Irish rugby legend Ronan O'Gara joined OTB AM live from Christchurch this morning.
At least 40 people were killed and 20 people injured in the attacks at the mosques in the centre of the city:
"It's been a really really sad day. People are in shock... What has happened today is off the charts all together," he commented.
"It is such a safe and peacefully country normally, the people, especially the guys who grew up here, are in deep shock ... It's still extremely raw, we are gathering information as we go along," the former Irish out-half continued.
Police also made safe a number of improvised explosive devices.
Three men and one woman are in custody, but police have warned there could be other attackers at large.
The Irish Embassy in Wellington has urged any Irish citizens concerned for their safety to contact it on 04-4712252.
Additional reporting Michael Staines