All Blacks captain Kieran Read was in lockdown at a school hall after the mass shootings in Christchurch that have claimed multiple lives.

At about 4pm on Friday, Read posted a picture on Instagram of an empty school hall saying he was waiting for his children.

"Sending my thoughts to all victims today," the Instagram story read. "Locked in the school hall waiting for the girls."

Kieran Read's post on Instagram. Photo / Instagram
Kieran Read's post on Instagram. Photo / Instagram

Read has three children, two of whom – girls Elle and Eden – attend primary school.

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The Herald understands the school in Papanui was on such high alert the children were allowed only a little water as they weren't allowed access to toilets.

It is believed the children have all returned home safely.

Read, who is leaving to play rugby in Japan after the World Cup, partly decided to make the move before his children were too old.

Read and his wife Bridget have three young children and they have always wanted to have an overseas experience together.

They want to have it before their children get too far into their schooling and 2020 is seen as the perfect time.

Kieran Read and his son Reuben following the third test between the All Blacks and the British Lions in 2017. Photo / Getty
Kieran Read and his son Reuben following the third test between the All Blacks and the British Lions in 2017. Photo / Getty

--More to come