Christchurch terror attacks: Police investigate leak of watchlist to media

7:02 am on 1 May 2019

Police have launched an investigation into how the names of people on a watchlist drawn up after the Christchurch terror attack were leaked to the media.

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Police Commissioner Mike Bush Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

While the information leaked was not top secret as claimed, a police spokesperson said the matter was being treated very seriously.

Media reported on Sunday that more than 100 people - including white supremacists and Muslim converts - were being actively monitored by police.

How that information got to the media is now part of an investigation.

Police Minister Stuart Nash has previously said that a small number of people have been "emboldened" since the mosque attacks and the police were monitoring those individuals closely.

Mr Nash told Parliament yesterday he expected Police Commissioner Mike Bush to investigate if any protocols had been breached.

A police spokesperson said in a statement that Mr Bush has ordered an investigation into the "alleged unauthorised disclosure of information to a media outlet".

"To be clear, the information alleged to have been released was not classified as top secret," the spokesperson said.

"The information related to ongoing investigative and prevention steps which are underway in Canterbury District.

"The disclosure of this information is of significant concern to police and we are taking this matter very seriously."

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