The Royal Commission is taking multiple evidential interviews under oath every week now as the team puts evidence to those summonsed to appear, seeking answers to hard questions.
"This is a significant phase of the inquiry, and we're moving steadily through a bank of interviews and private hearings to get to the truth," says Commissioner Sir William Young.
"Before commencing any interview, meticulous preparation is required to ensure every relevant question is put to those being interviewed under oath. This is the result of months of gathering evidence, talking to community members and analysing submissions."
The Royal Commission will complete the majority of its evidentiary process under oath this year. This process is a critical source of information for the Royal Commission as it examines and interrogates evidence and material provided to the inquiry.
Meetings with families and survivors continue in private and with the greatest respect for all of those affected by the traumatic events in Christchurch on 15 March 2019.
"We appreciate how difficult it is to share such raw experiences and we're very grateful to have been so warmly invited into people's homes," says Member Jacqui Caine.
The Royal Commission held its fifth hui with the Muslim Community Reference Group in Christchurch this month as part of its ongoing community engagement programme.
Commission Member Jacqui Caine thanked Reference Group members for their time and considered feedback.
“Members of the Reference Group have helped connect us with Muslim community members who otherwise may not have been heard,” says Jacqui Caine
"The Royal Commission has learnt a great deal from the Reference Group. It’s my sincere hope that Reference Group members find this process valuable also," says Sir William Young.
Recent meetings with people and organisations, and interviews under oath include:
- Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand
- Government Communications Security Bureau
- Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand
- New Zealand Security Intelligence Service
- Stuart Allsop-Smith, New Zealand Police
- Cam Bayly, New Zealand Police
- Andrew Bridgman, former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Justice.
- Howard Broad, former Deputy Chief Executive of the Security and Intelligence Group, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
- Ilyas Daud, Aniz Bhamji, Iqbal Ismail, Javed Dadabhai, Latifa Daud, Muslim Community Members
- Trevor Dickinson-McLachlan, New Zealand Police
- Paul Gatland, New Zealand Police
- Nicky Hager, author and investigative journalist
- Cecille Hillyer, former Director, Intelligence and Assessments, and former Acting Deputy Chief Executive of the National Security Group, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
- Paul Hunt, Chief Human Rights Commissioner, Human Rights Commission
- Ahmed Iqbal Jahangir, Imam Abdul Lateef and Mohammed Sahadat, Linwood Islamic Charitable Trust
- Paul James, Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs
- Azad Khan, Foundation Against Islamophobia and Racism
- Al Morrison, former Deputy Commissioner, State Services Commission
- Mike McGarrity, FBI Assistant Director Counter Terrorism
- Mike McIlraith, New Zealand Police
- Nicole McKee, Secretary, Council of Licensed Firearms Owners
- Rakesh Naidoo, New Zealand Police
- Greg Nicholls, New Zealand Police
- Greg Patchell, Head of Immigration NZ and Deputy Chief Executive, Immigration, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
- Bill Perry, Acting Chief Executive and Comptroller, New Zealand Customs
- Dr Arif Saeid, President, and Colin Henry, Vice President, Refugee Council of New Zealand
- Dave Samuels, Chief Executive, Te Puni Kōkiri
- Yaser Shakib, President; Ali Bayati, Vice President; Anmar Taufeek, Baqir Hussain, Dr Sajjad Naqvi and Dr Abdel Monem, Islamic Council of New Zealand
- Ismail Waja and Mazin Al Salim, Working Together Group
- Ricky Waters, Professor Douglas Pratt and Dr Zain Ali, Trustees, Religious Diversity Trust
Further evidential interactions like this are planned with a range of individuals and organisations, alongside continued requests for specific information.
The Royal Commission will continue the active evidential interview period right up until the Christmas break, appreciating this is a busy time for everyone.