Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has told MPs she does not want the response to the Royal Commission’s Inquiry into the March 15 terror attack to be political.
Rather, she wants to build consensus in the House when it comes to implementing the 44 recommendations in the report.
This afternoon, party leaders and MPs gave their response to the commission’s report.
That report found the terrorist was able to plot, amass an arsenal of weapons and execute his attacks without drawing the attention of security agencies which had deployed “an inappropriate concentration of resources” probing Islamic extremism.
But it also found that nothing could have been done to stop the attacks and they were not the result of failures by public sector agencies involved in New Zealand’s counter-terrorism effort.
Every one of these recommendations has been agreed to, in principle, by the Government.
That includes a number of changes to New Zealand’s counter-terrorism laws, bring hate speech under the Crimes Act and establishing a new ministry.
Speaking in the House, Ardern spoke directly to the families of those killed in the attack.
She said that nothing the Government does will change what happened on March 15.
But she said the Government can try and do them justice.
To the families, she said: “Assalamu alaikum”.
“There is much work to do,” she said, adding that she does not want the response to the report to be political.
She said she will be attempting to build consensus across the House on the recommendations.
National leader Judith Collins said there was a lot of information in the report that needed to be “absorbed and considered”.
She said the recommendations need to be closely scrutinised – which is what National will be doing for some weeks and months to come.
The events of March 15 where the actions of an “evil man”, Collins told MPs.
But she said that he failed in his objective to divide New Zealand.
“The opposition stands ready to work constructively with the Government on this.
“Whether or not National would support the creation of a new counter-terrorism agency was still up in the air.
“We would have to look at that very carefully,” she told reporters after her speech.
But she said National would “do what we can to be constructive”.
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