Christchurch mosque attack: Gerry Brownlee labels Brenton Tarrant's sentence 'empty'

National's deputy leader Gerry Brownlee has called Christchurch mosque terrorist Brenton Tarrant's sentence as "in a way, empty", due to his "sick" actions and the damage done to families.

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

But Brownlee told Magic Talk's Sean Plunket the sentence "almost feels hollow" because of the severity of the attack.

"It kind of feels, in a way, empty. You've got to admire all those families who turned up and the people who gave the victim impact statements who were quite unperturbed by the circumstances, the [gravity] of the moment, and just said what they thought… You've just got to take your hat off to them," he said on Monday.

Brownlee, who is the MP for Ilam in Christchurch, added that if there's "any good" that comes from the mosque attacks, it's that everyone realised "we're just all people".

"We feel the same, bleed the same and love the same. I take my hat off to them when they say they can forgive this guy, because frankly I struggle, I really struggle," he said.

"It almost feels hollow - yes he's locked up for the rest of his life, he's a very sad, sick little individual - but you can never replace those lives or never replace the damage done to the families of the victims and the long-term hurt that they're going to suffer."

Gerry Brownlee.
Gerry Brownlee. Photo credit: Newshub.

Tarrant 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.

Corrections also confirmed on Sunday the shooter is allowed to watch one TV channel - HGTV or the 'Home and Garden' channel.

It appeared Corrections was worried about getting sued for damages if it didn't allow him his TV time.

Corrections said it had to balance "upholding the law and the unprecedented risk he presents".

"He will continue to be managed under the most stringent custodial regime we have ever developed."