Christchurch mosque attack: Jacinda Ardern designates Brenton Tarrant as 'terrorist entity'

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has designated Christchurch mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant as a "terrorist entity", saying this shows New Zealand's condemnation of terrorism and violent extremism "in all forms".

This designation freezes all his assets and also makes it a criminal offence for anyone to support the shooter financially.

"This is a very significant decision in New Zealand history and law. This is the first time we have designated an individual as a terrorist in this way," Ardern told reporters on Tuesday.

"The designation particularly is focussed on the financial support of someone who is designated as a terrorist in this way. So it does mean anyone who's seen to provide financial means to encourage activity by the individual is captured [by law]."

She added that after he was given his sentence she made the designation straight away, but waited until Tuesday to announce it so the community had time to come to terms with the sentence that was handed down.

There are currently 20 terrorist entities designated under New Zealand law, including Tarrant.

Under Section 22 of the Terrorism Suppression Act, the Prime Minister may designate individuals or groups as terrorist entities, on advice from officials.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said the designation helps deny what the shooter and his support base believe in.

"It means that both you and other countries around the world understand who they're dealing with, [and] any likelihood of connectivity that would be of danger to our population or their population. It's a matter of international common sense and cooperation."

The shooter was sentenced in the Christchurch High Court last week to life in prison without parole for the attacks on March 15, 2019.

He is carrying out his sentence in Auckland Prison. A former inmate there said he is being kept on a jail wing by himself, won't walk on grass again and may only rarely see direct sunlight.