Failings in preparedness of SIS for attacks on Muslim Community
Failures in performance of Police
Failures in performance of Office of Ethnic Communities and Department of Internal Affairs
Failures in performance of Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
Failures of Ministry of Education
Failure in performance of State Services Commission
1. These submissions of the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand (IWCNZ) address Term of Reference 2(c) and 2(d) of the Order of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Attack on Christchurch Mosques on 15 March 2019.
2. In summary, they set out how IWCNZ made intense efforts to engage with the New Zealand government in the five years before the Christchurch mosque killings, seeking protection and support for an increasingly vulnerable and exposed Muslim community.
They intensified their efforts three years before the killings, due to the intensification of Islamophobia, which particularly impacted Muslim women who were the public face of Islam due to their head scarfs. The aim of their engagement was to establish supportive across- government policies, funding and systems to enable Muslim social integration, to reduce social disadvantage and to provide protection.
3. By 2017 IWCNZ had become gravely concerned with the level of Islamophobia and alt right activity and had a sense of urgency that action at a national level needed to be taken to protect and support the Muslim community. Through their grassroots networks they knew that the temperature was increasing amongst outliers and that New Zealand had such people within its community.
4. There can be no question that the IWCNZ actions and advocacy was so clear, government had at least two years to ‘get it right’ and put in place concrete steps for the support and protection of the Muslim community. After all, there was an international impetus on government, from its membership of the United Nations and international community, to develop its own projects to counter violent extremism. All recommended state actions required, at their base, the taking of proactive steps to ensure social integration and social cohesion.
5. Yet almost nothing was in place by the time of the mosque shootings. No nationwide strategy, no co-ordinated or linked up protection programmes by police or SIS, no register of hate crimes, no nationally identified funding for social integration of Muslims, (apart from female youth camps in the Waikato) and no employment initiatives (apart from Corrections).
6. IWCNZ had to engage with a civil service containing, to a large extent, poorly trained, unprofessional and uninformed officials, and slow, unmotivated, uninterested agencies. Officials failed to prepare and failed to heed advice from the community about how serious the risks were. They ignored evidence put in front of them.
7. If government agencies had taken effective action following their senior officials’ engagement with Muslim leaders on 23 March 2017, then a strong effective system of national supports would have been in place by 15 March 2019. Those supports, if they had existed, could have been actioned nationally when a threat was made on 20 February 2019 from Christchurch, to burn a Quran on 15 March 2019 outside the Hamilton Mosque.
8. Part 1 explains the context of the IWCNZ engagement efforts.
9. Part 2 sets out the engagement itself, focusing on the principal communications and makes submissions on government failures. Part 3 which will be provided separate to these submissions are IWCNZ’s recommendations for preventing future attacks.
(i) The Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand (IWCNZ)
10. IWCNZ is a Non-Governmental Organisation that was formed in 1991 to cater specifically for the needs of Muslim women in New Zealand. Its constitution recognises all Muslim women in New Zealand as members. To formalise the organisation, it was incorporated and registered with a new constitution on 10 September 2013. 2
Its vision statement, mission statement and objectives read: 3
Vision of IWCNZ
Muslimah aspiring to achieve their full potential through participation and collaboration in community life in Aotearoa with the guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Mohammed (Peace be Upon Him).
To always endeavour to co-ordinate and develop various activities that provide help, guidance, personal growth and development of all sisters in Islam-with inspiration from the Holy Quran and the Sunmah of Prophet Mohammed( Peace be Upon him).
Objectives of IWCNZ
a. Organise conferences and symposiums at a national level, including an annual conference.
b. Incorporate the promotion of Islam through activities such as women’s Conference, Youth Camps, Educational programmes, Islamic Quizzes, Quran Reading Competitions at local and national levels.
c. Promote the holistic wellness of New Zealand Muslimah, including health, spirituality, physical, occupational, environmental, emotional, intellectual, cultural, and social issues.
d. Support Muslimah in identifying issues and providing information and resources relating to its members’ needs.
e. Co-ordinate and develop various sporting activities for Muslimah of all age groups at local and national levels.
f. Liaise with women groups on a national and international level to advance and lobby for its members.
g. Circulate information relating to the needs of its members at a local level when and where appropriate.
h. Present to FIANZ Council the views and needs of its members.
i. Work to enhance unity amongst all sectors of the Muslim Ummah in New Zealand.
j. To represent Muslimah from all ethnic, cultural and age diversity groups at local and national level.
2 Its listing on the Charities’ Register states its purpose as being to provide advice, information and advocacy services through care, counselling and the provision of human resources (staff and volunteers). It also provides religious services and administers religious activities.
3 BD 135-139; Note: Muslimah means Muslim women and girls.
11. Governance is undertaken by an executive board known as the Administration Council, which is made up of five people who are elected
following nomination by regional groups. At present the National Coordinator is Dr Maysoon Salama. Since 15 March 2015, she has stepped aside temporarily and Anjum Rahman is Acting National Co-ordinator. 4
12. Ms Rahman previously held executive positions in IWCNZ and has been IWCNZ’s media spokesperson for over a decade. In that role she had responded to many matters reported in the media that are critical of or show a misunderstanding of Islam. Her motivation has been to increase understanding of Islam in New Zealand and reduce prejudice and fear of it. 5
Since April 2016, she has also held one of the Assistant NationalCoordinator positions.
13. Ms Aliya Danzeisen, formerly held the position of Assistant National Coordinator for five years, and since March 2018 retained the role
overseeing government engagement and facilitation of the recently established IWCNZ Youth Council. Prior to her role on the IWCNZ Admin Council she served as a regional rep to the organisation for several years. Aliya also founded and developed the youth programme for the Women’s Organisation of the Waikato Muslim Association (WOWMA), and has run the programme for over a decade.
14. In 2015 IWCNZ assigned the portfolios of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) and government engagement to Ms Danzeisen. It was in this
capacity that she attended international summits on CVE. In April 2016, when Rahman was voted on to the Admin Council, she was asked to support Ms Danzeisen with the Government Engagement portfolio as the demands of that portfolio were expanding. All the work undertaken by Ms Danzeisen and Ms Rahman was discussed with the Admin Council and approval was sought for all engagements. The full IWCNZ Council,
including regional representatives, were updated at quarterly teleconferences. The full membership received updates at the Annual
General Meetings of IWCNZ.
15. IWCNZ is an affiliate member of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ). It is an organisation that is independent of FIANZ and does not have voting rights on FIANZ. 6
16. IWCNZ was formed to specifically meet the needs of Muslim women and girls and give them a voice from within the Muslim community. There were a number of reasons for the original formation of the group.
17. While some Muslims are sixth generation New Zealanders, until the last 30 or so years they were small in number. 7
Following the coup in Fiji in 1987, the change in immigration rules in 1989 and the increase in refugees from Muslim majority nations from 1990, their numbers have grown significantly. The leadership of Muslim Associations around New Zealand as elsewhere is predominantly, or exclusively male, and as such, does not have expertise in the barriers to woman achieving equality and equitable treatment. Consequently, the female Muslim voice and presence was often inaudible in mainstream New Zealand.
