Manifesto emailed to Ardern minutes before attack
The Christchurch terrorist attack was carried out by a lone gunman, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed.
She said there was no indication the other two people arrested on Friday were connected to the attack. Another person has been taken into custody, but Ardern said their connection was “tangential” and they had been arrested as the result of information gathered during the investigation.
The death toll rose to 50 on Sunday morning, as investigators discovered another body. Thirty-five people are in hospital, including a four-year-old girl in critical condition at Starship Hospital in Auckland.
There are also known to be several people missing. A provisional list of missing people was drawn up and provided to families late on Saturday night. Arden said that the list was not a “formal list” and would not be released.
A complete list would not be available until formal identification is completed. The victim identification process was continuing, bolstered by six identification staff who had travelled from Australia.
Bodies would begin to be returned to families from Sunday night. Arden said all bodies should be retuned by Wednesday.
Parliament to rise after commemorating attack
Parliament was scheduled to sit this week, and there is still one week left of its three-week sitting block remaining.
Ardern confirmed today that Parliament would still meet on Tuesday, but only to pay tribute to the victims. After speeches on the attacks had finished, Parliament will adjourn for the rest of the day. It is not yet confirmed whether Parliament will continue to sit that week.
Cabinet will hold its regular Monday meeting, where it will discuss promised gun reforms.
Newsroom has reported panic-buying of guns in response to Ardern’s promise to overhaul gun laws in New Zealand.
Responding to questions about a possible moratorium on certain gun sales ahead of reform, Ardern said the Government will be consider “any potential reform” at Cabinet.
Attacker to be tried in New Zealand — deportation on the table
Accused Brenton Tarrant will face trial in New Zealand, but Ardern said she had sought advice on his deportation after the trial.
She said she had sought advice on deportation options early on, but was yet to receive it.
Ardern also confirmed more details about the manifesto her office received before the killing. It arrived just nine minutes before the attack, and was sent to more than 30 outlets including media, and Parliament’s tourism desk.
Within two minutes of receipt, Ardern’s office alerted Parliamentary security. Ardern said that the manifesto her office received did not include details of the location of the attack and that had it done, it could have been acted on immediately.
“Had it profited specific details that could have been acted on immediately, it would have,” she said.
The email sent to Ardern’s office did not mention the name, date, location of nature the attack and was written in the past tense, suggesting the attack had occurred. Attached to the email was the 74-page manifesto, which briefly mentions the two mosques that would be targeted.
Newsroom is powered by the generosity of readers like you, who support our mission to produce fearless, independent and provocative journalism.