There has been a further extension to the report back of the Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques on 15 March 2019, Minister for Internal Affairs Tracey Martin has confirmed.
The Commission will now report back on November 26.
“The Royal Commission’s request for a further extension on its report back is due to delays resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Minister Martin. “The Royal Commission assures me that the extension is needed to deliver a complete and authoritative report.
This is the third and final time the Royal Commission’s report back date has been pushed out. It was originally scheduled to submit its final report on 10 December 2019 but has had two previous extensions to 30 April 2020 and then 31 July 2020.
This new date will ensure that Parliament will be sitting when the Royal Commission delivers its report to the Governor-General. It can then be tabled in Parliament and made public without undue delay.
“The Royal Commission has said its work was significantly impacted due to the restrictions imposed during lockdown,” the Minister said. “It was unable to access secure facilities, which meant it could not undertake work on the classified portions of its work. Responding agencies were also affected for the same reasons. This, in turn, has affected the Royal Commission’s timelines.
“I am conscious that this further delay in the reporting date may disappoint some people from New Zealand’s Muslim communities. However, I also acknowledge that an extension is necessary so that the Royal Commission can ensure the integrity of its final report.”
The Minister said that the Royal Commission had not sought extra funds to cover the extension. “It only needs more time to continue doing its work through to completion.”