9 Dec 2020

Christchurch mosque attacks: Former head of firearms control on licence vetting

From Morning Report, 6:12 am on 9 December 2020

A former head of firearms control at the police says those vetting the man behind the Christchurch mosque shootings should have been concerned when he couldn't provide a reference who knew him when "the front door closes".

Joe Green told RNZ a week after the attack that there had been no interview conducted of a spouse, partner or next of kin.

The report yesterday confirmed those claims, finding the gunman listed his sister as his closest reference, but she was discounted because she lived in Australia.

Instead, vetting officers interviewed a friend he had met during online gaming, and the gaming friend's father.

While the gaming friend knew of Tarrant's far right, racist and Islamaphobic beliefs, the friend didn't mention those views during the licencing interviews.

Joe Green told reporter Ben Strang that it highlights a failure to train staff over the past decade.