Brenton Tarrant, who is accused with the Christchurch attacks in March, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Tarrant, the 29-year-old Australian, is charged with the murder of 51 people, 40 counts of attempted murder and one terrorism charge in New Zealand’s deadliest peace time mass shooting.
Tarrant pleaded via video link from prison.
The courtroom was filled with victims – survivors and family members of the 51 killed during the March 15 attack at two Christchurch mosques – with many more watching from two overflow rooms inside the courthouse via audio visual link.
They reacted with gasps when the not guilty pleas were entered.
A trial date of May 4 was confirmed by the court. Indications are the trial could last around six weeks.
The accused was remanded in custody to a case review hearing on August 16
The 15 March attack saw a gunman open fire on Muslims during Friday prayers.
This is the first time a terrorism charge has been brought in New Zealand.