Four months into the inquiry, the Royal Commission is gathering significant information and continues to receive valuable submissions from the public, from current and former State servants, experts and community groups.
“The information, evidence and submissions we are receiving, are very helpful as we identify and follow a number of leads,” says Commissioner Sir William Young.
A number of submitters have now requested more time, as they would like to make more fulsome submissions, if they had more time to do so.
“We had extended the submissions period through to 24 August and we have now made the decision to further extend the timeframe to the end of September to enable valued submissions to be completed,” says Member, Jacqui Caine.
Submissions opened 9am 1 July 2019 and will now close at 5pm 27 September 2019.
People have offered a wide range of views and perspectives through submissions, some of which are outside the scope of the Royal Commission; but will be of interest to the public.
The personal views and perspectives raised by submitters include the following:
- Concerns about the Police firearms vetting process of the accused.
- Gun reforms affect law abiding citizens but not illegal gun owners.
- The role of social media as a platform for like-minded extremists to collaborate and the need to monitor these platforms more.
- The role of mainstream media in creating division, feeding fear, building prejudice and spreading misinformation.
- Need to prevent extremism and radicalisation with early intervention
- Lack of response to complaints of racial attacks or discrimination by agencies, including Police, councils, hospitals.
- Alternative theories that question the mainstream understanding of the attacks.
The Royal Commission has moved into a highly active phase and with a fully established secretariat now on board; evidence gathering and face to face meetings have increased.
Meetings have been held with the following people and organisations recently:
- Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand
- Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand
- Chinwe Akomah, President, African Communities Forum Inc
- Hazim Arafeh, Former President, FIANZ President and Committee Member, Manawatu Muslims Association Incorporated
- Jamie Bamford, General Manager, Intelligence, Investigations and Enforcement, New Zealand Customs
- Joan Buchanan, Convener, Religious Communities Leadership Forum. Trustee, Spirit of Rangatahi Charitable Trust
- Mai Chen, Chair, Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business.
- Berlinda Chin, Former Director, Office of Ethnic Affairs
- Dame Susan Devoy CBE, former Race Relations Commissioner
- Roy Ferguson, QSO, former Director Intelligence Co-ordination, DPMC
- Phil Goff CNZM, Mayor of Auckland, and Stephen Town, Chief Executive, Auckland City Council
- Cheryl Gwyn, Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security
- Peter Hughes CNZM, State Services Commissioner, and Helene Quilter QSO, Deputy State Services Commissioner, State Services Commission
- Professor Paul Hunt, Chief Human Rights Commissioner, Human Rights Commission
- Guled Mire, Founding Trustee Chairperson, Third Culture Minds: Refugee and Migrant Youth Mental Health Charitable Trust
- Rob Pope, Head of the New Zealand Cyber Emergency Response Team
- Superintendent John Price, Canterbury District Commander, New Zealand Police
- Lyn Provost CNZM, Former Auditor-General, current member of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security’s Advisory Panel
- Hon Sir Bruce Robertson KNZM, Chief Commissioner of Intelligence Warrants
- David Shanks, Chief Censor, and Jared Mullen, Deputy Chief Censor, Office of Film and Literature Classification
- Air Marshal Kevin Short, Chief of Defence Force, New Zealand Defence Force
- Mervin Singham, Former Director, Office of Ethnic Communities
- Jens Stoltenberg, (Secretary General, NATO), former Prime Minister of Norway
The Royal Commission also met with the Muslim Community Reference Group last month; see Update 6 for more details.
Finally, Minute 3, relating to confidentiality of information provided by foreign partner agencies, has been amended. It now includes the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in the list of agencies that are covered if they provide foreign partner agency confidential information to the Royal Commission.
Anyone needing assistance to make a submission, or with any questions about the process, should email the Royal Commission at email@example.com, call 0800 222 987 during office hours or visit the website www.christchurchroyalcommission.nz