Sam Neill has recounted the exact moment he heard about the Christchurch mosque shootings which left 50 people dead on Friday, March 15.

Speaking to Australia's Today Show, the Kiwi actor revealed he was in the back of a taxi in Auckland as the news unfolded.

"I was with a Muslim taxi driver. As we were driving back to my brother's house the full horror of what was happening, what had happened, became apparent on the radio," he said.

By the time he arrived at his brother's house, Neill said he was in a "flood of tears" and was comforted by his driver.


"To think that these people who have come here from the worst places in the world to get away from the worst things find this, this terror, this horror in one of the quietest little refuges in the world, it is unthinkable."

The Hunt for the Wilderpeople star also went on to condemn Australian politicians for their lack of compassion following the attack.

He even called them "complicit", when referring to controversial MP Fraser Anning who tweeted that the "real cause of bloodshed" was that New Zealand allowed "Muslim fanatics to migrate... in the first place".

Neill said: "All Australian politicians should be thinking about castigating Fraser Anning but I think there should be a little bit of castigation on all of them because all of them are complicit in this."

In contrast, he also went on to praise PM Jacinda Ardern for her strength and empathy, and recognised her wearing of the hijab when meeting with the Muslim community as a message of respect.