The Government has deemed footage of the recent terrorist attack in Germany objectionable, meaning it is illegal to download or distribute it in New Zealand.

This puts the footage in the same category as the video that was live-streamed during the March 15 terror attacks in Christchurch.

Yesterday shots were fired outside a synagogue and into a kebab shop in the eastern German city of Halle in what Germany's top security official has described as an anti-Semitic, far-right attack.

It took place on Yom Kippur, Judaism's holiest day.


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It appeared to be conducted in a similar way to the March 15 attack; the gunman filmed the attack via a camera on his helmet, and the 35-minute video was posted to a live-streaming video platform.

Two people were killed, and one person was arrested.

In a statement released this afternoon, Department of Internal Affairs Director of Digital Safety Jolene Armadoros said the footage of the attack had been deemed objectionable.

"The content of this footage is highly disturbing and harmful for people to see," she said.
She urged members of the public to report the video if it is seen online.

Sharing and downloading objectionable content is an offence under New Zealand law because of the harm it can cause.

Like the March 15 video the footage, the German live-stream has been deemed objectionable because of its depiction and promotion of extreme violence and terrorism.

Chief Censor David Shanks said while this video is not filmed in New Zealand and fatalities are fewer than in Christchurch the fundamentals of this publication are the same as that of the March 15 live-stream.


"It appears on the face of it to be a racially motivated terrorist attack depicting cold-blooded murder of innocent people.

"It is clearly promotional and crosses the line in terms of New Zealand law as it depicts extreme violence and terrorist atrocities.

Police officers walk in front of a Jewish cemetery in the German city of Halle where one or more gunmen fired several shots on Wednesday. Photo / AP
Police officers walk in front of a Jewish cemetery in the German city of Halle where one or more gunmen fired several shots on Wednesday. Photo / AP

Earlier today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told media that the Christchurch Call to Action kicked into gear immediately when the horrific shooting in Germany started being live-streamed.

The live-stream was hosted by Amazon's Twitch, and Amazon signed up to the Christchurch Call two weeks ago, joining more than 50 countries and organisations, as well as seven other online platforms.

In New York at the UN two weeks ago, Ardern announced a series of updates to the Christchurch Call, including the new crisis-response framework that was ready for deployment.

"Of course after the 15th of March in Christchurch, we were very aware that there was every chance that that kind of streaming of such a horrific event could happen again," Ardern told reporters this morning when asked about the attack in Germany.

"The incident protocol we developed has kicked in ... as I understand straight away. Companies are talking to each other to try and stop the [video's] spread."

In her statement, Armadoros urged New Zealanders to think about how they can keep themselves, and their families, safe online.