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Royal Commission into Christchurch terror attack begins

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Royal Commission into Christchurch terror attack begins

An official inquiry looking at the specific circumstances leading up to the Christchurch terror attack begins examining evidence today.

Royal Commission into Christchurch terror attack begins

Last week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the Royal Commission into the March 15 Christchurch terror attack that saw two mosque shootings which left 51 people dead, would begin examining evidence Monday.

The Commission has been established to answer questions New Zealanders and the government has about why and how the Christchurch terror attack was able to happen. It will also gather information about how to prevent any similar attacks from happening in the future.

Former diplomat Jacqui Caine, the former New Zealand Ambassador to Chile and most recently Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu director of Special Projects in Christchurch has been appointed the second and final commissioner, joining the Commission Chair Sir William Young, Stuff reports. 

The pair will begin by establishing how they will go about conducting the investigation, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister said and will report back to the Governor General with their findings on 10 December.

‘No stone unturned’

“The Government is confident that the Royal Commission now has the right people in place to carry out the important task of fully understanding what happened in the lead up to the March 15 terror attack, what could have been done to stop it and how we can keep New Zealanders safe,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in s statement on Saturday.

A government spokesperson said that the commission will “leave no stone unturned” in its investigation.

“They have the powers to call people to appear before them … they have the ability to look through a lot of material, and their powers are very broad,” the spokesperson said.

Agencies directed to cooperate include the police, Ministry of Justice, the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service, Government Communication Security Bureau, and Immigration New Zealand.

All have agreed to cooperate with the investigation.

“This is a critical part of our ongoing response to the attack. The Commission’s findings will help to ensure such an attack never happens here again,” Ardern added.

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