Exclusive: Alleged Christchurch gunman's donation to far-right European group offered to shooting victims

Brenton Tarrant's money has been offered to help victims of the Christchurch massacre.

European far-right leader Martin Sellner told Newshub he's given some of the money donated to him by the alleged gunman to a support fund for the victims.

National Correspondent Patrick Gower spoke to Sellner on Monday as part of Newshub's latest 'Because It Matters' investigation.

It emerged after March 15 that alleged gunman Tarrant gave him 1500 Euros as a donation to his Austrian anti-immigration movement. Sellner says he gave half of it back to the victims in Christchurch, and the other half to a cause in Syria.

He's open about his feelings on Muslim immigration - he hates it, and he has a message for Kiwis who feel the same.

"I tell them it is very important to stand up for what they believe," he told Newshub. 

"And not to be afraid. To stop posting on the internet and get on the streets, show their face in a peaceful way. Show that they are against mass migration and against Islamisation."

The word Sellner stresses there is "peaceful". He claims that's why, when he realised he'd received money from the alleged Christchurch gunman, he gave some of it back to the victims.

"When I really understood the money came from him, I split it," he says. "One half went to a project developing a city, a town in Syria, to stop people from fleeing. The other half, I gave to the victim's fund of the victims of New Zealand."

A Newshub investigation has found that Sellner and Tarrant corresponded by email more than first thought.

After receiving the donation, Sellner wrote: "If you ever come to Vienna, we should get a coffee or a beer."

Tarrant responded: "The same goes for you if you ever come to Australia or New Zealand. We have people in both countries that would happily host you in their homes." 

"You know, there are no connections between me and him, that I caused in any way," Sellner says. "What happened was that I received a donation by him, we exchanged a few emails, and since then no contact."

Sellner is the leader of Austria's Identitarian movement, Generation Identity. They believe in the concept of the Great Replacement: European culture disappearing under a wave of Muslim immigration.

Sellner wasn't surprised to hear Tarrant's assertion that Kiwis would welcome him into their homes.

"I understand that many patriots in the Western world will feel their concerns and interests are not being touched by mainstream politics," he says.

On Sunday Winston Peters called on spies from the SIS to investigate Sellner's influence on far-right extremists here such as Philip Arps, who threatened to kill Peters at a protest over the UN migration pact signed by New Zealand.

"A bunch of neo Nazis in Austria were behind this - and they are," Peters told Newshub. When asked if he meant Sellner, he said: "Well, if the glove fits, wear it."

Sellner says the glove does not fit.

"I think it is completely wrong. What we did was an awareness campaign."

The UN migration compact is a global set of guidelines on how to deal with migrants, and is "non-binding" on Governments. But a key part of the European right's online campaign was the fake claim that the pact was "binding" - and the campaign got some high-profile traction in New Zealand thanks to Simon Bridges.

"We believe it will cede our sovereignty to the UN on migration," the National leader says.

Sellner has a message for Bridges: "I tell him he is on the right track here. The silent majority is on his side."

It's praise Bridges could do without.

Newshub's investigation has revealed just how interconnected the far-right movements are around the world.

Firstly, that Tarrant and Sellner are directly connected - including Tarrant saying there are supporters of Sellner's Identitarian movement here in New Zealand.

Next, Arps and other far right extremists are being influenced by fake news emanating from Sellner and his followers.

And thirdly, Bridges and Peters have both been drawn into this saga because it's so pervasive - and now our spy agency and the police are investigating.

The global far-right is here in New Zealand, influencing us and our politicians whether we realise it or not.