The following is a brief summary of the Terms of Reference. It does not replace the specifics set out in the full Terms of Reference(external link).
On 15 March 2019, an individual attacked the Al-Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch while worshippers were at prayer. Fifty-one people were killed and more than 50 others injured, some seriously.
A man has been charged with offences related to the attack. His trial is due to take place in May 2020.
The Government announced that a Royal Commission of Inquiry would look into what State sector agencies knew about the individual’s activities before the attack, what, if anything, they did with that information, what measures agencies could have taken to prevent the attack, and what measures agencies should take to prevent such attacks in the future.
The Royal Commission is to present its report, by 30 April 2020, so the Government can reassure the New Zealand public, including its Muslim communities, that all appropriate measures are being taken to keep people safe.
The Royal Commission is to examine:
The Royal Commission also needs to investigate the accused attacker’s activities before 15 March 2019, including:
The Royal Commission must make findings on:
The Royal Commission must make recommendations on:
These recommendations could include changes to legislation (except firearm legislation), policy, rules, standards or practices.
The Royal Commission cannot inquire into:
The Royal Commission can consult with a range of groups, individuals and agencies to help with its inquiries. It must also appoint a person, or people, to help it engage with New Zealand’s Muslim communities.
The Royal Commission must act in a way to minimise the chance that its processes or report could be used for unlawful activities or damage the public interest.
The Royal Commission can suppress any confidential information it receives in order to protect public safety, avoid prejudicing the Government’s international relationships and maintenance of the law. In order keep this confidence, the Royal Commission may conduct its inquiry, or parts of it, in private.
The Royal Commission must present its report, including its findings and recommendations, to the Governor-General, in writing, no later than 30 April 2020. The Royal Commission may also make interim recommendations to the Governor-General at any time.
Before presenting its final report, the Royal Commission must also determine if there are any matters that should be referred to the Intelligence and Security Committee, the Minister responsible for the intelligence and security agencies, or the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security first.