Mike's Minute: What will the Royal Commission into the mosque shootings say?

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 27 Nov 2020, 9:50AM

Mike's Minute: What will the Royal Commission into the mosque shootings say?

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 27 Nov 2020, 9:50AM

The Royal Commission's findings into the Christchurch shooting are with the appropriate Minister.

First question is, when do we get to see it? The law says it should be put into the house as soon as practicable, whatever that means.

But it is potentially the most critical part of the whole tragic event. Tarrant has been sentenced. So, justice, such as is possible in a case like this, has been done.

The gun buyback, which was the government's knee jerk reaction to a tragedy, has been carried out with the predictable outcome. A lot of rabbit shooters handed over their weapons, we paid millions for them and put them in the bin, in the vein hope that next time a nutter rolls into town they find it hard to get a weapon of some sort of mass destruction.

This is why the Royal Commission Report is so important. Because the ideal scenario was, of course, was the attack never happened in the first place. And the way that would have happened, is that Tarrant was picked up before he ever acted.

So, the critical part of this report is, was our security found wanting? And if so, how badly? My bet, sadly, is the answer is yes.

The sense at the time, if you remember, was that the authorities had spent too much energy on groups like ISIS. International terror groups were a reflection of where the world was at post 9/11. The white supremacist had managed to operate a bit under the radar. Whether that is true, will hopefully be fleshed out in this report.

But I ask the question again, that I asked at the time, and that is what I base my fears on, how is it that a person of no obvious means, no employment, is able to wander the world the way he did, and no flag went up anywhere.

This is a bloke that travelled to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, France, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, and North Korea.

Now, some of those places don’t ring alarm bells, but come on. North Korea, Pakistan and Afghanistan? There's a theme here, and it's not sunshine and lounge chairs. Even if it was, checks would have been able to verify it.

The travel record alone and its lack of attention for a single man sitting in Dunedin, warranted a lot of questions, I would have thought.

What I fear is that, yet again, government departments will be found badly wanting. And when they are, the apologies will flow, lessons will be learned, and promises will be made.

But, of course, it will, like all reports that find blame fault, ineptitude, unprofessionalism, and incompetence, be too late.

Let's hope I am wrong. It won't change the outcome, but it will be less salt in the wound.