Tearful students perform a moving haka dance and light candles during vigil outside Christchurch mosque.

Hundreds of students have gathered to pay tribute to those killed in the Christchurch massacre with some performing a traditional haka dance. Tearful youngsters have staged vigils around New Zealand in the wake of the horrifying attack, that left 50 dead and dozens injured at two mosques in the city. Some came together for moving renditions of the haka a traditional Maori ceremonial dance. Others lit candles and embraced outside the Al Noor mosque one of two targeted on Friday. Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday after the mass shootings.

Grief continued to wash across the nation today, with New Zealanders of all stripes gathering to express revulsion over the killings and a unified front against racial hatred. Family and friends outside Al Noor mosque the scene of the largest massacre held a sunset prayer session, with their mournful cries echoing through a park as locals looked on.'It just happened to be the time of our evening prayer. Anywhere you are, you can just pray anywhere,' said Saiyad Raza, who had travelled from Auckland to bury his cousin who died in the shootings. Earlier, a Maori cleansing ceremony was performed at the mosque, bringing together indigenous Kiwis, Muslim leaders and local officials. In Auckland, students at Orewa College gathered to form a heart and the message 'Kia Kaha' - 'stay strong' in Maori.
Meanwhile, New Zealand's government has said it will tighten gun laws in the wake of its worst modern-day massacre as it emerged that the white supremacist accused of carrying out the killings at two mosques will represent himself in court.Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her coalition was unified on the need to reduce the availability of the kind of weapons used by alleged gunman Brenton Tarrant. 'We have made a decision as a cabinet, we are unified,' she said, flanked by her coalition partner and deputy prime minister, Winston Peters.Peters, whose New Zealand First party has previously opposed changes, said he backed the prime minister fully.'The reality is that after one pm on Friday our world changed forever, and so will our laws,' he said. Ardern said there would be an inquiry into the horrifying attack, as questions swirl over whether intelligence agencies should have spotted warning signs. The organisers of New Zealand's largest gun show - the Kumeu Militaria Show, near Auckland - announced Monday they had cancelled the event in the wake of the massacre and because of 'elevated security risks'.Despite having tightened the rules in the 1990s after the last mass shooting, New Zealand has relatively permissive gun laws, with licences granted to nearly every applicant. David Tipple, the managing director of Gun City, whose online store sold Tarrant four weapons, said he felt no responsibility for the killings.'We detected nothing extraordinary about this licence holder,' he told reporters. Tarrant, who appeared in court on Saturday charged with murder, on Monday sacked his state-appointed lawyer. Richard Peters, who represented the alleged killer during the hearing, said the 28-year-old 'wants to be self-represented in this case'.
'The way he presented was rational and someone who was not suffering any mental disability. He seemed to understand what was going on,' Peters said.Under New Zealand law, if Tarrant pleads not guilty his case would normally go to trial, raising the possibility that he could face survivors and victims' families in court.Mustafa Farouk, president of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, told reporters he had faith in the system.'As a community, we would like that person to go through the process, the due process, and to be given all his rights,' he said.'We believe in the justice system here and we know it will do what is right.'