What is a Royal Commission of Inquiry?
A Royal Commission is the most serious option available to Government to independently investigate critically important issues like the attack on Christchurch mosques. It investigates the facts, recommends changes to prevent future recurrences and reports to the Governor General.
What is the purpose of the Royal Commission?
This Royal Commission of Inquiry is required to examine:
The Royal Commission must therefore investigate the individual’s activities before the attack, including relevant information from his time in Australia
You can read more about the Royal Commission’s purpose in the Terms of Reference.
What can’t the Royal Commission do?
There are several matters that the Royal Commission cannot inquire into or report on, according to the Terms of Reference. In summary, the Royal Commission cannot inquire into:
A Royal Commission cannot determine legal rights and liabilities. Findings and recommendations are not binding for the Government.
When does the Royal Commission report its findings?
The Royal Commission must report its findings by 10 December 2019.
Who is leading and working on the Royal Commission?
The Royal Commission Members are Supreme Court Justice Hon Sir William Young KNZM (Chair) and Jacqui Caine. They are supported by ‘officers’ including legal counsel assisting, administration, research and communications support.
Where is the Royal Commission team located?
The team will have a presence in Wellington and Christchurch. The Royal Commission team will travel to other areas as required to talk to people and organisations.
Who sets the Terms of Reference?
The Royal Commission was initiated by the Government. The Government established the Terms of Reference, defining what must be investigated.
Who decides how the Royal Commission should operate?
The Inquiries Act 2013 sets out that a Royal Commission can determine its own procedures. The Chair (appointed by the Governor General) and other appointed ‘members’ decide the approach. The Royal Commission is independent of Government. A Royal Commission can inquire into any matters it sees fit, to investigate issues consistent with the Inquiries Act and Terms of Reference. Witnesses can be compelled to appear or provide evidence.
What process will the Royal Commission follow?
An update will be made on the website, in the minutes section this week.
Does the Official Information Act apply to the Royal Commission of Inquiry?
The Official Information Act 1982 does not apply to information held by, or evidence or submissions provided to, the Royal Commission. Once the Royal Commission reports to the Governor-General, most information held by the Royal Commission is subject to the Official Information Act unless section 15 orders have been issued under the Inquiries Act 2013.
Can people register for updates about the Inquiry?
Yes, it’s easy to register for updates on the website. All that’s required is an email address, no other information is needed and email addresses are not stored for any other purposes.