

8:20am - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says Cabinet will be discussing today, among other things, on when a national day of mourning might take place.

"I want to create the space for families to be able to mourn their lost loved ones. That will obviously be happening over the course of this week."

National leader Simon Bridges backs the idea.

"We need to mark this and mark it seriously, we've never seen anything like this in our time."

8:10am - The Givealittle fund is now at $4.65 million. Check out Victim Support CEO Kevin Tso's chat with The AM Show here.

7:45am - A message from the suspected gunman's hometown of Grafton, Australia, is displayed on a billboard.

"He does not represent us," it reads. "Prayers for NZ." 

 A message reflecting the view of the people of Grafton in relation to the New Zealand massacre shown on a billboard on March 17, 2019 in Grafton, Australia.
A message reflecting the view of the people of Grafton. Photo credit: Getty

7:30am - A gang member has hinted to NZME the suspected gunman might not be safe in prison.

"We've got friends inside too," the unnamed man said, without elaborating further. 

Criminal justice advocate Sir Kim Workman said it's likely the gunman will be kept in solitary confinement for his own safety.

7:25am - Simon Bridges has defended his party's failure to put more restrictions on semi-automatic weapons, saying it's not clear it would have prevented Friday's massacre.

"Everything has changed," he told The AM Show on Monday. "Please don't get me wrong - I'm not saying to you we shouldn't have gun control change. I don't myself know what would have changed this."

Rejected recommendations included creating a new category of restrictions for semi-automatic weapons and requiring police to record the serial numbers of each gun licence holders owned.

Simon Bridges.
Simon Bridges. Photo credit: The AM Show

7:15am - UK police have arrested four people who referenced the Christchurch terror attacks as part of malicious comments and racial abuse.

"We have had... a small number of incidents where people have either posted or made remarks referencing the horrible events in New Zealand, particularly online where people often think it is acceptable to abuse others," said Russ Jackson of the Greater Manchester Police.

"Some of these comments are frankly disgusting. I am amazed how some people think it is acceptable to make such careless and disrespectful remarks."

6:55am - Teachers have postponed a planned union meeting for Tuesday "as a mark of respect".

"This next week is a time to pause and to grieve, but we will not allow the attacks to undermine teaching and learning for children," said NZEI president Lynda Stuart.

"These events only make us more committed to standing up for the values of tolerance, respect, diversity and democracy at the heart of public education."

6:30am - Schools and most businesses in Christchurch are expected to open as usual today, bringing some sense of normalcy to the city.

"Routines are really, really important to our children," said Shane Buckner from the Canterbury Primary Principals' Association. "We want to make sure we talk about how we were and how we were safe at school."

6:25am - A student at a vigil for the victims in New York has accused Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former US President Bill Clinton, of encouraging hate crime.

6:20am - Wellington Phoenix coach Mark Rudan spoke about the tragedy after his side's 3-1 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday night, saying he didn't want to talk about the game.

"We're so fortunate to be living in a country like this. You think about those people who come to places like New Zealand and Australia, they've got the ability to say what they want to say, do what they want to do - they've got freedom. And it gets taken away by a lunatic? It's just wrong."

Rudan, an Australian, broke down in tears after his heartfelt words.

6:15am - The White House is scrambling to defend US President Donald Trump, who was cited as "a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose" by the alleged Christchurch gunman.

"The President is not a white supremacist. I'm not sure how many times we have to say that," White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said.

Trump has been embroiled in a number of race-related controversies during his presidency.

5:50am - A man will appear in the Christchurch District Court on Monday charged with offences under the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act.

It appears likely he'll face charges relating to sharing content uploaded by the alleged killer - the video has been deemed objectionable by the Chief Censor.

Facebook said on Sunday it had deleted 1.5 million copies of the horrifying video, which was livestreamed on its platform.

"Out of respect for the people affected by this tragedy and the concerns of local authorities, we're also removing all edited versions of the video that do not show graphic content," said Mia Garlick of Facebook NZ.

5:20am - Dunedin Airport has reopened after police destroyed a suspicious object on Friday night that turned out to be a hoax.

"Enquiries are ongoing to establish who left the object," police said on Monday morning.

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