There are currently four individuals who have been apprehended, but three are connected to this attack who are currently in custody, one of which has publicly stated that they were Australian-born.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media during a press conference at Parliament on March 15, 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand
There are people who I would describe as having extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and in fact have no place in the world.
Our national security threat level has been lifted from low to high. This, I want to assure people, is to ensure that all our agencies are responding in the most appropriate way, that includes at our borders.
Many of you will have seen that Air New Zealand has cancelled all turboprop flights out of Christchurch tonight and will review the situation in the morning.
We are a proud nation of more than 200 ethnicities, 160 languages, and amongst said diversity, we share common values and the one we place the currency on right now and tonight is our compassion and the support for the community of those directly affected by this tragedy and secondly, the strongest possibly condemnation of the ideology of the people who did this.
You may have chosen us. But we utterly reject and condemn you.
I have spoken this evening to the mayor of Christchurch and I intend to speak this evening to the Imam. But I also want to send a message to those directly affected. In fact, right now, I’m sure New Zealand would like me to share a message on their behalf too.
Our thoughts and our prayers are with those who have been impacted today.
Christchurch was the home of these victims. For many, this may not have been the place they were born. In fact, for many, New Zealand was a choice, a place they actively came to and committed themselves to, the place they were raising their families, where they were part of communities they loved and who loved them.
It was a place that many came to for its safety, a place where they were free to practise their culture and their religion. For those of you who are watching at home tonight and questioning how this could have happened here … We, New Zealand, we were not a target because we are a safe harbour for those who hate.
We were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone racism, because we are en enclave for extremism. We were chosen for the very fact that we are none of these things. Because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion, a home for those who share our values, refuge for those who need it, and those values, I can assure you, will not and cannot be shaken by this attack.