Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Discomfort over Commission secrecy

From The Detail

Jacinda Ardern at a
Beehive press conference with a sign interpreter

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces the appointment of Justice Sir William Young to head the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch terror attack. Photo: RNZ / John Gerritsen

The inquiry asking whether anything could have been done to stop 51 people being killed while praying in Christchurch mosques is underway.

Listen to the podcast here. duration 18:47

Click a link to play audio (or right-click to download) in either
MP3 format or in OGG format.

But questions remain as to whether the inquiry is as inclusive, and the process as transparent, as it needs to be, to reassure those at the centre of it: New Zealand Muslims.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the Royal Commission 10 days after the shootings took place.

RNZ reporter Katie Scotcher covered the attack and is following the inquiry – which she says came as welcome news to a community seeking answers.

“In short, they’re investigating what could or should have been done to prevent the attacks.”

The scope of the inquiry includes the accessibility of semi-automatic weapons, the role of social media, and the accused gunman’s past activities.

“There will be a focus on whether our intelligence community was concentrating its resources appropriately,” Ms Ardern said when she announced the inquiry.

While the process was well-received initially as a sign the government was taking the investigation seriously, some people remain sceptical that it will achieve what it’s setting out to do.’s Christchurch reporter, David Williams, has reported on the concerns of Muslims – primarily that they were excluded from the planning of the inquiry.

He says in the early stages the commission was a “black box.”

“Things were happening at pace in terms of the setting of the terms of reference, the appointment of the commissioners, and the work it was going to do.

“[Muslims] just wanted someone to talk to them. They wanted to feel consulted and wanted to feel brought into the process.”

“A government department confirmed the terms of reference were set without consulting the Muslim community, and it’s a bit of a head scratch to figure out how that could’ve happened.”

Williams says Muslims had raised safety concerns with the government in the years leading up to the shooting and hadn’t been listened to.

“The process has kind of reinforced that lack of trust, which is really unfortunate.”

The commission has since appointed a Muslim Reference Group to address cultural matters during the process, made up of members from the community.

However, concerns about the inquiry aren’t just over inclusion.

Some – including past and previous Human Rights Commissioners and Muslim groups - worry that wide ranging suppression orders, which essentially bring the entire commission behind closed doors, will lead to a lack of transparency in the process.

However, the commission is defending the process so far, and says the suppressions are a matter of national security, and of protecting the court process of the accused.

It’s expected to report back in December – but how much will be made public is still unclear.

Made possible by the RNZ/NZ on Air Innovation Fund

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Eric Zuesse: U.S. Empire: Biden And Kerry Gave Orders To Ukraine’s President

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at Strategic Culture On May 19th, an implicit international political warning was issued, but it wasn’t issued between countries; it was issued between allied versus opposed factions within each of two countries: U.S. and Ukraine. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Budget Cockups In The Time Of Coronavirus: Reporting Errors And Australia’s JobKeeper Scheme

Hell has, in its raging fires, ringside seats for those who like their spreadsheets. The seating, already peopled by those from human resources, white collar criminals and accountants, becomes toastier for those who make errors with those spreadsheets. ... More>>

The Dig - COVID-19: Just Recovery

The COVID-19 crisis is compelling us to kick-start investment in a regenerative and zero-carbon future. We were bold enough to act quickly to stop the virus - can we now chart a course for a just recovery? More>>

The Conversation: Are New Zealand's New COVID-19 Laws And Powers Really A Step Towards A Police State?

Reaction to the New Zealand government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown has ranged from high praise to criticism that its actions were illegal and its management chaotic. More>>

Keith Rankin: Universal Versus Targeted Assistance, A Muddled Dichotomy

The Commentariat There is a regular commentariat who appear on places such as 'The Panel' on Radio New Zealand (4pm on weekdays), and on panels on television shows such as Newshub Nation (TV3, weekends) and Q+A (TV1, Mondays). Generally, these panellists ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Welcome Deaths: Coronavirus And The Open Plan Office

For anybody familiar with that gruesome manifestation of the modern work place, namely the open plan office, the advent of coronavirus might be something of a relief. The prospects for infection in such spaces is simply too great. You are at risk from ... More>>

Caitlin Johnstone: Do You Consent To The New Cold War?

The world's worst Putin puppet is escalating tensions with Russia even further, with the Trump administration looking at withdrawal from more nuclear treaties in the near future. In addition to planning on withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Why Thinking Makes It So: Donald Trump’s Obamagate Fixation

The “gate” suffix has been wearing thin since the break-in scandal that gave it its birth. Since Watergate, virtually anything dubious and suggestive, and much more besides, is suffixed. Which brings us to the issue of President Donald Trump’s ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Ethics (and Some Of The Economics) Of Lifting The Lockdown

As New Zealand passes the half-way mark towards moving out of Level Four lockdown, the trade-offs involved in life-after-lockdown are starting to come into view. All very well for National’s finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith to claim that “The number one priority we have is to get out of the lockdown as soon as we can”…Yet as PM Jacinda Ardern pointed out a few days ago, any crude trade-off between public health and economic well-being would be a false choice... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Brutal Choices: Anders Tegnell And Sweden’s Herd Immunity Goal

If the title of epidemiological czar were to be created, its first occupant would have to be Sweden’s Anders Tegnell. He has held sway in the face of sceptics and concern that his “herd immunity” approach to COVID-19 is a dangerous, and breathtakingly ... More>>


  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog