Each weekday The Front Page keeps you up to date with the biggest news in New Zealand. Today, our Prime Minister refuses to name the alleged gunman of the Christchurch mosque attacks, New Zealand telcos pen an open letter to Facebook, Google and Twitter, allegations of harassmnent force Auckland Art Gallery's director to step down, and some words of encouragement from a psychotherapist on dealing with trauma. Hosted by Juliette Sivertsen.

Parliament's Speaker Trevor Mallard led a multi-faith delegation into the debating chamber this afternoon for a special sitting of Parliament.

The procession came down the Speaker's Corridor and through the Grand Hall before going into the House.

Prayers were offered by each of the religious representatives, beginning with an Islamic prayer.


Party leaders then gave statements of condolence to the victims of the Christchurch terror attack in Parliament.

Jacinda Ardern reaffirmed her pledge to protect New Zealand - and support all those grieving after the slaying of 50 people in Christchurch on Friday.

Speaking in the House, she says one role she hoped never to have is to voice the grief of a nation.

Ardern delivered a message directly to the families of those killed and injured.

"We cannot know your grief, but we can walk with you at every stage. We can and will surround you with aroha, manaakitanga and all that makes us, us."

In delivering her message, Ardern says the man at the centre of this attack will face the full force of the law.

She says he sought notoriety, but New Zealand will give him nothing, not even his name, because he is a terrorist, and implored others to do the same.

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New Zealand First leader Winston Peters called the perpetrator of the violence a "coward".


He deferred to the Prime Minister during the tribute session, saying she speaks for the coalition.

The New Zealand First leader says her example to New Zealanders has been exemplary.

Tonight, Peters departs for Jakarta for a High Level Dialogue on Indo-Pacific co-operation, hosted by the Indonesian Foreign Minister.

The meeting was scheduled before the attacks, but Peters says the importance of it now cannot be overstated.

Following his trip to Indonesia, he'll then travel onwards to Turkey, which is at the request of the Turkish Government, for a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation.

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The CEOs of the nation's telcos have penned an open letter to the major social media providers.

This comes after reports this week that major Kiwi corporations have pulled advertising from the platforms.

Westpac and TSB are the latest to join the growing number of New Zealand businesses pulling their advertising spending from major digital sites.

The joint letter is from Spark's Simon Moutter, Vodafone's Jason Paris and 2Degrees' Stewart Sherriff.

They say on Friday, they took the unprecedented step to jointly identify and suspend access to sites that hosted the shooter's video footage.

The letter states as key industry players, they believed this step was the right thing to do in such extreme and tragic circumstances, and they hope it reduced the risk their customers may inadvertently be exposed to it, while limiting publicity the gunman was clearly seeking.

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Facebook says only a handful of people watched the alleged Christchurch shooter's 17-minute livestream, but also acknowledges that stamping out copies is an ongoing effort.

The social network's vice president for global policy Monika Bickert told the Herald in the time it was actually live, fewer than 200 people viewed it.

She says in the time that it took to remove any version of that initial video from Facebook, fewer than 4000 people total were able to view the video.

While by Facebook standards, the number of views was low - it was still enough for it to be copied, and spread through YouTube, Twitter and other platforms.

In the first 24 hours after the shooting, there were 1.5 million attempts to upload the shooter's video, or edited variants, to Facebook.

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Chief Censor David Shanks today classified the full 17-minute video as "objectionable" - meaning it is officially banned.

That raises the prospect of a fine of up to $10,000 or up to 14 years' jail for anyone who shares the clip

The footage, examined under the Films, Videos & Publications Classification Act 1993, is deemed objectionable because of its depiction and promotion of extreme violence and terrorism.

The alleged shooter 75-page manifesto is still being assessed.

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards called on Facebook to share names with police.

Edwards says his foreign counterparts in the UK, Ireland and Australia are discussing joining to demand change.

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The mosque at the centre of the shooting was previously subjected to the delivery of boxes of pigs heads by Hitler-saluting men.

Video, intended to be shared within the 20-strong cell of local neo-Nazis, emerged online over the weekend.

It showed tradesmen Philip Neville Arps delivering the offal to the Al-Noor mosque in March 2016.

Pig meat is considered unclean by Muslims.

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New Zealand spent more than $15 million on importing firearms last year.

Figures from StatsNZ reveal the country imported 23,713 firearms in the calendar year, with most guns sourced from Turkey, the United States and Italy.

Of those, a total 5345 of those firearms were .22 calibre shooting rifles, 7430 were shotguns.

Around 11,000 were classified as all other guns.

The data did not break down how many were semi-automatic weapons.

These figures do not account for air rifle imports, estimated to be around 2000, which largely can be used without a licence and are classified in a separate category, or stun guns or gun parts and accessories.

In addition to the firearms, New Zealand imported $20.9 million worth of ammunition last year, compared to $19.4 million a year earlier.

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In other news, Auckland Art Gallery's new director has stepped down following an allegation of workplace harassment in his previous job in Canada.

Gregory Burke was set to step into the role next month, after last month resigning from a post as chief executive of Remai Modern gallery in Saskatoon in Canada.

However, CBC News reported the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission was investigating an allegation of workplace harassment.

Burke told the Herald today he was withdrawing his application for the Auckland role, as he awaited the opportunity to address what he described an "unproven allegation" against him.

He says he's concerned the attention caused by the allegation has created a distraction for the gallery's board and staff.

Burke says out of respect for them and the institution, he believes it's the right thing to do.

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Wellington Central Library's been forced to close - due to earthquake safety concerns.

Engineers have pointed to significant vulnerabilities in the building.

It follows new assessment guidance from MBIE, after Statistics House partially collapsed in the Kaikoura earthquake.

Mayor Justin Lester says public safety is the number one priority.

Lester says the library building's footprint will be fenced off.

The building will be closed from 8.30 tonight, until further notice.

For more on this story, tune in to Newstalk ZB
Low dairy payouts have driven Westland Milk to sell to China's Yili.

Westland Milk chair Pete Morrison says the main reason for selling to the Chinese dairy giant was the co-operative's inability to maintain a competitive milk price over the last few years.

The proposed $588 million transaction follows a strategic review of Westland by the board.

Westland is New Zealand's second biggest dairy co-op after Fonterra.

But over the last two seasons, Westland's payout has been well below Fonterra's - which is the benchmark - and at the bottom of the heap compared to the other dairy companies.

Fonterra paid out $6.79 per kg of milksolids in 2017/18 against Westland's $6.12 per kg.

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I want to conclude sharing some words from regular Herald columnist, psychotherapist Kyle McDonald.

He's written a piece today discussing post traumatic stress disorder and processing the tragedy of the Christchurch attacks.

He explains responses to trauma can vary, but the common features are anxiety, despair, emotional numbing and a sense of things feeling meaningless.

And, for those in Christchurch who lived through the earthquakes, another incomprehensible tragedy can trigger people into not feeling safe - and that's a normal reaction.

But McDonald then goes on to say, unlike the quakes, in this case, there is someone to blame - and with blame, comes rage, hate and a natural desire for retribution.

He says while fantasies of vengeance are a natural response to trauma, it can also be harmful - hate ultimately begets hate.

McDonald shares what is helpful - seeking connection, reaching out and finding meaning in each others' arms. Meeting hate with love.

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That's the Front Page for today, Tuesday 19 March, making sure you're across the biggest news of the day. For more on these stories, check out The New Zealand Herald, or tune in to Newstalk ZB.

You can subscribe to this podcast on Apple podcasts here, iHeartRadio here, and Stitcher here.

If you like to stay up to date on social media, you can find host Juliette Sivertsen on Twitter.