Christchurch massacre: Inquiry finds failures ahead of attack


An inquiry into the Christchurch massacre has found a series of failures ahead of the 2019 attack, but concluded the tragedy was unpreventable.

The inquiry was launched after white supremacist Brenton Tarrant killed 51 people at two mosques in March 2019.

It found he had been able to accumulate a massive trove of weapons, with authorities failing to enforce proper checks on firearm licences.

It further found officials were overly focused on Islamist terrorism.

However, correcting these failures would not have stopped the Australian national, who was sentenced to life in prison without parole earlier this year, from carrying out the attack, it said.

What’s more, the clues found by police after the massacre – including his steroid abuse, a hospital admission after he had accidentally shot himself, and visits to far-right websites – would not have proved enough to predict the attack.

“The commission found no failures within any government agencies that would have allowed the terrorist planning and preparation to be detected,” said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern following the release of the report.

“But they did identify many lessons to be learnt and significant areas that require change.”

Ardern highlighted “failings within the firearms licensing regime” and “inappropriate concentration of resources” on a perceived level of Islamist threats.

“While the commission made no findings that these issues would have stopped the attack, these were failings nonetheless and, for that, on behalf of the government I apologise.”

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