Mother of Christchurch mosque victim is disappointed shooter is representing himself

The mother of a Christchurch terror attack victim says it feels like the gunman is playing football with the families.

On Monday shooter Brenton Tarrant told his lawyers to stand aside during his sentencing trial because he wants to represent himself.

Janna Ezat's son Hussein Al-Umari was shot dead during the attack while he was trying to fight the shooter off to save others.

Ezat says the news that Tarrant will represent himself has disappointed her.

"I don't feel good now. You see me now, I'm not in good shape. He's playing football with us," she says.

But victim Temel Atacocugu, who was shot nine times at Al Noor Mosque, is unmoved by the gunman's news and has been preparing himself for his moment in court next month.

"I will be there and read my victim impact statement," Atacocugu says.

Tarrant's lawyers visited the Christchurch High Court on Monday morning to ask to be removed from the case.

On Tarrant's decision to represent himself, Justice Cameron Mander said in a minute that he will appoint a lawyer to be standby counsel.

The role of standby counsel means Tarrant will have a lawyer at his disposal to assist him if he needs any legal guidance while making his submissions to the presiding judge over the course of his own sentencing. 

Auckland lawyers Jonathan Hudson and Shane Tait were up until now representing Tarrant.

Hudson told Newshub they were "not disappointed" and that "he has the right to appear for himself and that's what he has chosen to do".

According to legal experts, Tarrant will be limited to the same things defence lawyers are able to talk about during a sentencing.

Waikato University law professor Alexander Gillespie says there are guidelines Tarrant will have to follow.

"[The rules] will be stuck to very strictly. If he goes completely off script and says something terrible to increase his own notoriety, the judge can make sure that's not relayed by the media," he says.