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Source: Human Rights Commission

Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt welcomes the establishment of He Whenua Taurikura, the Centre of Research Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, saying it will help to protect the rights of everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand.  

Today the Prime Minister launched the Centre, fulfilling one of the key recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain, which is to establish a programme to fund independent New Zealand-specific research on extremism and terrorism.

“It is pleasing to see that this important recommendation of the Royal Commission has been implemented comprehensively by the government.

“I expect that both the Centre and the research that starts today, will make a crucial contribution to creating a more peaceful society, that protects the rights to life and security for all communities in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

“To succeed, the Centre must develop strong connections with our diverse communities, putting community engagement at the heart of its research, in a way that is consistent with Te Tiriti o Waitangi. That will ensure the outcomes are shared across Aotearoa, not confined to academia” says Mr Hunt. 

The Human Rights Commission has been monitoring the government’s progress and providing input into aspects of the implementation of the 44 recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry.

Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon says he hopes the centre will contribute to social cohesion on a national scale.

“The establishment of the Centre is a good step in working towards avoiding the mistakes of the past. I welcome the resourcing of research that will equip Aotearoa New Zealand as a nation and hopefully lead to tangible measures that prevent violent extremism in all forms,” says Mr Foon.

“We really need to make sure Aotearoa New Zealand is an inclusive place for all and that no one need fear for their safety here.”

The Commission is committed to working collaboratively with the government in the implementation of all 44 recommendations.