Former Christchurch mayor Sir Bob Parker has condemned the Christchurch massacre, saying it was the most "disgusting, evil, horrible act" he has ever heard of.
The former mayor was caught up in the incident and told Mike Yardley it was horrible.
"We were all very scared. My heart goes out to all the people who, right now, are dealing with the close-up events of one of the most disgusting, evil, horrible acts that I think we have ever heard about or witnessed in this country. It's a terrible, terrible thing."
"We were actually trying to get back to our place. It was clear and then suddenly there was a roadblock a very short distance away. We thought ok, it's a road black and then we realised that there were people crouched behind car doors with firearms and we had ended up close to a white van and there was obviously a person of great interest in there."
"So, unfortunately, we found ourselves in the middle of this terrible, terrible event."
Parker said he watched as the police arrested a young man.
"We saw them get a gentleman out of the vehicle, a youngish person, in a grey t-shirt, put him in a police car. So a minor inconvenience in our lives but a tragedy in our city."
He said it was a deeply upsetting and truly terrible event.
"Just deeply upset, it's just another sense of an unreal thing that seems to have happened in our midst, it's a terrible thing."
"It's just an unreal sense and something deeply upsetting and beyond our control."
He said he never imagined something like this happening in Christchurch.
"These things...they don't happen in our midst, they happen somewhere else and it has happened here and there are huge questions as to why? Why would people do this."
"I just think of all the people right now who have lost family members, friends and there is a schism that has opened in a corner of our community that is going to be very, very hard to heal."