New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern has confirmed 40 people died in today’s shooting in Christchurch.

“This can only be described as a terrorist attack,” Ardern says.

“While we do not have anything to believe at this stage that there were any other suspects, we are not assuming that at this stage”.

“We New Zealanders were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone this racism, or because we are an enclave of extremism, we were chosen for the very fact that we are none of these things,” she said.

“I want to send a message to those directly affected…For many this may have not been the place they were born. For many New Zealand was their choice, a place they actively came to and committed themselves to…it was a place where many came to for their safety. A place where it was safe to practice their culture and religion.

“We represent diversity and compassion, a home for those who share our values, a refuge for those who need it. And those values will not and can not be shaken by this attack. We are a proud nation of more than 200 ethnicities and 160 languages.”

She issues “the strongest possible condemnation of the ideology of the people who did this”. “You may have chosen us but we utterly reject and condemn you.” 


Ardern says none of the suspects were on security or terrorism watchlists.

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