A man who denies threatening to car bomb two Christchurch mosques on the March 15 terror attack anniversary is fighting to keep his name secret.
The 27-year-old man, who has interim name suppression, was charged with threatening to kill people at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques just ahead of the second anniversary of the terror attack that killed 51 people at the two city mosques on March 15, 2019.
After he was arrested and charged, he appeared at Christchurch District Court on March 5 where he was granted interim name suppression.
New Zealand media outlets, including NZME, have filed an application challenging the suppression order.
Last week, the man entered not guilty pleas to all charges and elected to stand trial by jury. He will be back in court on April 15 for a case review hearing.
His lawyer Anselm Williams is arguing for interim name suppression to continue.
A hearing to argue the suppression case was held in Christchurch this afternoon, with lawyer Robert Stewart appearing for the media.
After legal discussions, Judge Alistair Garland ruled that interim name suppression should remain in place for now.
It will continue to July 9 when the case will be heard again, allowing time for the man's lawyer to obtain further reports.
Judge Garland noted that the media's position to challenge future suppression remains in place.
Charging documents allege the man made the online threats on February 28. The charge carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail.
Last week, it was revealed that he faces seven new charges, alleging that he supplied an objectionable publication, namely Brenton Tarrant's manifesto, to another person on five occasions on February 21, 2021 - and again on February 26 and March 2. Those charges carry a maximum penalty of 14 years' imprisonment, with the manifesto being banned after the attacks.
Since the man's arrest, which came after tip-offs from the public, police and spy agencies have been criticised for failing to detect the threats themselves.
But they have all responded by saying the job is too big to manage alone – and that the public plays a large role in helping alert them to threats – so they can assess the information and react appropriately.
The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the March 15, 2019, terrorist attack criticised security agencies for having previously deployed "an inappropriate concentration of resources" probing Islamic extremism whereas white supremacy had been considered just a fringe threat.
It resulted in SIS Director General Rebecca Kitteridge apologising to the Muslim community and stressing that "significant areas" needed change.
Also in the wake of the attacks, police launched a specialised unit utilising artificial intelligence (AI) technology to scour New Zealanders' Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and other social media channels, as well as online platforms such as 4chan.