18. From the 1990s, following wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria and the consequent development of international terrorist groups and terrorist
attacks around the world, Muslims as a global group became an easy target for political point-scoring that in turn cause the growth of negative perceptions in the media of the Islamic faith and its followers. New Zealand was not immune. Muslim women, as the visible face of Islam, have been on the receiving end of a growing level of discrimination, harassment and abuse. These were the driving factors in the formation
and ongoing work of IWCNZ.
4 Dr Salama’s son was killed in the mosque shootings and her husband suffered bullet injuries.
5 BD 789
6 BD 107
7 The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ) was formed in the early 1970s.
19. IWCNZ has always been a volunteer organisation that has very limited funding. Currently it receives a $15,000 annual grant from FIANZ and
other mainly small grants from various external sources for specific projects. 8
20. It organises activities such as youth camps and retreats, the annual conference, workshop tours on various topics such as mental and
physical health, youth issues, and also international speakers that tour. When an issue negatively impacting Muslim women is identified that is
occurring in multiple communities, IWCNZ begins its advocacy with the relevant bodies, whether governmental or private. 9
21. IWCNZ also issues media releases on matters of relevance to New Zealand Muslims and responds to media requests. Admin Council also
attend FIANZ meetings to provide a female perspective to issues addressing the entire Muslim community. IWCNZ consults Muslimah
through a range of methods, including through its regional representatives, its workshops and its annual conference, which is a central event where on average between 150 to 200 members normally attend. Various organisations are invited to attend a public forum within
the Conference. FIANZ, MSD and the Police have been regular attendees at these.
22. Programmes for Muslim youth and adult women have been provided regionally across the country. In each region, local women work together to put on events such as Qur’an competitions, youth camps, religious educational classes and other events. IWCNZ has funded these events when funding applications are received, and has developed funding criteria and a process. Regular calls for projects are made.
23. Women in each region have also engaged with local politicians and attended various consultations with Government agencies. Some IWCNZ members have also been part of Police Ethnic advisory groups. Muslim women have been reporting their issues at a local as well as national levels.
24. A major concern for IWCNZ has always been the disproportionately low numbers of elderly in the Muslim community compared to the general population (5 per cent compared to 20 per cent) and the disproportionately large number of Muslim youth. The stability which
elderly community members provide in all communities was absent, while the needs of the youth population was significantly higher due to
their proportionately high numbers and other social factors such as coming from minority ethnicities and refugee backgrounds. This demographic anomaly, placed an inordinate amount of pressure on an already over-capacity working-age leadership, even before taking into account the pressures the global situation relating to wars and terrorism were placing on the community.
25. While IWCNZ had a relationship with government organisations prior, and afterthe impact of global eventsin 2014 occurring in the Middle East, IWCNZ saw an imperative need to strengthen and pursue relationships with government agencies to ensure its membership and families were protected emotionally and physically.
8 The largest by far is a grant of $50,000.00 to support international students in Auckland. Due to the mosque attacks this project has not been completed.
9 For minutes from meetings demonstrating the ambit of activity see 2016 AGM minutes BD 180-184 ; 2017 AGM BD 268-277; 2017 Admin Council meeting 456-458. Conference report 116.
(ii) Women of the Waikato Muslim Association (WOWMA)
26. The Women’s Organisation of the Waikato Muslim Association (WOWMA) was formed by 5 women in 2007 as a sub-committee of the
Waikato Muslim Association (WMA). The lead co-ordinator is Aliya Danzeisen, who has handled the youth portfolio from WOWMA’s
inception. The impetus for its formation came after the Waikato Muslim Association then president, XXX XXXX, introduced XXX XXXX of MSD to
the Waikato Muslim community.
27. WOWMA has had a practical focus aimed at the development and empowerment of female youth. It has done this primarily through placing the decisions in the hands of youth and enabling them to say what programmes they most needed. As a result, the majority of WOWMA’s programming has focused on outdoor challenges, which includes day trips and outdoor camps where young Muslim women and girls are encouraged and tested physically and mentally to reach their potential and to explore what it means to be a Muslim female youth in New Zealand.
28. While guest speakers attend and discuss topical issues with them, the focus is on teaching positive values in a Kiwi Muslim context. Programmes have run since 2008 and include participants from 12 to 25. While it is focussed on women from the Waikato, youth from other
regions are welcome when there are spaces. 10
WOWMA were involved in a dialogue with Muslim Maoris in 2017. 11Countering violent extremism and promoting social cohesion
29. Since 2009, Muslim communities around New Zealand have asked WOWMA representatives to share their experiences about how they
inspire and empower their female youth. For example, in 2009 IWCNZ sponsored Ms Danzeisen to go around the major cities to complete a
workshop series on Muslim youths’ rights and responsibilities. Since then, WOWMA representatives have been asked to attend youth camps
in Christchurch and Dunedin. Between 2015 and 2017 WOWMA held three public sisterhood meetings and consultations and out of that they
identified 12 priorities that its community wished to pursue.
30. In 2015, IWCNZ was asked to send a representative to an ‘on the margins event’ in Singapore. The event was focused on de-radicalisaton and countering violent extremism. IWCNZ chose to send Ms Danzeisen as the event related to youth and community engagement. After presenting at the event, Ms Danzeisen was subsequently invited to two more summits that year and asked to share WOWMA’s experience. Thus, in preparation for these events, WOWMA produced a Youth Brochure (2015) explaining the model it used to work with Muslim female youth in the Waikato. Ms Danzeisen and XXX XXXX (WOWMA Youth Representative) distributed it at a youth summit on the margins of the United National General Assembly, which they had been invited to that same year. WOWMA has been promoted as a model for NGO work in other countries. The feedback was extremely positive.
31. In September 2016 Dr Maysoon Salama, as a representative of IWCNZ, attended the First World Muslim Women’s NGO Summit and Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She reported back that the other attendees were impressed by the variety, creativity and importance of projects and activities IWCNZ was involved in. The regular workshops, camps and Islamic education components of activities had caught their attention and they reported that they had a lot to learn from New Zealand. 12
32. In 2016 WOWMA, in conjunction with IWCNZ, produced a video called “What it means to be a Kiwi Muslim”. The video came out from the
national youth camp, that WOWMA ran on IWCNZ’s behalf and was part of a media project included in camp. 100 interviews were conducted, 1000 photos were taken and the ideas that youth wanted to get out to the New Zealand public were documented. The video had relevance for
anyone and everyone who wants to know more about New Zealand Muslims. It was posted on YouTube. 13
33. Many of the young women who came through the youth programmes went on to gain higher education and take up leadership positions in the community. For example, one who came from Somalia and started working with WOWMA in her first years at high school became a nurse in
Auckland, a WOWMA youth coordinator and a speaker at refugee settlement forums about what it meansto be a Kiwi Muslim. A talk by her
to refugees was posted on You Tube.
