Govt confirms details of Royal Commission into Chch terror attack

NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Monday, 8 April 2019, 4:07PM

Supreme Court judge Sir William Young will lead the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch mosque terror attacks, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.

Ardern also announced the terms of reference for the inquiry.

"The Government will ensure no stone is left unturned as we examine as quickly as possible how the March 15 attack happened, what could have been done to stop it and how we can keep New Zealanders safe," Ardern told reporters at her weekly post-Cabinet press conference.

"The Royal Commission plays a critical role in our ongoing response to fully understand what happened in the lead up to the attack and to ensure such an attack never happens again.

The Commission will look at:

The alleged gunman's activities before the attack, including:

  • Relevant information from his time in Australia
  • His arrival and residence in New Zealand
  • His travel within New Zealand, and internationally
  • How he obtained a gun licence, weapons and ammunition
  • His use of social media and other online media
  • His connections with others, whether in New Zealand or internationally
  • What relevant state sector agencies knew about him and his activities before this attack; what actions, if any, they took in light of that knowledge; and whether there were any additional measures that the agencies could have taken to prevent the attack
  • Whether there were any impediments to relevant state sector agencies gathering or sharing information relevant to the attack, or acting upon such information, including legislative impediments
  • Whether there was any inappropriate concentration or priority setting of counter-terrorism resources by relevant state sector agencies prior to this attack.

"Justice Young, who is a sitting Judge of the Supreme Court of New Zealand, New Zealand's highest court, has the extensive experience and skills required to lead the inquiry," Ardern said.

"I am confident that in his nearly nine years as a judge on our highest bench, Justice Young has the judgement, clarity and care to do the job, with a sound understanding of intelligence issues and experience working in the public eye."

One further member would be appointed to the commission by the end of April.

The commission would engage with the Muslim community, including appointing people to help with effective consultation.

It would start considering evidence from May 13 and was expected to report back to Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy by December 10.

The commission will have a budget of $8.2 million.


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