Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Arts&Culture | By Matthew Castillo

PM statement on the New Zealand attack: 15 March 2019

PM statement on the New Zealand attack: 15 March 2019

One man was arrested and charged with murder in what appeared to be a carefully planned racist attack.

I have been in contact this morning with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to express the UK's deepest condolences at the horrifying terrorist attack that took place at two mosques in Christchurch. Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan and other Islamic leaders pointed to the bloodbath and other such attacks as evidence of rising hostility toward Muslims.

Dozens of people laid flowers at cordons near both mosques in Christchurch, which is still rebuilding after a devastating natural disaster in 2011 that killed nearly 200 people.

Historical ties with those two countries, as well as a general reaction to those events internationally impacted New Zealand's view on their own national laws.

The shooter's two targets were the Masjid al Noor mosque, where 41 people were killed, and a second, smaller mosque in the suburb of Linwood, where seven more died. Officials have not yet confirmed the identity of the man charged, or that Tarrant is the man who appears in a video that was livestreamed on Facebook depicting the attack from the vantage point of the gunman.

The gunman's manifesto was a welter of often politically contradictory views, touching on numerous most combustible issues of the day, among them the Second Amendment right to own guns, Muslim immigration, terrorist attacks and the wealthiest 1 per cent.

In tweets and a Facebook post late Thursday evening, Scheer condemned an attack on freedom and "peaceful worshippers" but did not make note of the fact the worshippers were Muslims.

Police warned Muslims across the country not to visit mosques "anywhere in New Zealand" in the wake of the Christchurch attacks.

Christchurch, a relatively small city on New Zealand's south island, hit global headlines in 2011 when it was struck by a deadly natural disaster, killing more than 180 people. Peneha then went into the mosque to help the victims. "There is never a justification for that sort of hatred", said Amy Adams, a member of parliament from Christchurch. "There were three in the hallway, at the door leading into the mosque, and people inside the mosque", he said.

Those new amendments included greater oversight over the acquisition of ammunition, restricting sales to only firearms license holders and requiring permits for people to order guns or ammunition by mail, updating and adding more information including photographs to individuals'gun licenses, and requiring secure storage for guns.

"He used to tell us life was good in New Zealand and its people are good and welcoming".

Radio New Zealand quoted a witness inside the mosque saying he heard shots fired and at least four people were lying on the ground and "there was blood everywhere".

Christchurch was the home of these victims.

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