Making New Zealand safer
In the aftermath of the Christchurch terror attacks, we are asking ourselves many difficult questions. Why has this happened here? How can we help the victims? How we can we heal as a nation? Are we safe?
We have all come together to express our grief, and to show our solidarity with the Muslim community. Strongly affirming our values of compassion, tolerance, and manaakitanga is a crucial way we can make sure New Zealand is safe for everyone.
The government is determined to find out how the attack could happen, and to make sure it can never happen again. We’ve agreed to hold a Royal Commission of Inquiry to look into the suspected terrorist’s activities leading up to the attack, and to understand what opportunities government agencies, departments and the intelligence community might have had to prevent it.
The Royal Commission will identify what steps can be taken to make sure this never happens again.
One way to protect New Zealand is to make sure we have safe and effective gun laws. That’s why, six days after the attack, we announced a ban on military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles. Parts used to convert other guns into militarystyle semi-automatics are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines.
Every weapon used in the Christchurch terror attack is now banned.
Parliament is united on the need for this change, and there has also been widespread support amongst the firearms-owning community. There will also be exemptions to allow the use of .22 calibre rifles and shotguns commonly used by farmers and hunters.
Since the attack, New Zealanders have used social media to share tributes, receive updates, and to organise memorials and vigils attended by thousands. Social media can be used as a force for good, but sadly it can also be used as a force for hate. That’s why we are asking tough questions about the role social media have played in the attacks themselves.
As the Prime Minister has said, we need to think globally about how we can stop hateful materials appearing and reappearing on social media. We have made our expectation clear, that internet companies and social media platforms do all they can to ensure the video is not distributed. New Zealand will be a leading part of the global conversation on stopping the spread of hate on social media.
The government is taking every action to ensure the safety of New Zealanders. Our threat alert level remains high, meaning the police and security services will provide extra protection, at the border and in public places.
We have witnessed New Zealand’s worst-ever terror attack. Our history has changed forever. But we can make sure it never happens again — and that takes the kind of resolve and unity that New Zealanders have shown in recent days.
With your help, we can and will triumph over hate.
"New Zealand will be a leading part of the global conversation on stopping the spread of hate on social media."