The man charged with murder in connection with the Christchurch mosque killings lived just three blocks from the home of Dunedin MP and former police minister Michael Woodhouse.

Speaking in a special debate in Parliament organised for MPs to express their sorrow over the events in Christchurch last Friday, Dunedin-based National list MP Michael Woodhouse said the killings were especially horrifying for his city.

''The other poignant feature of this for Dunedinites is, of course, the revelation that the evil-doer lived among us - in my case, just three blocks away from my home.

''He was hiding in plain sight and I agree with previous speeches that he is not us. He is not who we are.''


Woodhouse, a former police minister in the last National government, acknowledged reports of Islamophobic incidents in Dunedin and other places.

''I know these are very isolated incidents but in our silence in the face of such prejudice we risk complicity," he told yesterday's debate.

''We have a duty to provide this country and its communities places to live without fear, and I support the efforts to provide that reassurance and will continue to work with my fellow Dunedin-based colleagues Clare Curran and David Clark to re-establish Dunedin as a place of peace for all its citizens.''

Health Minister and Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark said he had travelled to Christchurch on Friday afternoon at the request of Canterbury District Health Board management.

He was proud of all of the health professionals and first responders he had met in recent days.

''I spoke with those who received the 111 calls - the first ones from the mosque while the gunshots were still ringing out in the background,'' Dr Clark said.

''I heard from those who co-ordinated the fleets of ambulances which went backwards and forwards between the mosques and the hospital.

''I heard from those who triaged patients and from those who provided lifesaving treatment.


''Can I put on record my thanks to the staff and crew of St John's, and also to the medical, nursing, and allied health workforce of Canterbury DHB who did a truly exceptional job in very difficult circumstances and continue to do an exceptional job.''

Parliament has suspended normal business in the wake of the Christchurch attack and has adjourned until April 2.