Māori Council backs Royal Commission of Inquiry into terror attacks

7:34 pm on 25 March 2019

The Māori Council is welcoming a Royal Commission of Inquiry into New Zealand's security agencies following the Christchurch terror attacks.

Suicide Prevention Australia and National Māori Authority chairman Matthew Tukaki.

Māori Council executive director Matthew Tukaki said it's time to have an open and honest look at where the intelligence services failed and why. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The Prime Minister has confirmed a royal commission will be held into the shootings at two Christchurch mosques which killed 50 people.

Jacinda Ardern said the terms of reference had not yet been set, but they would reflect the seriousness of the attack and the need to get answers in a timely way.

She said the inquiry would look at the events leading up to the terrorist attack, and whether law enforcement and intelligence agencies could have done anything to prevent the massacre.

The Māori Council is backing the royal commission.

Executive director Matthew Tukaki said it was important to look at how security agencies operated in the period of time that National held the reins.

"It is time to have an open and honest look at where our intelligence services failed and why," he said.

Mr Tukaki said any former National minister at the helm of the agencies under the previous government needed to be held accountable if any wrongdoing is found.

"It is time for a reckoning and for questions to be asked with answers to be provided because it is not until we get to the truth about why there was such a significant failure that all New Zealanders can feel safe and secure."

Mr Tukaki also said there is a problem with racial profiling in New Zealand and Māori are sick of it.

Since December, Māori nationalists have been named as threats in prison, and iwi have been spied on by a government agency.

"It's also important that the government seek to address the racial profiling that has been going on for many years," Mr Tukaki said.

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