The government of New Zealand will soon be releasing its response to the Christchurch Report nearly 21 months after a royal commission was constituted to investigate government failings that led to the terror attack and present comprehensive recommendations for the future.
The 792-page report was presented to the governor-general, Dame Patsy Reddy, in September, which was then forwarded to the executives. The inquiry took place behind closed doors and interviewed everyone from top security officials to survivors, current and former prime ministers.
On March 15 of 2019, a heavily armed white-supremacist terrorist opened fire at two inner-city Christchurch mosques, killing 51 worshippers. 5 months later, the man, Australian Brenton Tarrant, was sentenced to life in prison on charges of terrorism.
The New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, ordered a royal commission of inquiry into the massacre took place, to investigate whether there were failings on part of the government and police officials in preventing the terror attack.
The gunman posted multiple references to his plan online, prior to the attack, and yet was able to legally obtain a gun licence, and carried out the attack on two mosques.
The parts of the report that will be made public depends on the prime minister’s discretion and will be accompanied by the policy change in-line with the recommendations made in the report.
“Having completed 18 months of intense inquiry, engagement and analysis, we urge the government to consider the findings and act on the recommendations,” said Commissioner Sir William Young. “It has been an honour and privilege to undertake this inquiry,” said commissioners Young and Jacqui Caine. “Our hope is that this report not only provides answers but also the impetus for change and conversations about the kind of country we want to be.”
The minister for internal affairs, Jan Tinetti, has vowed to present the report to New Zealand’s House of Representatives as soon as practicable.
“We will share the report confidentially with families and victims ahead of the public release and work closely with them. It is only right that they have the space and opportunity to privately reflect on the findings,” Tinetti said.
The Muslim community in New Zealand expressed hope that the government will implement the commission’s recommendations. However, some in the community expressed negligence on part of the authorities, saying that they were ignored in the lead-up to the massacre, after warning police and authorities repeatedly that hate crimes and abusive behaviour against their community were escalating.