Prince William has paid his respects at the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial before heading off in his motorcade.

Hundreds of Cantabrians were waiting for his arrival on the northern banks of the Avon River this afternoon.

Once he walked down the ramp of the memorial, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel spoke William through the 185 names on the memorial.

The prince then laid down a wreath and took a private moment to remember the quake victims before taking a public walk about.

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Earlier in the day, the Duke told worshippers at the Al Noor mosque that "the forces of love will always prevail over the forces of hate".

William spoke at the mosque, where the shootings began six weeks ago today, accompanied by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

"You showed the way we must respond to hate - with love," the Prince said.

At Christchurch Hospital this morning, he was met by Canterbury DHB chair Dr John Wood, director of surgery Greg Robertson, hospital general manager Pauline Clark, and nursing director Lynne Johnson.

There was a heavy police presence with specialist teams sweeping the area, checking bins and gardens.