34. WOWMA’s work was recognised by the Legislative Assembly of Western Australian, in its Report No 13, August 2016, Cultivating Promise –
Building Resilience and Engagement with At Risk Youth through Sports and Culture’. Its visiting parliamentary Committee visited WOWMA
members to hear of its work and included it several times in the report. 14
35. Besides receiving funding through MSD, WOWMA has, on a couple of occasions, been funded by FIANZ but when that funding has not been available it has had to seek funding elsewhere. While it has on occasion sought and obtained funding from other government agencies, WOWMA found the processes to be cumbersome and piecemeal, and often required a significant upskilling of the officials considering the
applications. The amount of funding was often not worth the time and stress in applying.
36. As an example when the Settling In Fund was shifted to the Office of Ethnic Affairs (later known as Office of Ethnic Communities), there was a bureaucratic layer added to the funding process and it became more challenging to access appropriate funding when needed. Fortunately,
WOWMA was able to explain its programming goals for WOWMA to the E Tu Whanau group of MSD and was able to obtain adequate funds
through its work of women’s empowerment under this fund. 15
37. Due to WOWMA’s record of sustained quality programming, in February 2017 the Islamic Development Bank Funding Board approved WOWMA’s application for funding for an educational centre (a “retreat”) for its female youth. 16
As an affiliate member WOWMA has set an example for IWCNZ on what can be accomplished on a very small budget and a
handful of volunteers with very limited government support. 17
10 For 11 years the camps had been funded by the Ministry of Social Development, under the 'Settling In’ budget. It was a simple and straightforward process to gain funding.
11 BD 454,455
12 Her report commences: Muslims across the world have been going through turmoil of unprecedented proportion in the last few decades. We are witnessing ‘creative suffering’ and the worst of human suffering: Refugees fleeing their homelands; women children and men ending up as victims and casualties of war; permanent physical and psychological scars are left behind by unimaginable devastation and atrocities. All of us are after viable solutions to the problems we are facing. We have exhausted everything including our tears, for them. Now is the time to overcome despair, come together, think and work towards progress and peace building.
14 Legislative Assembly: Parliament of Western Australia Cultivating promise: Building Resilience and Engagement for At-Risk Youth through Sport and Culture (Parliament of
Western Australia, Report No 13, 15 August 2016) at 92, 98, 100, 101 and 110.For request to meet BD 115
15 BD 140
16 This was with the proviso that the name be changed to Waikato Women’s Vocational Training and Counselling Centre’. That has not happened as other barriers arose.
17 See Part 2, Engagement with Government, Pre 2015 MSD.13 Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand “What it means to be a Kiwi Muslim” (18 February 2016) www.youtube.com. In the feeder videos, some participants refer to harassment.
Contextual issues to submissions
(i) US invasions and rise of global terrorism/Islamophobia
38. The engagement the IWCNZ sought to have with government came about as a result not only of wars in the Middle East and increasing global terrorism and its impact upon Muslims in New Zealand, but also because of the demographic challenges and the limited amount of resources within its own hands. Still, the impact from global events was primary, and IWCNZ found harassment and related discrimination concerns were greatest when terrorist events occurred in the United States, Canada, the UK or the rest of Europe. Set out below is a list of the events that most significantly impacted Muslim women in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
(a) Four plane hijackings and attacks on United States buildings kill 2,996, injure 6000:
On 11 September 2001, four domestic United States aircraft were hijacked and three were flown into buildings. 2996 people died as a direct result and 6000 were injured. in 2004, Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaeda’s leader, claimed responsibility for the attacks.
(a) Murder of 202 persons and injury of 300 in Bali Bombings: 18
On 12 October 2002 in Kuta, Bali, Indonesia, 202 persons were killed and 300 injured  when a car bomb was detonated and
sent fire through dozens of buildings in Bali, a popular holiday destination. This attack followed 6 other bombings in Southeast Asia in the previous three weeks. They included two in the Philippines that killed one American soldier and at least 11 Filipinos and a grenade explosion near a United States Embassy residence in Jakarta.” Those responsible were identified as Islamic extremists affiliated with Al Qaeda.
(a) London underground bomb attacks kill 52, 770 injured: 20
On 7 July 2005, three men with rucksacks full of explosives detonated three bombs in quick succession at 8.49 am, during
morning rush hour, in London underground trains. A fourth man detonated his bomb on the top deck of a No 30 bus at Tavistock
Square almost an hour later. 52 people died, more than 770 people were injured. The men were: Mohammad Sidique, Shehzad Tanweer, Germaine Lindsay, Hasib Mir Hussain. They were identified as Islamic extremists.
(a) Shooting of US Senator and 16 others and killing of US Chief District Court Judge and 5 others:
On 8 Jan, 2011, US senator Gabriel Gifford (Gabby), who had been an outspoken critic of the state’s immigration law, which had
focused on identifying, prosecuting and deporting, illegal immigrants was shot in the head at point blank range in a shooting spree at ‘Congress on your Corner’ in Washington DC. The shooter was a 22 year old Tuscan man, Jared Lee Loughner. He shot 18 people and killed six of them. A District Court Chief Judge was killed. He had been involved in immigration cases and she and he had received earlier death threats. The killer had a history of previous anti-social behaviours and had posted images of a gun on his webpage.
(b) Killing of 77 young people in Norway by Anders Behring Brevik: 21
On 22 July 2011 on the Island of Utoya, Norway, 77 young people attending a summer camp for supporters of the Norwegian
Labour Party, were shot and killed by Anders Behring Breivik, a far-right extremist. He had dressed as a police officer, claiming to be present for security, prior to the shooting. Of the 77 killed, 33 of which were under 18. 22
There were 517 survivors, 66 of whom were wounded.
(a) Shooting in Sikh Temple kills six and wounds three in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, United States:
On 5 August 2012, six people were killed and three wounded when Wade Page, a white supremacist, opened fire in a Sikh
(a) Three killed in shooting outside Jewish Community Centre, Kansas: 23
On 13 April 2014, three people were killed outside a Jewish
Community Centre and in the carpark of a Jewish retirement community, Village Shalom. The attacker was a member of the
Klu Klus Klan.
(a) Seven killed and 14 wounded in Southern California:
On 23 May 2014, a member of the alt right ‘incel’ online community, Elliott Rodger stabbed three roommates to death
and then drove to a sorority house and shot several women. He attacked pedestrians with gunfire before killing himself.
(a) Killing of 12 and injuring of 11 in Paris (Charlie Hebdo killings): 24
On 7 January 2015, 12 people were shot and killed and 11 injured when two men stormed into the Charlie Hebdo office
and opened fire. They killed a police officer asthey were leaving. This attack came a day after the newspaper carried satirical
depictions of the prophet Muhammad on its front page. The shooters were Chérif Kouachi and Saïd Kouachi, and had been
recruited by a notorious Islamic terrorist, Peter Cherif.
(b) Nine parishioners killed and one injured at black church in South Carolina:
On 17 June 2015 a man killed nine black parishioners and injured one at the Emanuel Africa Methodist Episcopal Church in
Charleston, South Carolina.
