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'There is no place for violence like this' - Politicians react to Christchurch mass shooting

Politicians have started to express their condolences to those affected by this afternoon's Christchurch mass shooting.

Parts of central Christchurch are in lockdown after it is believed at least one gunman opened fire at a mosque in the city. Eyewitnesses said as many as 15 people may been hit at the mosque, the Masjid Al Noor mosque on Deans Ave. There is also a report of another shooting at mosque on Aldwins Rd in Linwood.

Today Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern fronted media, calling it one of "New Zealand's darkest days".

"Many of those who have been affected by this shooting, may be migrants to New Zealand - they may be even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home. They are us," Ms Ardern says.

"There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence, which is clear this act was.

"For now, my thoughts - and I'm sure the thoughts of all New Zealanders - are with those who have been affected, and with their families. My thoughts also to those in Christchurch who are still dealing with an unfolding situation."

Source: 1 NEWS

National Party leader Simon Bridges was strong to condemn the attacks, as well as offer his thoughts to those affected.

"We stand with and support the New Zealand Islamic community. No one in this country should live in fear, no matter their race or religion, their politics or their beliefs," Mr Bridges said in a statement.

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1 News reporter Lisa Davies at the scene in Christchurch says a suspected gunman is on the loose after reports multiple people hit by gunfire. Source: 1 NEWS

"My thoughts, and the thoughts of the National Party are with the victims of today's attacks, along with their families and friends. My heart goes out to all of you."

Act leader David Seymour echoed the sentiments of Mr Bridges.

"This type of incident is unheard of in New Zealand," Mr Seymour said.

"I extend my deepest condolences to the victims and their families. I sincerely hope the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice. There is no place for violence like this in our communities.

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Ambulance crews were filmed taking the injured away from the scene of the shooting at a mosque in Christchurch. Source: 1 NEWS

"Whatever differences we may have should be resolved through dialogue and debate. That is the hallmark of a peaceful, democratic country."

Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy added her voice to those in support for the affected.

"Today's tragic events in Christchurch have shocked all New Zealanders," Dame Patsy said in a statement.

"Our hearts go out to the people of Christchurch, especially the people directly affected by this afternoon's terrible violence. Our thoughts are with them, their families and friends.

"Now more than ever is the time to affirm the values that we hold dear - compassion, kindness and tolerance.

"I have no doubt that all New Zealanders join with me in expressing their condolences and support."