The Minister of Internal Affairs, Tracey Martin, has confirmed the report back of the Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques has been extended to 31 July 2020.
The Royal Commission’s report back date, originally scheduled on 10 December 2019, was previously pushed out to 30 April 2020.
“The Royal Commission requested a further extension on its report back due to delays resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and cabinet has agreed to this,” says Ms Martin.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption to the Royal Commission’s work. With people working from home during the Alert Level 4 lockdown, the Royal Commission and agencies cannot access secure physical environments to review sensitive information. Agencies and individuals are also unable to respond within the planned timeframes.
“Key state sector agencies have had to divert their resources to New Zealand’s response to COVID-19. This affects the Royal Commission’s ability to finalise sensitive elements of its report and will delay the completion of its work.
“I am aware that a further delay in reporting date may disappointment and concern some people from New Zealand’s Muslim communities. However, I am confident those communities will understand and appreciate the implications of the COVID-19 state of emergency on both the Royal Commission and on relevant agencies.
“Extending the report back date to 31 July 2020 is necessary to allow the agencies to respond appropriately, and for the Royal Commission to follow natural justice processes to ensure the integrity of the final report.”