(c) Attacks in Paris kill 130 and injure 350
On 13-14 November 2015, 130 people died and at least 350 were injured in a series of attacks: Stade de France Saint Denis
where there were three explosions outside the national stadium during an international football match and where one man died;
Le Carillon and Le Petit Cambodge Rue Alibert, 10th arrondissement where 15 died as gunmen attacked two establishments in quick succession; Casa Nostra Rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 11th arrondissement where five people died in an attack on a pizzeria: La Belle Équipe Rue de Charonne, 11th arrondissement where 19 were killed in a gun attack outside a brasserie; Le Comptoir Voltaire 253 Boulevard Voltaire where a
suicide bomber blews himself up; Le Bataclan Boulevard Voltaire, 11th arrondissement where 89 died when at least three
attackers stormed a music venue during a rock concert.
(a) Murder of Jo Cox, UK MP:
On 16 June 2016 in Birstall, West Yorkshire, Jo Cox, a Labour Party MP who praised diversity and encouraged migration; and
campaigned to get more women in public service.25 She was attacked during the EU referendum campaign in 2016. She died
following two shots to her head, one to her chest and 15 stab wounds.
Her murderer, Thomas Mair, was obsessed with Nazis, white supremacy and anti-apartheid era South Africa. He had a history
of mental illness but was fit to stand trial. In the days before he killed Jo Cox he had accessed internet sites about Naziz, Ku Klux
Klan, the Waffen-SS, Israel, matricide and serial killers.
(b) Killing of 49 and injuring of 53 in Orlando, United States: 26
On 12 June 2016 in an Orlando gay nightclub 49 people were killed and 53 wounded by Omar Mateen who was ultimately shot
by police who stormed the nightclub to free hostages. Before he died he declared allegiance to an ISIS leader.
(a) Quebec mosque shootings kill six and injure five others:
On 29th January 2017, six people were killed and five injured when Alexandre Bissonnette went on a shooting rampage in the
Quebec City mosque. The psychiatric report disclosed that he believed the people inside the mosque were religious fanatics
and that by killing them he would save hundreds of other people. He said he regretted not killing more people.
(b) In Manchester, United Kingdom, 22 adults and children killed in bombings: 27
On 22 May 2017, 22 adults and children were killed when a man, Salman Abedi, born in Manchester, walked into the foyer of
Manchester Arena while an American singer Ariana Grande was performing and detonated a backpack loaded with bolts, screws
and explosives. The shooter was reported by terrorism experts to be the sort of individual vulnerable to radicalisation, and
either drifting into or being manipulated into holding violent extremist views and, eventually, acting on them
(c) Finsbury Park Mosque Attack, North London, UK, One dead and twelve injured: 28
In June 2017 a van was driven into a crowd of Muslim worshippers in London. All the victims were Muslim. One of the witnesses said the driver, Darren Osborne, shouted that he “wanted to kill all Muslims”.
(d) One killed and 19 injured when car rams crowd in Charlottesville, USA
On 12 August 2017 one person was killed and 19 injured when a car deliberately drove into the middle of a crowd of persons
protesting against a Unite the Right Rally. The car driver was James Fields, a white supremacist. The rally was a gathering of
people identifying as the alt-right, neo Nazis, Klu Klux Klansmen, neo-fascists and extreme right-wing militias.
(a) One killed in hate crime stabbing in USA
On 2 January 2018 in Orange County, California, a man who was Jewish and gay and a former associate of the killer was stabbed 20 times and died. The killer was Samuel Woodward. He was a white supremacist and a member of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen which is a paramilitary neo-Nazi group and is considered one of the most violent sections alt-right.
(b) At a high school shooting in the USA, 17 killed and 17 injured:
On 14 February 2018, a man went on a shooting spree at his former school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He was Nikolas Cruz and belonged to a racist Instagram group and hated black and Jews and referred to women who engaged in interracial relationships as “traitors”. He had racist and Nazi symbols on his backpack and had etched swastikas onto
(c) 11 killed and 7 injured in attack in synagogue in Pittsburgh, USA 29
On 27 October 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 11 people were killed and seven injured, including four police officers, during a
service at the Tree of Life synagogue. The killer was Robert Bowers, a white supremacist who was described as a virulent anti-Semite, and who among other things, blamed Jews for orchestrating the immigration of non-whites into the US.
(d) Shooting in yoga studio kills two and injures four in Talahassee, United States: 30
On 2 November 2018 two people were killed and four injured when a man opened fire in a yoga studio in Tallahassee. He had
posted videos on social media containing racist and misogynistic comments including hatred towards women who engaged in
18 Seth Mydans “Terror in Bali: The Aftermath; Survivors of Indonesia Blast Are Left Stunned and Searching” (14 October 2002) New York Times <www.nytimes.com>.
19 Richard C Paddock “At Site of Bali Bombings, a Fight Brews Over Money and Memorials” (6 May 2019) New York Times <www.nytimes.com>.
20 Caroline Davies and Esther Addley “7/7: London comes together to remember and reflect 10 years on” (7 July 2015) The Guardian <www.theguardian.com>.
21 Mark Townsend “Survivors of Norway shootings return to island of Utøya” (21 August 2011) The Guardian <www.theguardian.com>.
22 BBC News “Norway massacre: ‘We could hear the gunshots getting closer’ (19 October 2017) BBC News <www.bbc.com>.
23 Emma G Fitzsimmons “Man Kills 3 at Jewish Centers in Kansas City Suburb” (13 April 2014) New York Times <www.nytimes.com>.
24 Kim Willsher “Charlie Hebdo suspect arrested in Djibouti” (21 December 2018) The Guardian <www.theguardian.com>.
25 Ian Cobain and Matthew Taylor “Far-right terrorist Thomas Mair jailed for life for Jo Cox murder” (23 November 2016) The Guardian <www.theguardian.com>. 26 Andrew Buncombe “Orlando nightclub shooter’s widow found not guilty of aiding husband”
(30 March 2018) Independent <www.independent.co.uk>
27 Esther Addley and others “Salman Abedi: from hot-headed party lover to suicide bomber” (26 May 2017) The Guardian <www.theguardian.com>.
28 Bonnie Malkin and others “Fainsbury Park mosque attack: suspect named as Darren Osborne, 47-year-old who lives in Cardiff-as it happened” (20 June 2017) The Guardian
29 ADL "Murder and Extremism in the United States in 2018" ADL: Fighting Hate for Good <www.adl.org>.
30 ADL "Murder and Extremism in the United States in 2018" ADL: Fighting Hate for Good <www.adl.org>.
(ii) Impact of international events on New Zealand Muslim community – particularly Muslim women
39. When the United States invaded and occupied Afghanistan in October 2001 and then Iraq in 2003 an unwelcome focus came on Muslim
communities in Western countries, including New Zealand. This is because the countries invaded were Muslim majority countries. With
each invasion and occupation there was a rise of terrorist events inside those countries and a further destabilisation of the areas that were
occupied. Muslim communities were identified with issues of extremism and were identified as promoters of violence.
40. Following the terrorist events of September 2001, US president George W Bush established a ‘War on Terror’ which was backed by the prime minister of the UK, Tony Blair. Since then there has been an increasing and inordinate focus on Muslim communities in western countries. This has included New Zealand.
