NZ demands ‘wicked, inhuman’ Tarrant be jailed in Australia


Australian terrorist Brenton Tarrant should serve his life sentence in Australia so his victims' families are not forced to pay the "astronomical" cost of his time behind bars, New Zealand's Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said.

"Now is the time for Australia's Minister of Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, to receive and carry out the terrorist's sentence in Australia," Mr Peters said.

"The Islamic community and all of New Zealand has already suffered enough without having to pay astronomical prison costs to keep him safe in our prison system."

It's understood Tarrant's incarceration is presently costing more than $NZ4930 a day ($A4511).

However Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he should remain jailed in New Zealand, adding that the country's leader Jacinda Ardern had not requested for the white supremacist to be transferred to Australia.

"It's normal practice that criminals convicted of these offences serve their sentences in that jurisdiction and that's my understanding of what the arrangements are," Mr Morrison said.

"No request has been made to Australia for that to be any different."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said “right” the world will never hear from Brenton Tarrant “ever again”. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said “right” the world will never hear from Brenton Tarrant “ever again”. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage

Earlier, Mr Morrison said it is "right" the world will never see or hear from Christchurch mosque shooting gunman Brenton Tarrant "ever again".

He released a statement following the sentencing of Tarrant saying all Australians were "horrified and devastated by his despicable act".

"Justice today was delivered to the terrorist and murderer for his cowardly and horrific crimes in Christchurch," he said.

"New Zealand is family to us. Today, we send our love across 'the ditch' and I had the opportunity to pass on those wishes earlier today to New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern."

Mr Morrison said he paid tribute to the Muslim community of New Zealand and Australia who have supported each other and "reflected the goodness of faith".

"Out of the horror of this event there also emerged the incredible grace and beauty of Farid Ahmed, who I met with Jenny at the memorial service in Christchurch and again in Sydney when he came to visit me in March this year," he said.

"Farid lost his wife that day and his message is one of hope and love. Inspirational."

Mr Morrison said the Muslim community had been a "light answering the darkness".

"God Bless our New Zealand whanau this day - and may it be another day of healing for everyone affected by this terrible atrocity," he said.



Tarrant was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Thursday for the massacre of 51 Muslim worshippers, with a judge calling him "wicked" and "inhuman".

Judge Cameron Mander said that behind Tarrant's "warped" ideology was a "base hatred" that led him to attack defenceless men, women and children last year in New Zealand's worst terror attack.

"It is incumbent on the court to respond in a way that decisively rejects such vicious malevolence," Mander said as he announced a sentence unprecedented in New Zealand legal history.

The judge said Tarrant had failed in his aim of promoting right-wing extremism as he gunned down victims in cold blood but the New Zealand Muslim community had still paid a terrible price.

"It was brutal and beyond callous. Your actions were inhuman," the judge said.

Tarrant - a 29-year-old Australian white supremacist - sparked global revulsion on March 15, 2019 when he rampaged through two Christchurch mosques for 20 minutes during Friday prayers.

He had admitted 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one of terrorism over the attacks, after reversing an initial not guilty plea.



Crown prosecutor Mark Zarifeh said the atrocity was "without comparison in New Zealand's criminal history".

"The offending was motivated by an entrenched racist and xenophobic ideology … in my submission, the offender is clearly New Zealand's worst murderer," he said.

Zarifeh said life behind bars was "the only proper sentencing option" for Tarrant.

"No minimum period is sufficiently long to satisfy sentencing objectives given the gravity of the offending and the devastating loss of life and injury," he said.

Throughout the sentencing, Tarrant remained impassive as the court heard harrowing testimony from dozens of his victims and their families.

"Since my husband and son passed away, I've never had a proper, normal sleep. I don't think I ever will," widow Ambreen Naeem told the court.

"His punishment should continue forever," she said.

Tarrant accepted the sentence and waived his right to speak at the sentencing. Fearing Tarrant may use the platform to spout extremist ideology, the court had imposed tight restrictions on reporting of proceedings.

Before sentencing, Tarrant, a former gym instructor, had sacked his legal team and declared he would represent himself.

Instead, court appointed lawyer Pip Hall made a brief one-line statement on his behalf before the judge delivered his sentence.

"Mr Tarrant does not oppose the application that he should be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole," Hall said.

Arguing against life behind bars, counsel assisting the court Kerry Cook said Tarrant's views had changed while he had been jailed and he had offered to meet the families in "restorative justice" session.

"Given his age, lack of previous record and guilty pleas, there is a prospect of rehabilitation," he told the court, saying a whole-life sentence breached fundamental human rights.

Zarifeh said Tarrant's belated description of his actions as "unnecessary, abhorrent and irrational" were questionable.

"(Tarrant) said he had a poisoned emotional state and was terribly unhappy," Zarifeh said.

"He felt ostracised by society and wanted to damage society as an act of revenge.

"Yet at the same time, the offender described the offending as definitely an act of terrorism." The atrocity shocked New Zealand and prompted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to immediately tighten gun laws and pressure social media giants to curb online extremism.

Originally published as NZ demands 'wicked, inhuman' Tarrant be jailed in Australia