Christchurch terror attack: Mayor Lianne Dalziel 'forgot' white supremacists held march in her city

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says she forgot her city played host to one of the biggest white supremacist marches New Zealand has ever seen.

"This sort of extremism is not something that we've seen here. But he is not from here," she said last week, talking about the alleged Christchurch gunman's Australian roots.

"He came here with hate in his heart and intention to kill in his mind. So he did not develop his hatred here. He came here to perform this act of terrorism."

The comments - made in the wake of an attack on the city that saw 50 members of the Muslim community gunned down - bothered many, who said Christchurch has a history of white supremacy.

Dalziel told Newshub Nation on Saturday, just over a week after the shooting, she made the comments during the immediate shock after the attack.

"Somebody posted on my Twitter account after I had made that comment and reminded me that there had been the biggest white supremacist march in our country's history in Christchurch in 2012.

"I had forgotten that, because I didn't think that I had seen them at all since the earthquakes, they really didn't just exist."

She accused the gunman of importing his hateful white supremacist attitude.

But she downplayed the number of white supremacists in her city, and said people from outside of Christchurch had to be brought in for their march.

"I went and read the article and I remembered now why I had forgotten. One hundred and fifteen people turned up and most of them weren't from Christchurch.

"They brought people into this city in order to bolster their numbers to 115, they are irrelevant, they are extremists, they get their views supported from social media platforms that have fuelled this."

Dalziel called for more action on social media companies, saying their platforms had allowed the hateful ideologies to spread.