Multiple accounts of a shooting at a mosque near Hagley Park in Christchurch and a heavy police presence in the area have been reported this afternoon. There is also a report of a gunman at a second Christchurch mosque in Linwood. And a third active shooting is being reported outside Christchurch Hospital.
A crisis meeting of multiple agencies at Police National Headquarters in Wellington is reportedly underway.
Radio NZ says Police have confirmed that four people have been taken into custody but that there could be more offenders.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush says they are not assuming this is contained to Christchurch. "We have no other information to suggest it is but at this point in time we should never make assumptions".
There are reports that armed police are being stationed at key locations across the country, including outside mosques in Mt Roskill in Auckland, Newlands in Wellington and also in Tauranga. There are also reports of armed police in the Auckland CBD by Britomart train station.
Prime Minister Jacinda Adern speaking at a media conference at 4pm confirmed that one suspect has been taken into custody but there could be others involved. She says she is not currently in a position to confirm the number of deaths or injuries. The PM says this is an evolving situation possibly involving multiple locations. She says it is one of NZ's darkest days.
The Prime Minister is to make another address this evening after she returns to the Beehive from Taranaki.
Witnesses have reported gunshots, casualties and a heavy police and emergency services presence around Al Noor Mosque on Deans Ave, Riccarton.
One News is reporting that witnesses have seen many dead and injured at the mosque. This has not been confirmed by official sources.
Stuff is reporting sources saying that nine have been confirmed dead. The Herald says they have reports of between 9 to 27 killed.
One News reports that the victims that have arrived at hospital include children.
The Herald reports that the gunman live streamed the shooting for 17 minutes.
Stuff says Carl Pomare a manager for Naki Labour Hire was one of the first people on the scene. He was driving by the mosque about 1.40pm and saw a whole lot of people running. He heard shots going off at rapid fire and people hitting the ground.
The Herald is carrying a report that terrified mosque-goers who escaped the shooting told a neighbour that the gunman wearing military uniform had a lot of magazines strapped to his legs.
A witness is reported to have told Stuff that the gunman emptied at least two magazines.
St Johns has confirmed that 20 ambulances have attended the mosque shooting.
The Herald is reporting a second gunman has been seen near Linwood's Masjid Mosque. TV3's Newshub says witnesses reported seeing a gunman run into the mosque there.
Stuff is reporting shots being fired at Christchurch hospital.
Police have released a statement saying a "serious ongoing firearms incident in Christchurch all Christchurch schools have been placed into lockdown."
Police have urged anyone in central Christchurch to stay off the streets and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to 111.
Te Ao Māori News has been advised by Ngāi Tahu that their Christchurch headquarters are also in lockdown.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu spokesperson Henare Te Aika-Puanaki says, “Our first priorities are with our whānau and ensuring they’re safe and we're on standby waiting to hear back from authorities on updates”.
“We are ensuring our tamariki and whānau outside of the office and around Christchurch are safe and in their homes and off the streets”
A youth climate protest in Cathedral Square has reportedly been dispersed by authorities.
According to Stuff, the former president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury, Mohammed Jama, said a man with a gun went into the mosque about 1.40pm.