As distressing as it is to recall the terrorist attack that ended the lives of 51 people and injured many more, it is necessary to include at the beginning of this report a detailed description of the events that led to this Royal Commission of Inquiry, that is, the terrorist attack on the masjidain that took place in Christchurch, New Zealand on 15 March 2019 (chapter 2 of this Part).
The details in the next chapter may be challenging to read and, for those who have been personally affected by the terrorist attack, it could cause strong emotional responses.
We use the description “affected whānau, survivors and witnesses” to refer to whānau of the 51 shuhada, and the survivors and witnesses of the terrorist attack and their whānau. We have chosen not to name shuhada, survivors and witnesses in chapter 2 of this Part. We acknowledge acts of heroism and compassion, but believe it would be inappropriate to name some people and not all.
It is entirely possible to read this report without revisiting the events of 15 March 2019. Those who decide not to read chapter 2 of this Part, they will not be at a disadvantage. We refer to the convicted terrorist and murderer who carried out the terrorist attack as “the individual” throughout this report.
Following the terrorist attack, the Government announced a Royal Commission of Inquiry. We cover our establishment and Terms of Reference in chapter 3 of this Part. In chapter 4, we outline the processes we followed. Finally, in chapter 5 we explain the structure of this report. We traverse a range of matters, from very specific operational aspects, to Public sector systems and social norms and behaviours. There is a logic to it, but given the complexities, we provide a guide to help readers navigate the more than 750 pages to come.