NZ journo describes somber mood as Christchurch massacre victims laid to rest

Journalist at NewsTalk in New Zealand, Nadia Tolich speaks to CapeTalk's Lester Kiewit in the aftermath of the Christchurch mass shooting at tow mosques, killing 50 people.

She describes a somber mood in the country as some bodies will be laid to rest on Monday.

A 28-year-old man described as Brenton Harrison Tarrant was arrested a few hours later in relation to the shooting.

Tolich says the country is still devastated and in a state of shock by what happened on Friday.

She says a burial site has been prepared East of Christchurch where all the victims will be laid to rest - 50 plots for all 50 victims.

There are investigations conducted by pathologists to determine the cause of death for each person and the government has asked the families to allow these investigations to be completed.

In the Muslim culture, a burial needs to take place within 24 hours after death but because there is a criminal investigation going on, a postmortem needs to be conducted, says Tolich.

Read: No confirmation of any South Africans killed in Christchurch mosque shooting

There are 17 different pathologists that are working on this case. Everybody is being investigated and cause of death determined.

Nadia Tolich, Journalist - NewsTalk in New Zealand

The prime minister has met personally with the families and has a number of community liaison people to guide the government and officials through this because it is urgent that these bodies are laid to rest as quickly as possible.

Nadia Tolich, Journalist - NewsTalk in New Zealand

The government has made funding available for the affected families, 10 000 dollars per family.

The majority of the victims were breadwinners for most of their families so money would be made available to compensate any loss of income for the immediate future.

Nadia Tolich, Journalist - NewsTalk in New Zealand

Tolich says further charges will be laid against the suspect who appeared in the Christchurch court over the weekend.

The suspect will appear again on 5 April and will remain in custody till then.

I know they are looking at terrorism charges along with the criminal charges but at this present time he is in a secure facility isolated from others.

Nadia Tolich, Journalist - NewsTalk in New Zealand

Another thing discussed is whether deportation is necessary. He is an Australian living in Christchurch but the Prime Minister has indicated that justice must be seen to have been served here in Christchurch.

Nadia Tolich, Journalist - NewsTalk in New Zealand

The New Zealand government is also considering a change to its gun laws following this horrific attack.

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


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