Royal Commission into mosque shootings: Suppressions extended

Flowers at the gate of the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch. Photo: NZME
Flowers at the gate of the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch. Photo: NZME
The extensive suppression orders covering the Royal Commission into the Christchurch mosque shootings will now cover every single government agency and crown entity.The top-level inquiry, headed by Justice Sir William Young and former diplomat Jacqui Caine, is investigating the accused gunman and his activities before 15 March. It will also examine the role of the security agencies.

The Commission started gathering evidence in early May and quickly ordered all evidence and submissions made by nine government agencies, including the GCSB, Customs and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, to be kept secret for the foreseeable future.

It also ordered all correspondence between those agencies and the Commission to be kept private.

This is to protect the accused's fair trial rights, national security and the identity of witnesses, as the material those agencies will be supplying to the Commission is likely to contain classified and sensitive information.

But the Commission has now added more than 200 government agencies, crown entities and departments to the list, regardless of whether they are providing evidence, or not.

They include the Department of Internal Affairs, Antarctica New Zealand, Te Papa, City Rail Link and Radio New Zealand.

The order will be reviewed but it's unclear when that will happen.