Christchurch terror attack: Ardern reveals gunman was planning to continue when arrested

The man charged with the Christchurch terror attack was equipped to continue one when he was apprehended, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has revealed.

Ardern was speaking to media in a press conference just over 24 hours after the attack, which left 49 members of the Muslim community dead.

"The police responded immediately to the call that they received relating to the attack. The individual charged was in custody 36 minutes from receiving the first call.

"The offender was mobile. There were two other firearms in the vehicle that the offender was in, and it absolutely was his intention to continue with his attack."

She was full of praise for the police who apprehended the man, now known as Brenton Tarrant, 28. One charge of murder has been laid against Tarrant, but police say there will be more.

Thirty-nine people remain in Christchurch Hospital due to injuries from the attack, 11 of them are in the intensive care unit.

Ardern confirmed in the press conference children were among the dead and injured.

Most of the people killed were men, ranging in age from 20 to 60.