Why was the individual not checked more thoroughly when he entered New Zealand?

Australian citizens and residents such as the individual are routinely screened by Immigration New Zealand through an automated system when they check in for a flight to New Zealand. They are generally not manually screened at the border, as they are eligible for a resident visa upon arrival in New Zealand. The exception to this is if there is something about a person’s profile that is suspicious from an immigration perspective, for example, their passport is suspected as being fraudulent.

No Public sector agency raised a border alert against the individual and he was not subject to additional processing by Immigration New Zealand at the border. He was therefore granted a resident visa and entry permission (or the equivalent under the Immigration Act 1987) every time he arrived in New Zealand.

New Zealand Customs Service ran automated targeting rules across the data they held about the individual every time he flew into New Zealand from 28 March 2013 onwards, and out of New Zealand from 28 September 2017 onwards. This did not identify any risks or issues. The individual was not subject to additional processing at the border.

See Part 8, chapter 8 for more information about the role of border agencies (Immigration New Zealand and New Zealand Customs Service) in New Zealand’s counter-terrorism effort.


Did New Zealand agencies know all the countries the individual travelled to? If not, why not?

The details of the individual’s travel that were available to the border agencies (Immigration New Zealand and New Zealand Customs Service) did not provide them with full information about his travel history each time he came into New Zealand. Technical and data sharing difficulties mean that Immigration New Zealand generally does not hold a person’s full travel history (see Part 8, chapter 8).


Why didn’t the individual’s donations made to extreme right-wing organisations raise alerts in the anti-money laundering system?

New Zealand Public sector agencies did not hold any information about the individual’s donations to extreme right-wing organisations before 15 March 2019. This is because they did not receive any alerts of suspicious activity about the donations.

As the donations were made from the individual’s Australian bank accounts, New Zealand reporting entities (as defined in the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009) did not know about them.

Even if they had known about the individual’s donations, a reporting entity, such as a bank, would need to have reasonable grounds to suspect that the donations may be relevant to detecting an offence before they could report this information. Donations to a political organisation (including an extreme right-wing organisation) would not, in and of themselves, reach the reporting threshold under the legislation.


Have New Zealand Police ever received complaints about, or investigated the Bruce Rifle Club or any of its members?

New Zealand Police did not receive any complaints about the Bruce Rifle Club before 15 March 2019. This is discussed in chapter 5 of this Part.


Why did the Royal Commission ask 217 Public sector agencies whether they held information about the individual before 15 March 2019?

Our Terms of Reference defined relevant Public sector agencies as “New Zealand Security Intelligence Service, Government Communications Security Bureau, New Zealand Police, New Zealand Customs Service, Immigration New Zealand, and any other agency whose functions or conduct, in the inquiry’s view, needs to be considered in order to fulfil the inquiry’s Terms of Reference”.

We asked all 217 Public sector agencies (see the appendix), not just the five agencies named in our Terms of Reference, whether they held any information about the individual. We did this to ensure that we had a complete picture of what was known by all Public sector agencies about the individual and his activities before the terrorist attack.