41. Around August 2014, ISIS emerged as a global military force that engaged in extreme violence and took over large parts of Syria. At this time, IWCNZ members perceived a marked increase in the public expression of Islamophobia, that had been growing since 9/11. On 5 December 2014 Ms Danzeisen, on behalf of WOWMA, was interviewed by Radio New Zealand and said Muslim New Zealanders were facing increased discrimination in the wake of the political focus on the potential threat from ISIS supporters in New Zealand. 31
42. When the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill was introduced to parliament on 24 November 2014, it was passed in an expedited manner. The government assertions were that delay would put New Zealand at risk. The third reading took place just two weeks after it had been introduced. 32
Once again the publicity around it led to a significant backlash against the Muslim community and was a factor in the development of the IWCNZ position paper for government. 33
43. Ms Rahman was interviewed by Stuff reporters and said, on behalf of IWCNZ, that the bill had led to increased harassment of Muslim women who were bearing the brunt of the backlash. She said ‘our community opposes the actions of ISIS yet are suffering unfair consequences. The visual surveillance provisions in the bill is deeply offensive and distressing for Muslim women’. 34
She criticised the lack of an independent third party to oversee the evidence. In another interview she said that she had
personally experienced four instances of verbal abuse since the bill was introduced. 35
44. As the New Zealand media reported overseas terrorism events, particularly since September 2011, there has been a backlash against
Muslims in New Zealand.36 This has inordinately focused on woman because of the visible nature of head scarves (hijab). For them, accessing
public arenas, public transport, educational establishments, employment and seeking goods and services, was becoming an increasingly frightening activity.
45 The situation worsened again during Donald Trump’s election campaign leading to his election in November 2016. He was strongly anti -
immigration and made no distinctions between ISIS and Muslims in general. A new, overtly hostile language about Islam started to be used
in public discourse. His general attitude was perceived by IWCNZ among many other global groups, as a catalyst for the emboldening of the far
right.37 - 38
46. It is important to note that during the time of the Trump campaign and installation as President, many New Zealanders expressed empathy for New Zealand Muslim women and expressed how appalled they were at Donald Trump’s rhetoric against Muslims. There was a noticeable
increase in support towards Muslims. Simultaneously however, there was an increase in vitriol and aggressiveness, particularly from those who
took a ‘nationalist’ viewpoint.
47. By 2018 the backlash against Muslims in Western countries for the actions of Al-Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists wasin fullswing.39 In that
year the US Anti-Defamation League released a report stating that, in the US, right wing attackers had killed 70 to 72 people in 2015-2016; 37 in
2017 and at least 50 people in 2018.40 Further, in 2018 almost all of the extremist-related murders were committed by right wing extremists:
white supremacists – 70 per cent, anti-government extremism – 16 per cent, Incel (involuntary celibate) extremism – 4 per cent, domestic
Islamist extremism – 2 per cent. 41
48. Domestic media reporting of the terrorist attacks overseas was a major problem. The terms ‘Muslim’, ‘Islam’, ‘Islamic’, and ‘Jihad’ became
synonymous with terrorism. There was little counterbalance by positive news stories from among the vast majority of peaceable Muslims many
of whom were making positive contributions as citizens. Overseas research in 2017 showed that the more news people watched, the more
negative their view of Muslims. 42
(iii) Incidents against Muslim women in New Zealand
49. As early as 2011, Ms Rahman and Ms Danzeisen reported incidents on verbal and physical abuse of Muslim women in New Zealand and said their hope was for a multicultural New Zealand where we all respect those we disagree with. 43
About six WOWMA youth were also invited down to Parliament for Eid-ul-Fitr events and met with then Minister of the Office of Ethnic Affairs, Hekia Parata, and raised some discrimination and harassment concerns, mostly related to employment. Also present were Nikki Wagner, Jackie Blue, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and David Bennett.
50. Incidents experienced by or reported to IWCNZ include: nasty comments being made on the street, in public places, at bus stops and on public transport such as being called bitches, terrorists and being told it was 3 miles to the nearest airport. Bus drivers also made hostile comments to passengers about their head scarves. A group of young people at a bus stop acted as a pack, taunting a woman in a headscarf. Reported comments were ‘you forgot to cover your hands’, ‘you don’t have to wear that thing here’; ‘why are you wearing ‘that thing’. Common public comments were that Muslims were ‘users’ or ‘takers’, despite most Muslim families having one person in the household working. 44
In one instance in 2013 it was reported that a Christchurch woman was not allowed to wear her hijab at work but did not want to complain as she
was fearful of losing her job.
51. A tertiary student reported being warned she would not get a job if she turned up to an interview ‘dressed like that’. Secondary school students reported experiencing a lot of discrimination and harassment. Some have had their scarves torn off and were punched, and ending up in fist fights as a result. Even teachers have challenged students about the actions of ISIS, and other terrorists. It is notable that 80 per cent of the youth at the WOWMA 2015 camp reported harassment and had teachers expecting them to answer for terrorists. 45
52. Police have been very reluctant to take complaints of harassment seriously. They have often declined to record them. This coupled with a
reluctance to complain in the first place means that hate speech and crimes rarely turn up in police records.
53. Ms Danzeisen, has personally experienced many incidents of harassment.46 For example, she had a vanload of 10 adults beeping,
honking and waving a mobile phone, while insisting she roll the window down when she was driving with a friend to the airport. She opened the
window to hear the male driver shout out ‘It’s Osama Bin Laden’ sticking the phone out the window and then everyone in the car started laughing and it sped off. On another occasion, while she was walking along the sidewalk a car drove up onto the berm and speed intentionally towards her in an attempt to scare her while the people inside shouted inappropriate comments as they went by.
54. In 2007 she also experienced phone harassment, being told they had seen a Syrian pig in the garden, and they know how to get rid of it. She had to insist on the police investigating the matter.47 In 2014, when in a shopping mall, a blonde male between the age of 30 and 45 has come up behind her and pushed her and shouted ‘Fucking Muslim’ before running off. Ms Rahman discussed her experience of discrimination as a Muslim woman in New Zealand in a presentation to an assembly at St Matthews in the City on 13 November 2015. 48
55. Muslim women have also experienced multiple minor incidents of harassment, which nevertheless have a major impact on confidence and
self-esteem. These include seeing shop attendants fighting over who has to assist her as she approached the counter; shop attendants being friendly to customers but once she walked refusing to speak to her; road workers men making inappropriate comments about her religion as she walks by, being asked by customs officials as to why she wore the headscarf; comments made under people’s breaths in hearing about
56. Women can often experience difficulty in getting service at hospitals where one woman reported a hospital worker saying to another, ‘these people are just so stupid’. In 2014, in a New World supermarket in Dunedin, Muslim women would find pamphlets in their shopping trolleys telling them to leave New Zealand while. 49
57. While an increase in cat calls and verbal abuse has followed international terror events, things have become much worse since ISIS started to make ts presence known in the world. In August/September 2015, IWCNZ experienced a more significant jump in the amount and intensity of abuse and harassment directed at Muslim women in public. By December 2015, IWCNZ wasso concerned forthe safety of Muslim women that they made urgent approaches to police and government seeking help and protection.
58. WOWMA asked for a police presence at its 2015 national youth camp near Rotorua. Three police officers joined the camp and it was an
extremely positive experience for the youth and the police. IWCNZ asked for and were granted a police presence at its 2016 IWCNZ National
Conference, again because of concerns for their safety. Dr Salama requested and was granted a police presence at the Dunedin Youth Camp
in 2018. The request came out of a fear that they were vulnerable while they were gathered as a group of Muslims, especially as female Muslims.
59. On 12 February 2017 XXX XXXX, who was wearing a headscarf, stopped at Huntly for a bathroom break while on a road trip. She was abused, sworn at, had beer cans and punchesthrown at her. Her friend filmed the incident and uploaded it to Facebook. Unlike most incidents, it was reported and covered in many media. The female assailant was located, arrested and charged.
60. Ms Rahman gave a media interview on behalf of IWCNZ, saying she was appalled but not entirely surprised.50 She said people felt that Muslims did not belong here. She said it was only a small number of New Zealanders who behaved that way and she offered to meet with the
assailant to help change her attitude. 51 She also encouraged all Muslim women to report harassment and abuse. 52 She said that IWCNZ
condemned all forms of racism. 53
61. On 4 September 2017, Dr XXX XXXX, a University of Waikato Lecturer, wrote a social media post, implying that employers should not hire
Muslims because they stop to pray five times a day. Ms Rahman on behalf of IWCNZ responded: 54
Comments such as these from an academic like Dr XXXX, even if they are made in a private capacity, will tend to carry more weight and increase the likelihood of discrimination in employment. …Muslim women already face a high level of discrimination and such comments do not help. Again, she invited Dr XXXX to meet with them and share views.
31 Philippa Tolley “Muslims facing discrimination in NZ” (5 December 2014) Radio New Zealand <www.radionz.co.nz>; Ms Danzeisen said they had been tracking racist incidents and they had increased significantly in the last few months. She noted there was a rise in adverse comments at work and international events blaming people who have no involvement or are not responsible for them.
32 Ms Rahman made submissions against it BD 1065-1067
33 See Engagement with Government, Pre 2015.
34 Stacey Kirk and Aimee Gulliver “Muslim communities facing a ‘backlash’ over law” (28 November 2014) Stuff <www.stuff.co.nz>.
35 Checkpoint “Terrorist Fighters Bill is fuelling anti Muslim sentiment” (28 November 2014) Radio New Zealand <www.radionz.co.nz>.
36 See John H Haver and others “News exposure predicts anti-Muslim prejudice” (2017) 12(3) PLUS ONE 1371.
37 His speeches referenced Muslims as ‘cockroaches’, and living in ‘shitholes’ and his speeches were described as cruel, hateful and infectious; see Ben Jacobs and Alan Yuhas “Somali migrants are ‘disaster’ for Minnesota, says Donald Trump” (7 November 2016) The Guardian <7 November 2016>. BD 206-207
38 Note IWCNZ press release BD 1057; ongoing condemnation of violence BD 1060
39 BD 210,211
40 The Center on Extremism Murder and Extremism in the United States in 2018 (ADL, A report from the Center on Extremism, January 2019).
41 At 13.
42 John H Haver and others, above n 27.
43 Jonathon Carson “Waikato Muslims hope for a multicultural New Zealand” (26 July 2011) Stuff <www.stuff.co.nz>; The interview followed a bus driver refusing to let a Saudi woman in burqua on a bus in Auckland. Later, on 19 August 2011 Ms Rahman said on Radio New Zealand’s afternoon show that Muslim women are more than the hijab and the burqa and were doing a lot for the community and the kids; statements made about them had a real indirect impact upon them, such as in employment.
44 Ms Rahman gave a personal history of discrimination BD 1010-1017
45 BD 154
46 BD 991-999 47 It was teenage children and they got a warning. She still does not know how they got her number as it is private, and they were not from her school.
48 See Index to Bundle Of Documents Recording Government Engagement By Islamic Women’s Council Of New Zealand at [1010-1017].
50 Brittany Keogh "Racially-motivated attack not surprising- Islamic Women's Council" (12 February 2017) New Zealand Herald <www.nzherald.co.nz>.
51 In fact a second news item that day indicated that Ms Khan she feeling overwhelmed by the support she was receiving following the publicity; see Stuff "Kiwi Muslim woman overwhelmed with support after abuse on Waikato roadside" (12 February 2017) Stuff <www.seek.co.nz>.
52 New Zealand Herald "Arrest in alleged racist attack in Huntly" (12 February 2017) New Zealand Herald <www.nzherald.co.nz>. BD 213
53 BD IWCNZ Press Release 1058
54 New Zealand Herald “University reaches out to Islamic Community after lecturer’s Muslim comment” (4 September 2017) New Zealand Herald <www.nzherald.co.nz>; Many people expressed disgust at this comment, not just IWCNZ.
(iv) Impact of Islamophobic incidents on Muslim women in New Zealand
62. The effect of this type of behaviour on Muslim women and girls can be corrosive. They can become anxious and fearful and develop low self-esteem. Some may develop a fear of leaving the house, they may not try to get into the workplace, and this causes some to live in poverty. There is a vicious cycle where, because they are victimised Muslimah can see themselves as completely powerless and without abilities.
63. Consequently, Muslim women are excluded from jobs that are perceived to require a positive image or a high level of skills. School performance and self-belief drops. They more likely to isolate themselves from other communities due to the fear of negative consequences, which then leads to accusations of them being in a “closed community’. Some feel anger and resentment and respond to violence with violence. 55
(v) Abuse and harassment directed at Muslim organisations
64. New Zealand Muslim organisations have also been on the receiving end of threats and abuse. On 7 July 2005, following the London Underground bombings, seven Auckland mosques were tagged and vandalised in one night. 56
65. In the last two years the President of the Auckland Muslim Association, XXX XXXX, has experienced:
(a) Offensive religious messagessent to him via text or voice-mail such as:
praise be to moohaMAD the child rapeist 16 March 2017 … and.. You are anti-Christ and Mohammed was anti-Christ and we are not going to tolerate you people in this country”.(3 December 2017).
(b) XXX XXXX, the Imam of Avondale Islamic Centre, has been abused, physically threatened and had his car damaged in July 2017.
(c) Abusive and Islamophobic comments on 5 March 2019;
(d) Video of a bearded man speaking on camera on 19 March 2019. He said:
Had my appeal today it was good. Got thrown out. Like the judge said...hate crime - deliberate attack deliberate offence against Muslims were his words he knows me well...white power my friends my family my people let’s get these fuckers out, bring on the cull get the fuckers out, the rules are changing, white power.
(e) A threat to bomb a mosque on 29 March 2019. This was after 15 March, 2019.
