Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says threats made against Al Noor Mosque 'hard to believe'

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says an online threat made against members of the Al Noor Mosque is hard for her to believe.

"I will be amongst many New Zealanders who will be devastated to see that as we [head] towards the one-year anniversary of a most horrific terror attack on the Muslim community, that they should then be the target of this kind of activity," Ardern told reporters on Monday.

"That is hard for me to believe and for most New Zealanders they will feel exactly the same way."

Al Noor mosque.
Al Noor mosque. Photo credit: Newshub.

Her comments come after an image of a masked man outside the mosque - containing a message in English and Ukrainian - was posted to an online message board on Sunday. Newshub has chosen not to reveal the image or what the message said.

Ardern said on Monday the threat demonstrates the work that needs to be done.

"I feel a huge sense of responsibility because no-one ever, ever wants to see that happen in New Zealand again.

"We have to get back to the basics of why is it that people would feel that they can make those kinds of threats against other people's lives?

"That's not the country I know - that's not the country most of us know but that is going to be the hardest and biggest piece of work that we have to do as a community, not just as a Government."

Meanwhile, Islamic Women's Council Spokeswoman Anjum Rahman said the threat was not unexpected. 

"We've had a few threats to mosques - not just in Christchurch," she told Newshub. 

"We absolutely have been talking about this for months and have been expecting that things like this could happen.

"I believe it is being taken very seriously."

An investigation is underway, a police spokesperson told Newshub, adding all threats to the community are taken "very seriously".

"Enquiries are ongoing into the incident," the spokesperson said.

"For operational reasons, we will not be providing details on security matters ahead of March 15, 2020."

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