Government accepts findings of LynnMall supermarket terror attack review

The Lead Coordination Minister for the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission’s Report into the Terrorist Attack on the Christchurch Mosques, Andrew Little, welcomes the release of a coordinated review of the management of the person who carried out a terror attack on innocent people in Auckland on 3 September 2021.

The review by the Independent Police Conduct Authority, Office of the Inspectorate for the Department of Corrections and the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security looked at the actions of Police, Corrections and the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS).

“We acknowledge the survivors and recognise the devastating effect this event had on them, their families, witnesses, emergency responders and the community,” Andrew Little said.

“The Government accepts the findings of the coordinated review.

“This was a complex, unique and long running case that required national security and social sector agencies to work closely together. The report recognises the system did its best in what was a very difficult and resource-intensive situation.

“While no recommendations were made in the review report, we’re committed to working through the findings to ensure improvements can continue to be delivered across the system.

“This will include a focus on what we can do to address signs of radicalisation to violent extremism earlier. Work has already been undertaken in development of the He Aranga Ake programme led by Police. This approach uses appropriate, coordinated, supported and effective interventions that are proportionate to a person of concerns’ risk, needs, responsivity and circumstances.

“This attack was carried out by an individual who acted alone. The attacker’s actions do not reflect on any community, culture, religion or national grouping.”

The Government has already taken a number of steps to improve counter-terrorism efforts in response to the Royal Commission into the Christchurch attacks, including:

  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation: Changes made through the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Act 2021 to improve the clarity of the Terrorism Suppression Act and provide law enforcement agencies with the means and clear legal authority to intervene early. This was achieved by updating provisions relating to precursor terrorist offences such as planning, training, preparation, or travel for terrorist purposes, and extending the provisions for terrorism finance offences.
  • Classifications Act: Amendments to the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 to allow for urgent prevention and mitigation of harms caused by objectionable publications.
  • Engagement with communities: Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group, was established to provide advice and links to communities on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry. Police Ethnic Liaison Officers have extensively engaged with the Muslim community, and the NZSIS has established a Muslim Advisory Group.
  • Social Cohesion: The Te Korowai Whetū Social Cohesion work programme launched by the Ministry of Social Development in June 2021 is a response to the recommendations from the Royal Commission, including a $2 million community fund to support local, community-led initiatives that promote social cohesion.
  • Addressing Violent Extremism: Police is leading the development of He Aranga Ake, a multi-agency preventative approach to identifying persons of concern to reduce the likelihood of violent extremism.
  • Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism: Aotearoa Katoa: A Strategic Framework for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism will be released in 2023 following public and external engagement.
  • Improved services for remand prisoners: Corrections is exploring new options for the treatment of people on remand and conducting a needs analysis across the prison estate to determine where and what treatment and interventions are needed.
  • National Security System functions: Changes to the National Security System functions are being considered to ensure a stronger system.

“New Zealand is sadly not immune from the threat of terrorism. The Government’s commitment is to learn from the two terrorist attacks we have experienced in recent years and to take all possible steps to ensure a safe, secure and resilient Aotearoa New Zealand,” Andrew Little said.