66. The president of the Waikato Muslim Organisation, XXX XXXX, received threatening calls at the University of Waikato, Waikato Management
School, where he works as Associate Professor. This was just prior to the March 15, 2019 Christchurch mosque attack:
You can ignore me all you like but it’s going to come down on you really hard. Now, which one of yous are responsible for indoctrinating XXXX and others in your community to going over and fighting for terrorist
organisations. You better bloody answer me, buddy. Because I’ll come down to the XXX XXXX and I’ll burn it to the fucking ground you terrorist prick.
Tuesday, March 5 2019 at 10:11 am
Eh boy, you a terrorist in [inaudible] our country boy. You and your [inaudible] with your terrorists bro. Texting people overseas to fight terrorism bro. You wait [inaudible], we’re coming after you boy.
Tuesday, March 5 at 10:14 am
Which one of yous is responsible for indoctrinating XXX XXXX and sending people over from this community to fight for terrorist organisations, you can ignore me as much as you like. People are asking questions, I’ve followed a lot of your people home, I know where a lot of you live. You wanna strike fear into the hearts of our communities, how about we strike fear into the hearts of your communities? You bloody start answering questions and stop being a coward and hanging up. You’ve got some bloody answering to do buddy, if you’re coming back to Hamilton, where the hell is he going to be going to pray [inaudible], really on my watch, I don’t think so, I don’t bloody think so mate.
67. In November 2018, on the poster’s own Facebook page he left a message about WOWMA’ upcoming December 2018 youth conference. He also left other comments on WOWMA’s around the same time. The message said:
…we have ISIS camps in New Zealand…
…warning to all tourists: you are likely to be raped and murdered, beaten up or have everything you have ever bought stolen during your stay
68. On 20 February 2019 the Facebook page of WOWMA received hostile posts. One asked why follow a religion where the Prophet Mohamed
rapes young women. It went onto say there would be a burning of the Quran at the Hamilton mosque on Friday 15 March 2019. Ms Danzeisen
blocked the message and then received another message saying ‘Go ahead and block’ and went on to make similar comments. The user’s
name was XXX XXXX.
69. Three days after the Christchurch mosque shootings on 15 March 2019 Ms Rahman, on behalf of IWCNZ, was interviewed about the attack as a deliberate and targeted assault against Muslims because of their faith. She said:
Muslims are busting a gut trying to reach out and be part of this country and part of society here – but we can’t solve racism for you.
…Political leaders have always had a responsibility to stand up and confront these ideas...
70. She continued that they had engaged with this and the previous government and had received less than an adequate response:
…if you can spend all this money on surveiling Muslims, you should also be spending on prevention, as well as tackling other threats, including white supremacism.
71. Subsequently, on 22 March 2019 she was interviewed for another media article. She called for a coordinated and strategic approach from
government to tackle racism. She said that IWCNZ had provided a comprehensive report and delivered it to MSD five years ago. 57
The report covered problems surrounding everything from health and education to policing and family violence but no action was taken by
MSD. She continued that IWCNZ had also put its concerns directly to the Security Intelligence Service; the Department of Internal Affairs and the
Office of Ethnic Communities, the State Services Commission and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 58
72. Since the mosque shootings media attention has been given to antiIslamic complaints received prior to the shootings. 59
Again Ms Rahman has been interviewed. She said the number of complaints reflected a tiny proportion of negative behaviour directed at the Muslim community; that low level stuff was so common that it becomes part of the regular experience;some Muslims become normalised to anti-Islamic behaviour; IWCNZ was concerned about the accuracy of data collection and whether enough research was being done.
73. Incidents of harassment against Muslims, that would otherwise not have been reported or necessarily have bystanders intervening, have been reported since the Christchurch mosque shootings. For example, where a bus driver had slammed the door on a young Muslim woman wearing a head scarf, three high school girls stepped in and supported her. Ms Rahman raised the need for police to record hate crimes since March 2017. Ethnicities of victims needed to be recorded to get a sense of the ethnic minorities communities as victims and the level of hate crime. She indicated that Muslim women were targeted more when they were alone or with children. 60
55 Even media Spokesperson Anjum Rahman was personally impacted by her public speaking role. BD 208
56 Following the London bombings Ms Rahman was too afraid to go to work because of the personal repercussions she feared would happen.
57 See Part 2, Engagement with Government Pre 2015
58 Jamie Morton “Islamophobia in New Zealand: where does it come from?”(22 March 2019) New Zealand Herald <www.nzherald.co.nz>.
59 Piers Fuller “Hundreds of anti-Islamic complaints received prior to shootings” (16 April 2019) Stuff <www.stuff.co.nz>; see also Simon Chapple “What data says about discrimination and tolerance in New Zealand” (10 April 2019) Stuff <www.stuff.co.nz>.
60 Michelle Duff “A bus driver slammed the door on a Muslim girl. Three girls fought back” (29 March 2019) Stuff <www.stuff.co.nz>.
(vi) Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) United Nations Leadership61
74. In 2006 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a Global CounterTerrorism Strategy. 62
75. In December 2015 the Secretary- General of the United Nations published a Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism (CVE). 63
In its introduction it said:
Violent extremism is a diverse phenomenon, without clear definition. It is neither new nor exclusive to any region, nationality or system of belief. Nevertheless, in recent years, terrorist groups such as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram have shaped our image of violent extremism and the debate on how to address this threat. These groups’ message of intolerance – religious, cultural,social - has had drastic consequences for many regions of the world. ….While the Plan of Action has been developed within this context, it is intended to address violent
extremism in all its forms and wherever it occurs.
76. The plan identified the drivers of violent extremism as being: lack of socioeconomic opportunities; marginalism and discrimination, poor
governance, violations of human rights and the rule of law, prolonged and unresolved conflicts and radicalisation in prisons.64
77. When considering what action to take to prevent violent extremism, member states were advised to consider addressing specific elements
including: engaging communities, empowering youth, ensuring gender equality, ensuring education, skills development and employment facilitation .65
Some excerpts from the recommendations are set out below:
 We must pay particular attention to youth…
(a) Support and enhance young women’s and young man’s participation in activities aimed at preventing violent extremism by prioritising meaningful engagement mechanisms…; and provide physically socially and emotionally safe and supportive environment for the participation of young women and men and preventing violent extremism.
(b) Integrate young woman and men into decision-making processes… By establishing youth councils and similar
mechanisms which give young women and men are platform for participating in mainstream political discourse.
(c) Foster trust between decision-makers and young women and men, especially through intergenerational dialogue and youth adult confidence building activities and training.
(d) Involve had to reach young women and men such as those from under represented groups…
(e) Establish national mentoring programs for young women and men, create space for personal growth in their chosen field, and offer opportunities for community service which can enable them to become leaders and actors for constructive change
(f) Ensure that a portion of all funds dedicated to addressing violent extremism are committed to a projects that address young people‘s specific needs or empower them and encourage International financial institutions, foundations and other donors to provide small grant funding mechanisms to young women and young social entrepreneurs to enable them to develop their own ideas on strengthening community resilience against violent extremism.
Gender equality and empowering women
 Woman’s empowerment is a critical force for sustainable peace. It is no coincidence that societies for which gender equality indicators are higher are less vulnerable to violent extremism.… We must ensure that the protection and empowerment of women as a central consideration of strategies devised to counterterrorism and violent extremism.
