Christchurch attack: National remembrance service announced for first anniversary

A national remembrance service has been announced for the first anniversary of the Christchurch mosque attacks.

Fifty-one people died and 49 were injured in the March 15 shootings.

Those most affected are putting together the programme for the service in Christchurch's Hagley Park.

It will be jointly led by the Muslim community, the Christchurch City Council, the Government, and Ngāi Tūāhuriri.

"More details, including the timing of the service, will be announced in the coming weeks," a Christchurch City Council spokeswoman said.

Last month, Christchurch City Mayor Lianne Dalziel told Radio New Zealand the first anniversary will be a difficult time for those affected.

"I don't think that anyone would have thought that such an act could ever happen in Christchurch but actually anywhere in New Zealand, it's been such a shock," she told RNZ.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern opened up to Newshub late last year about the toll the terror attacks had on the country.

The Christchurch shooting was labelled New Zealand's "darkest day". 

"None of us could imagine it and I find it hard to think that there'd be anything that will have the kind of impact that that has had on NZ," Ardern said.

The accused gunman earlier pleaded not guilty to all charges and will go on trial in June.