Mike's Minute: Christchurch Shooting Royal Commission must give answers

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 30 Nov 2020, 10:24AM

Mike's Minute: Christchurch Shooting Royal Commission must give answers

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 30 Nov 2020, 10:24AM

The good news on the Royal Commission's report into the Christchurch shootings is that we get to see the detail in a bit over a week.

The worrying thing is a lot of it will be suppressed for 30 years. Some of it because it makes sense to, but surely questions are going to be raised if we don’t get the answers we want.

The most important thing is for answers and understanding as to why it happened, whether it happened due to fault or not, and who's fault that is.

I think we can fairly safely conclude already that mistakes were made. As we outlined last week, the fact a single bloke without obvious means can wander to the parts of the world he did without a single security agency asking questions is ripe for exploration.

There are questions around his firearms licence. There seems confirmation that a gaming friend and the friend's parent were the references, when references have to be from family. This would appear to expose the police and the system badly.

Now, those people's names are suppressed, the police names are suppressed, and you can understand why. Classified material is suppressed for fairly obvious reasons as well.

But if blame is apportioned, is it going to be dressed up as systemic failure?

Is a gun licence failing, the failing of the individuals? Or the force in general?

And if it's individuals, will we ever know if those individuals are held to any sort of account?

And if it’s the force at fault, same question applies, does the buck stop at the top? Or do we just reassure everyone that although mistakes were made, reviews have been held, routine has been tightened up, with the vague promise that something like this can never happen again?

I look at Pike River. A decade on, a Royal Commission later, the questions still aren't answered. The claims still get laid, and mistakes are still outlined. Just last week the Peter Whittall offer of payment was still being admonished. The grief is still very real.

Is this report going to be another decade plus of angst, upset, unresolved questions, and lack of answers? Do the redactions lead to suspicion, and a lack of closure for those who deserve it most?

You get the sense that already with these suppressions recommendations that we are being lined up for a watered down, duck for cover sort of document that has been driven by the desire to be seen to be doing the right thing, as opposed to actually doing the right thing.

For the victims' sake, I hope I am wrong.