A top-level inquiry will have until December to establish if New Zealand could have done anything to prevent the attacks by a suspected white supremacists on two mosques in Christchurch.
The attack left 50 people dead, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday.
“The government will ensure no stone is left unturned as we examine as quickly as possible how the March 15, attack happened, what could have been done to stop it and how we can keep New Zealanders safe,’’ Ardern said.
The Royal Commission of Inquiry, the highest-level response to an issue available to New Zealand’s government, will be chaired by Supreme Court Justice William Young.
“The Royal Commission plays a critical role in our ongoing response to fully understand what happened in the lead up to the attack and to ensure such an attack never happens again,’’ Ardern added.
The prime minister said the commission will look at the suspect’s activities before the attack including relevant information from his time Australia, his arrival and residency in New Zealand, his travels and how he obtained a gun licence, weapons and ammunition.
Ardern said that the investigation will also look into his use of social media and his connections with others as well as into the work of New Zealand’s spy agencies.
He said that the commission had been tasked to engage with New Zealand’s Muslim community, including appointing qualified people to help with effective consultation.
The Royal commission is to start looking at evidence from May 13, and is expected to report back by Dec.10, Ardern said.