TODAY |

No cameras in court for Christchurch terrorist attack accused's second appearance

There'll be no filming or photos at the next court appearance of the accused Christchurch gunman.

A High Court judge has moved to block cameras from being in court, citing a need to preserve the integrity of the trial process and ensure a fair trial.

It's a decision Anwar Ghani from the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand fully backs.

"We totally support the judge's decision, from as far as we are concerned we do not want to see that there is any prejudice in the trial going forward.

"The New Zealand law should take its full effect on how it wants to deal with the individual concerned," Dr Ghani told 1 NEWS.

The accused gunman is due again before a judge on Friday.

That will be his second appearance after an initial hearing in the Christchurch District Court, and will be via audio visual link.

He will not be in court in person.

It comes at the same time as another debate about whether the accused man should have his name mentioned at all.

At the moment it is legal - there is no suppression on the man's name.

The Prime Minister, speaking to Parliament after the deadly mosque attacks, urged people not to use it.

"You will never hear me mention his name," Jacinda Ardern said last month as she "implored" others not to use it either.

A counsellor at the Grief Centre in Auckland says many in the public are backing the Prime Minister, in a bid to protect victims and their families.

"Seeing his name and his picture in the media can be very confronting and re-traumatising," Val Leveson told 1 NEWS.

"So I think it's also part of that protection of them [families] that the community is saying 'we don't want this'," she said.

Media companies have already had early talks about what should happen in the future.

TVNZ's head of news and current affairs John Gillespie said local media are working through "the new territory" the case brings.

"We certainly don't want to give him any sense of a platform whatsoever and we're very cognisant of the effect this event has had on many New Zealanders and will continue to have, especially on the people of Christchurch," Mr Gillespie said.

He said TVNZ is using the accused gunman's name sparingly, and the broadcaster will continue to assess that position.

In an editorial, RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson said it understands the desire to keep the name from view, but it "should not be airbrushed away".

Long-serving criminal barrister Marie Dyhrberg, often herself at the centre of name suppression arguments for her clients, says media have an added responsibility.

"This is of course a court case... I think there is an obligation to report to the world and to the public in New Zealand as to what is happening and that does include the name of the person charged," she told 1 NEWS.

"This is a very unusual situation and I do think that people are, for personal reasons, saying 'I will not give this person any of my attention and energy by naming him' and that's a personal decision and they're entitled," she said.

"But the media falls into a very different category in my view."

    Your playlist will load after this ad

    The High Court judge’s move comes amid ongoing questions around whether the alleged gunman should be named at all. Source: 1 NEWS