World

NZ PM promises urgent gun law change

By AAP Newswire

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has pledged a swift crackdown on guns as the city of Christchurch continues to mourn and prepares to bury its dead.

Ten people, including a four-year-old girl, remained in critical condition on Monday, three days after a shooting at two mosques allegedly carried out by Australian white supremacist Brenton Tarrant killed 50 and wounded 50 more.

Ardern confirmed she would present new gun laws within 10 days, while calling for residents to consider voluntarily handing over their firearms.

"The clear lesson from history around the world is that to make our community safer, the time to act is now," she said.

Earlier in the day, it was revealed Tarrant had bought four guns online from a Christchurch store, none of which were the semi-automatic rifles used in the massacre.

It's thought the weapons employed in the attack were bought legally using a licence and then later modified.

Meanwhile, in NSW, counter-terrorism police assisting New Zealand investigators raided two homes, including one that's believed to belong to Tarrant's sister.

"The community can be assured that there is no information to suggest a current or impending threat related to this search warrants," Australian Federal Police and NSW Police said.

Officers from the AFP and the United States' FBI have also joined 250 Kiwi investigators working on the case.

While armed officers maintained a heavy presence across Christchurch and mosques are expected to remain under guard until Friday, residents on Monday began to return to work and schools.

Preparations were still underway for funerals in the city's east, as families of victims continued to wait for the release of bodies.

Investigators have in recent days tried to give assurances they're acting as swiftly as possible, amid concerns the delays have prevented the swift burials called for under Islamic tradition.

Hundreds of students in the evening gathered near Deans Avenue, near where gunfire first broke out on Friday, the latest in a series of vigils held across the country.

But an official memorial would not be held this week, Ardern confirmed.

"We want to ensure that the priority for the coming days is the families' opportunity to grieve together," she said.

During the day, emergency staff involved in the response told their stories to media.

"There was a river of blood coming out of the mosque ... It was literally flowing off terracotta tiles," said ambulance technician Paul Bennett, who said even working through the deadly Christchurch earthquake of 2011 had not prepared him for what he found.

"The scene at Deane Avenue was about hatred,"

Nearby, an 18-year-old local man accused of distributing a live-stream of the attack posted by Tarrant, but was not connected to the attack, appear in the district court.

The teen - who is also charged with posting a photograph of one of the mosques attacked with the message "target acquired" - was denied bail and could face up to 14 years' jail if found guilty.

Facebook earlier said it had taken down 1.5 million copies of footage.

In Canberra, Scott Morrison call for supporters of Tarrant to be called out, saying the sheer number of disturbing responses in support of the Christchurch terror attack showed how hard it was to identify potential terrorists.

Authorities have confirmed Tarrant will stand trial in New Zealand and any deportation is unlikely until his potential sentence is fully served.