New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden has addressed media following a terrifying mass shooting across Christchurch as the CBD remains in lockdown and residents have been told to not go outdoors.

'I cannot give any confirmation at this stage around fatalities and casualties, what I can say is that it is clear that this is one of New Zealand's darkest days,' Ms Ardern said at a press conference.

'Clearly, what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.'

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden has addressed media following a terrifying mass shooting across Christchurch as parts of the city have been taken into lockdown and residents told not to go outdoors

'I cannot give any confirmation at this stage around fatalities and casualties, what I can say is that it is clear that this is one of New Zealand's darkest days,' Ms Ardern said at a press conference

A gunman - believed to be a 28-year-old Australian - entered the Al Noor Mosque at Christchurch at about 1.30pm as Friday prayers were underway, before he opened fire and live-streamed the mass shooting.

A video seen by Daily Mail Australia shows the man firing multiple shots at dozens of people as they try to flee.

Witnesses reported hearing 50 shots from weapons including a semi-automatic shotgun and a rifle.

People were also reportedly shot at the nearby Linwood Masjid mosque and a second gunman reportedly seen around the area.

There are also reports of another shooting outside Christchurch Hospital and that a bomb was found in a grey Subaru Legacy three kilometres from the scene of the shooting on Strickland Street, The Guardian reported.

At least 30 people are feared dead and four people are in custody - including three men and one woman, Stuff reported.

'There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence,' Ms Ardern told media.

'Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand, they may even be refugees here.

'They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home.

'They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand.'

At the time of the media conference, Ms Ardern confirmed that police had one suspect in custody, but has warned there could be more involved with schools across the city in lockdown - including central city buildings.

'We are potentially still dealing with an evolving situation,' Ms Ardern said.

'And again, as I say, across multiple sites. Please be assured, though, the police are actively managing the situation.

'The advice from police continues to be that people remain indoors.

A gunman - believed to be a 28-year-old Australian - entered the Al Noor Mosque at Christchurch at about 1.30pm as Friday prayers were underway, before he opened fire and live-streamed the mass shooting

A video seen by Daily Mail Australia shows the man firing multiple shots at dozens of people as they try to flee

People were also reportedly shot at the nearby Linwood Masjid mosque and a second gunman reportedly seen around the area

There are also reports of another shooting outside Christchurch Hospital and that a bomb was found in grey Subaru Legacy three kilometres from the scene of the shooting on Strickland Street

'I acknowledge that that may mean that some families are separated, but please continue to listen out for information as it comes to light.

'For now, my thoughts, and I'm sure the thoughts of all New Zealanders, are with those who have been affected, and also with their families.'

Police Commissioner Mike Bush noted the shooting was a 'serious and evolving situation with an active shooter.'

'Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high,' he said.

'Police thanks the public for their cooperation and will provide further updates to keep residents informed.'

New Zealand police urged mosques to close their doors out of safety as the police operation continues.

'We are still working to resolve this incident and we continue to urge Christchurch residents to stay inside,' it said in a tweet.

'We ask all mosques nationally to shut their doors and advise that people refrain from visiting these premises until further notice.'

Christchurch is the biggest city on New Zealand's South Island. The last mass shooting in New Zealand was back in 1990, after a man killed 13 people in the seaside town of Aramoana.

Tightened gun laws came as a result of the tragic incident and since 2007 gun homicides remained below two digit figures - except in 2009 when 11 were reported.

'Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand, they may even be refugees here,' Ms Ardern said at the press conference

Police Commissioner Mike Bush noted the shooting was a 'serious and evolving situation with an active shooter'

'Police thanks the public for their cooperation and will provide further updates to keep residents informed,' Commissioner Mike Bush said.

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