Ms Ardern confirmed two of the 40 people who were being treated for injuries at the Christchurch Hospital were in a critical condition, while a five-year-old child had been transported to Starship Hospital in Auckland. His hands were handcuffed and he was wearing white prison attire. His court-appointed lawyer made no application for bail or name suppression. A raft of further charges are expected.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described it as a terrorist attack, saying it was perpetrated by suspects with "extremist views" who had no place in her country or the wider world.
The shooter's two targets were the Masjid al Noor mosque, where 41 people were killed, and a second, smaller mosque in the suburb of Linwood, where seven more died.
Two other people arrested are yet to be charged.
Armed police were deployed at several locations in all cities, unusual in a country where levels of gun violence are low.
The New Zealand Police note how the Arms Act of 1983 doesn't require gun license holders to register their specific firearms with the exception of any military style semi-automatic firearms, pistols or other restricted weapons.
"While work is being done as to the chain of events that led to both the holding of this gun licence, and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now - our gun laws will change". It has no place in New Zealand. The attackers specifically targeted Muslims.
In a rambling manifesto published online to justify the murderous attacks that followed, he introduced himself as "just a regular white man" of "Scottish, Irish and English stock".
"I am advised that the hospital is well-equipped and coping well", she said. I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.
Even if you don't live in New Zealand, there are ways you can help the survivors and families of the victims. This is a partial transcription of those press conferences in which she touches on her country's diversity, sending condolences to victims and their families and communities. "But undoubtedly, the law can be strengthened and improved", she said.
Political and Islamic leaders across Asia expressed their disgust at the deadly shooting. "1.3 billion Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror".
Peneha, who lives next door, said the gunman ran out of the mosque, dropped what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon in his driveway and fled.
Facebook said it had deleted the gunman's accounts "shortly after the livestream commenced" after being alerted by police.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at least three Turkish citizens were wounded in the attacks in New Zealand and that he has spoken to one of them.
The visiting Bangladesh cricket team was arriving for prayers at one of the mosques when the shooting started but all members were safe, a team coach told Reuters. One mosque in Vancouver shared images of their front gates on Twitter. Another showed a pair of figures, one in a headscarf, embracing.
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