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New Zealand police forced to defend response time to Christchurch terrorist attack.

Mamamia has chosen not to show the face of the man in custody for the Christchurch terror attack, or to include or link to any distressing material about his acts. Instead, we are dedicated to remembering the names, faces and stories of the victims.

New Zealand police have rejected criticism they took too long to respond to the deadly terrorist attack in Christchurch on Friday.

In an abhorrent attack on Muslims, an Australian man shot and killed 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch. Later, it was revealed that the 28-year-old sent his manifesto to several email addresses, including that of the country’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern.

This led many to ask why the attack couldn’t be prevented and some to criticise the NZ police over their response time.

LISTEN: We talk about the heroes and stories of bravery after Friday’s terrorist attack.

However, the NZ police have pushed back on this fault-finding in a series of tweets, pointing out that, in fact, police responded within 10 minutes of the initial call to emergency services.

“There has been some speculation around the police response times to the first attack on Deans Ave on Friday,” the statement read.

“To clarify, police received its first 111 call at 1.41pm. The first armed police unit was on scene at 1.47pm. That’s six minutes to respond.”

In a follow-up tweet, the spokesperson said that the gunman was arrested within 36 minutes.

“I am very proud of the police response to this terrible attack.”

As for the racist manifesto sent to the email addresses of prominent New Zealanders, NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said it contained no information that could be used to prevent an attack.

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“It did not include a location. It did not include specific details… If we could have [prevented the attack], we absolutely would have,” Ardern told reporters on Sunday.

“This was received by over 30 recipients nine minutes before guns were fired. Within two minutes of receipt it went to our parliamentary security.

“But again, by the advice of police, by the time those emails were received they were already receiving 111 calls and responding, and someone was taken into custody within 36 minutes.”

jacindaardern
NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says that the police response was appropriate. Image: Getty

The New Zealand Herald reported the arrest was made by officers who were both based in small towns but were in Christchurch for training on how to deal with armed offenders.

Rural response manager Senior Sergeant Pete Stills said the two officers were in their car when they saw a vehicle that matched the description of the offenders weaving out of traffic.

After pursuing the car, they decided to stop him by ramming the driver's side, pulling him from the passenger's side to arrest him.

The man has appeared in court on Saturday and so far has been charged with one count of murder, though more charges are expected to follow. He was remanded in custody and will next appear at High Court on April 5.

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