The Australian man accused of shooting dead 51 worshippers at two New Zealand mosques has smiled as he pleaded not guilty to murder and terror charges.
Grafton man Brenton Tarrant, 28, denied 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one terrorism offence at Christchurch High Court on Friday.
Survivors gasped and cried when Tarrant pleaded guilty to all 92 charges via video from a maximum-security prison in Auckland.
Tarrant faces a new terrorist charge under a new act - the first time such a charge has been brought in New Zealand.
Dozens of relatives of victims and survivors packed the courtroom, some visibly nervous during the hearing, other in tears as the pleas were entered.
Two further courts and some 200 seats were set aside for the public and police maintained a heavy presence through the building.
The court on Friday also found Tarrant was mentally fit to stand trial after earlier requesting routine reports.
The terror charge against him, laid last month, will be the first prosecution of its kind in New Zealand and some legal experts say it could potentially lead to a complex trial.
But Christchurch's Muslim community has welcomed the decision by prosecutors to treat the shootings as an act of terrorism.
Tarrant is being held in New Zealand's only maximum security jail, in Auckland, and prison staff say he has no access to television, radio, newspapers or visitors.
New Zealand's major media organisations have agreed to self-imposed restrictions on reporting to combat far-right extremist views.
A lone gunman armed with semi-automatic weapons targeted Muslims attending Friday prayers in Christchurch on March 15.
The attack killed 51 worshipers and wounded dozens and was was broadcast live on Facebook.
Tarrant's case will return to court on August 16 and he will be trialed on May 4, 2020.