The attacks on mosques in Christchurch have left 50 people dead, and another 50 injured.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told media this afternoon a total of 100 dead and injured had been confirmed.
- Scroll down for live updates in the wake of the attack
She said victims' bodies were being returned to families starting tonight, a process that would be completed by Wednesday.
Victim identification staff had been flown in from Australia to speed up the process.
Public vigils are being held across New Zealand this weekend and many events in Christchurch and other cities have been cancelled.
Frustration is growing among the family and friends of the victims who are still unable to bury their dead.
They are desperate for the bodies to be returned so they can be buried as quickly as possible in accordance with Muslim tradition.
More than 200 members of the Muslim community met with officials last night at Christchurch Hospital to discuss how the bodies will be identified and released but a steady stream left saying they couldn't wait all night for news.
Dozens more police are being deployed to Christchurch and there is a heightened police presence around the country, including at mosques and community events.
The dead include a five-year-old girl and her father who were chased by the gunman and shot.
Three people are in custody, and 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant has appeared in court this yesterday charged with murder. Police say further charges will be laid. None of those in custody were on security watchlists in New Zealand or Australia.
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- Watch Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel speak about the attacks
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