Officials have confirmed another 20 victims are “seriously injured”.
Authorities have detained three men and a woman and defused explosive devices in what appeared to be a carefully planned attack.
One of the men in his late 20s has been charged with murder and is due in court on Saturday.
Luke Western, a Christian and content director of Rhema Media in New Zealand, told Premier he was surprised and saddened by the attack.
“I think New Zealand is a peace-loving nation. I think we’ve had a long tenure of political stability over the last ten or so years.” he said.
“I think that we’ve welcomed a high number of refugees into New Zealand over the last few years in particular. Immigration’s high and our communities really welcome immigrants with open arms.
“Given the fact that this happened at a mosque and there is such freedom in New Zealand – I think that’s what’s really hurt the psyche – the heartbeat of the country. New Zealanders can’t believe this could happen on our own soil.”
Authorities have not elaborated on who they detained. But a man (pictured above) who claimed responsibility for the shootings left a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto in which he explained who he was and his reasoning for his actions. He said he was a 28-year-old white Australian.
With the chaos in his country Luke Western told Premier that God’s peace is needed.
“I think you’ve just got to pray – as we do, for God’s peace,” he said.