Families get first look at Royal Commission's report on mosque attacks

8:42 pm on 5 December 2020

The long awaited report into the Christchurch mosque attacks has today been given to families of the victims and those who survived.

A member of the Muslim community uses his mobile phone out side the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15, 2020.

The family of one of the victims described the Royal Commission's report as another missing piece of the puzzle. Photo: AFP

After nearly 20 months and numerous extensions, the report of the high-level investigation into the Christchurch terror attack is in the hands of those most impacted.

The family of one of the victims described the Royal Commission's report as another missing piece of the puzzle as they adjust to life without their brother and son.

The terrorist's shock guilty plea earlier this year meant no trial and the Royal Commission's report will offer some of the only insight into how exactly the shootings were able to take place.

Two commissioners, Sir William Young and Jacqui Caine, were tasked with looking at the gunman's activities in the lead up to 15 March 2019, what security agencies knew about him, what - if anything - they did with that information, if those agencies could have prevented the shootings and what should be done to stop similar attacks in future.

Newly named Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister for Women and Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti.

Jan Tinetti Photo: RNZ

On 26 November their report and findings were handed to Governor-General Patsy Reddy and Minister of Internal Affairs Jan Tinetti, who must then present the report to the House as soon as practicable.

The minister anticipates, but can't guarantee, that will happen before Christmas.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will also decide how much of the report is made public, but the Royal Commission has prepared it so no redactions are necessary.

On Monday the Federation of Islamic Associations took the unusual step of publicly releasing its lengthy submission to the Royal Commission.

The federation's report stated New Zealand's Muslim communities were following increasing terror attacks overseas and knew they were vulnerable to it happening here.

The attacks highlighted "systemic dysfunction" in some government agencies, because they didn't consider the threat of a terror attack on Muslim communities here, it said.

New Zealand's intelligence community failed to anticipate or plan for the terror attack because of an "inappropriate concentration of, or priority setting for, counter-terrorism resources on other perceived terrorism threats."

The federation's report also stated the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet didn't adequately monitor possible risks.

The report also pointed to the lack of diversity in the country's intelligence network.

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