Please attribute to Police Commissioner Mike Bush
Police continue to deal with what is an unprecedented event for New Zealand. The loss of life and the number of those who have been injured is tragic.
As the Prime Minister has stated, this has been designated a terrorist attack.
This has been an abhorrent event and my thoughts are with all of those affected in Christchurch. Be assured NZ Police stand with you all tonight.
We now know that 49 people have been killed in the attacks, 41 people at the Deans Avenue mosque, and seven at the Linwood Avenue mosque. One person died in hospital.
The number of those being treated in hospital has been updated to 48 people.
A 28-year-old man has been charged with murder and is due to appear in the Christchurch District Court tomorrow morning.
Two others remain in custody. Another person was arrested earlier today however that was not related to these events.
This is still an ongoing situation and Police has a significant number of staff on the ground in Christchurch
We are unable at this stage to provide details about matters leading up to the attacks. It is very early days and these matters will form part of the investigation.
There is an increased Police presence across Christchurch and surrounding areas. Our priority is to keep all New Zealanders safe.
There are community events planned across the country this weekend and there will be a visible Police presence at these events for safety and reassurance.
We thank the public for their ongoing co-operation and we would like to reassure members of the public that a large Police presence will remain in the city for the time being. The safety of the community is our priority.
Police wish to notify the public of the Restoring Family Links (RFL) website where people can register missing persons or register themselves as alive. People living in New Zealand can also register missing persons on 0800 115 019.
Information will continue to be provided as it becomes available.
Our thoughts remain with all of those affected.
Issued by Police Media Centre