Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the person who carried out the Christchurch terror attack is not one of us.
However a security analyst says his reading of the suspected shooter's online posts show he was at least in-part radicalised here.
Dr Paul Buchanan says it's time we faced up to the problem of white supremacy in New Zealand.
"They're an integral part of us, they are a cancer inside of us and we have been ignoring it for far too long," Dr Buchanan says.
The director of strategic assessment firm 36th Parallel Assessments says he's formed this view after reading a 37-page manifesto believed to be written by the suspected shooter.
He says the man lived in New Zealand for some years and had strong links to white supremacy groups in Christchurch, despite living in Dunedin.
"He was radicalised in two ways. One is the internet because he got into that white supremacist echo-chamber," he says. "I mean this is straight neo-nazi stuff."
Dr Buchanan says the second way he was radicalised will be hard for many New Zealanders to face.
"His hatred, his rage is home-grown here in New Zealand," he told Newshub.
University of Waikato law professor Al Gillespie says right wing extremism is growing but says this attack doesn't point to a problem in Christchurch.
"He could have come from anywhere, he's learnt internationally, he's learnt from the internet and he's competing in a global space," he told Newshub.
But Christchurch's mayor says extremist views are not something she's seen in the city and she's firm in her view.
"He did not develop his hatred, he came here to perform this act of terrorism," Ms Dalziel says.
Dr Buchanan says white supremacists have been left relatively unmonitored and unchallenged in New Zealand.
However Ms Ardern says there has been more focus on those groups more recently.
"Our agencies here in New Zealand have stepped up the work that was being done in that area but again that did not result in this individual being on any kind of watch list," she says.
Pakeeza Rasheed is the current chairperson of the Khadija Leadership Network. She organised a rally in Queen Street on Saturday and says she's experienced hate speech first hand.
"For so long we've just buried our head in the sand and said these things don't happen in New Zealand, racism is not a problem here in New Zealand but actually it is," she says.
"We've seen that it is we see that hatred is festering under the surface here in New Zealand and we can no longer afford to do nothing about it."
The attack has prompted many Muslims to share their experiences, including one Muslim leader who told Newshub today she's even needed police security at one stage.
But they say they're overwhelmed with the aroha they're felling right now from across the country.