New Zealand’s Darkest day

Written by on 15/03/2019


Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed the man responsible for the horrific New Zealand mass shooting was Australian-born, labelling him an “extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist”.

Addressing reporters in Sydney, Mr Morrison extended his sympathies to all New Zealand people and “particularly those of Islamic faith”, following the Christchurch attacked that claimed at least 40 lives.

“Australia and New Zealand — we’re not just allies, we’re not just partners. We’re family. As family members… we grieve, we are shocked, we are appalled, we are outraged,” Mr Morrison said.

“We stand here and condemn absolutely the attack that occurred today by an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist (who) has taken the lives, stolen lives, in a vicious, murderous attack.”

While he would not comment on specifics about the gunman, he did confirm he was born in Australia and remains a citizen.

The shooter, who is in custody along with two others linked to the attacks, identified himself on Twitter as Brenton Tarrant.

“I can confirm that the individual is an Australian-born citizen,” Mr Morrison said. “Obviously with that element of the investigation, Australian authorities are involved.”

He would not be pressed on the significance of an Australian being involved.

“It concerns me that this horrific and appalling attack was capable of any human being, but sadly it is,” he said.

The Prime Minister has met with ASIO, the Australian Federal Police and state authorities and pledged to share all information about the Australian attacker with New Zealand counterparts.

Mr Morrison did not mince his words, describing the Christchurch incidents as a “callous terrorist attack”.

“Terrorism, as we’ve seen today, can be visited on anyone, anywhere. It’s not unique to any one world view. It was a radical, violent, right-wing, extremist terrorist.”

Mr Morrison said he had spoken to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and offered any assistance necessary.

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