New Zealand held its first-ever hui on countering terrorism and violent extremism in Christchurch on June 15th & 16th. The conference was called ‘He Whenua Taurikura’, meaning ‘A Land or Country at Peace’, and will be held annually from now on.

“The horrific events in Christchurch on 15 March 2019 are a painful reminder that New Zealand is not immune from threats of terrorism and violent extremism’” says the Hon. Andrew Little, Lead Coordination Minister for the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission’s Report into the Terrorist Attack on the Christchurch Mosques.

The hui was important as it brought together civil society, academia, private sector, government, and importantly, community to look at the security risks that New Zealand faces from terrorism and violent extremism.

The answers to these troubling issues will essentially require input from all the agencies and groups listed above but importantly the community and community organisations will have a large part to play. CPNZ was one of few community security and safety groups that attended, willing to play our part in being the eyes and ears for the Police who have just launched their resources on protecting crowded places such as religious institutions, stadiums, and other large public gatherings at risk from some form of attack.

We will all hear more about this over the upcoming months and years but it is important that we are at least aware of what is happening and the response to these matters, so we can play our part.