(a) A mainstream gender perspective across efforts to prevent violence extremism
(b) Invest in gender sensitive research and data collection women’s roles in violent extremism
(c) Include women and other underrepresented groups in national law enforcement and security agencies, including as part of counter-terrorism prevention and response framework.
(d) Build the capacity of women and the civil society groups to engage in prevention and response efforts related to violent extremism
(e) Ensure that a proportion of all funds dedicated to addressing violent extremism is committed to projects that address woman specific needs or empower women.
Education, skills development and employment facilitation
 As part of the struggle against poverty and social marginalisation, we need to ensure that every child receives a
quality education. Teaching should include respect for human rights and diversity, fostering critical thinking, promoting
media and digital literacy, and developing the behavioural and socio-emotional skills that contribute to peaceful coexistence and tolerance.
78. Since then most western countries and NGO’s have adopted plans and programmes based upon the principles of staking steps to support social cohesion and integration. Some of these are discussed in Chapter 3 where recommendations are also made.
(vii) IWCNZ and WOWMA experience in Countering Violent Extremism
79. As indicated earlier Ms Danzeisen attended an ‘on the margins event’ at the East Asia Symposium on Religious Rehabilitation and Social
Reintegration held in Singapore as the nominee of IWCNZ. The then president of FIANZ was also in attendance. At thissummit both FIANZ and
IWCNZ were asked to participate in a panel. After presenting at the event, Ms Danzeisen was subsequently invited to Australia’s Regional Summit to Counter Violent Extremism: Challenging Terrorist Propaganda, in Sydney.
80. Prior to her attending that conference XXX XXXX of MSD introduced Ms Danzeisen to DPMC employee XXX XXXX by email as he was attending the summit on the second day (designed for government representatives). The government and NGO groups were housed separately and there was no ability for Ms Danzeisen to make contact with him due to security in the government area. He never made contact with her before, during or after the summit. 66
81. The third summit Ms Danzeisen attended was also in 2015 and was as a convenor of WOWMA. It wasthe One95 Youth Summit being held ‘on the margins’ of the UN General Assembly. Ms Danzeisen and the Ms XXX XXXX, youth representative from WOWMA produced posters, pamphlets and brochures demonstrating the work of WOWMA with itsfemale youth camps, workshops and so on. The feedback to WOWMA at this summit was extremely positive and included the fact it had a unique leading-edge programme for youth. 67
82. The following year Ms Danzeisen attended the Islamic Society of North America’s Annual Convention in Chicago, where 50,000 persons
attended. 68 Out of that conference other international networking opportunities opened up. 69
83. On 31 May 2016 Ms Rahman spoke on the value of belonging and the importance of dealing with the root cause of radicalisation . BD 1018-1019.
61 Reports and actions taken by individual nations are referred to in part 3.
62 It had four pillars: Addressing the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism; Preventing and Combatting Terrorism; Building States Capacity and strengthening the role of
the United Nations and finally Ensuring Human Rights and the rule of law.
63 Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism UN Doc A70/674 (24 December 2015); It identified the impact of violent extremism on peace and security, sustainable development,
human rights and the rule of law and humanitarian action. It considered the processes of radicalisation noting individual backgrounds and motivations; collective grievances and
victimisation; distortion and misuse of beliefs, political ideologies and ethnic and cultural differences and leadership and social networks.
64 At 7-8.
65 At 14-19; The full list is: dialogue and conflict prevention, strengthening good governance, human rights and the rule of law, engaging communities, empowering youth, ensuring gender equality, ensuring education, skills development and employment facilitation and strategic communications for the internet and social media.
66 BD 24-30
67 Funding was always an issue and some invitations could not be accepted. XXX XXXX helped
where she could. BD 33, 35,36,42 -44, 46,47
68 BD 152,153
69 BD 395,396
Narrative of IWCNZ engagement with Government
84. For more than five years before the Christchurch mosque shootings IWCNZ and other affiliated associations engaged with the New Zealand government (the government) in an attempt to have it understand the need for, and urgency of, taking active steps to support, protect and strengthen the Muslim community. Two primary reasons were:
(a) To address the discrimination, harassment and abuse being experienced by Muslim women and girls in hijab, and to ensure
Muslims in New Zealand had equal access to opportunities that all other New Zealand citizens and residents had. 70
(b) Subsequent to that, to counter any potential violent extremism that may develop in vulnerable Muslim youth which could be
directed out from the community to the wider New Zealand community.
85. IWCNZ’s sense of urgency that action had to be taken before it was too late grew. Sustained and concerted efforts were made to engage with Government agencies at the highest levels for the purposes of the development and implementation of countering violent extremism
strategies. That sense of urgency increased steadily through the years 2015 to 2019. Documentation of communications in that period confirms IWCNZ continually sought help, and its tone indicates the increasing sense of risk being felt.
86. From 2016 the then Race Relations Commissioner, Dame Susan Devoy, took a stronger approach to government engagement and stepped in to assist . Regrettably, those efforts showed minimal success. By the end of June 2018 Dame Susan Devoy was no longer in her position and was unable to advocate and hold Government to account. IWCNZ had lost complete faith in the process and in the public servants, for the most part, that it had engaged with.
87. Long before 2015, several members of IWCNZ and WOWMA had established relationships with MSD. Their liaison person was XXX XXXX,
an experienced and senior public servant who was community manager for the E Tu Whanau funding programme. For over 11 years WOWMA
obtained funding from E Tu Whanau and Ms XXXX began providing small sums to IWCNZ. She bolstered funding for WOWMA so it could support some IWCNZ activities, so long as WOWMA youth leaders were involved. The money WOWMA received came from the ‘Settling In’ fund. Ms XXXX had visited the youth camps personally and taken workshops there. WOWMA camps were recognised for their initiative and success and the process for accessing funding from MSD was straightforward.
88. In 2014, when that funding had shifted to OEC control, access to funds became much more difficult ( funding rounds meant delays of three to six months). At the same time there were difficulties obtaining funding from FIANZ. IWCNZ approached XXX XXXX. She arranged ongoing funding through the women and family empowerment structures of the E Tu Whanau programme. Her approach was much more agile than OEC .
89. Consequently, from 2015 onwards the E Tu Whanau programme helped fund several events for the community. For example, it contributed to the funding of a retreat in 2015 for 33 Muslimah leaders and Ms XXXX personally helped with that retreat. She contributed to the 2016 IWCNZ
national conference that was held in Hamilton and contributed to a youth retreat. She also funded workshops and sometimes took sessions herself. Some workshops were provided on media training and media consultants were offered to various Muslimah. Youth were invited to events. 71
90. Ms XXXX advocated for the Muslim community in government and connected IWCNZ to various people in government. She introduced them to Police when she became aware that Muslim women and their families were not adequately supported.
91. Ms XXXX was a highly experienced public official who fully understood the issues and needs of Muslim women and particularly that they had the skills and competencies in its own community to identify its problems and work out its needs and solutions and implement them. She understood that what it lacked was funding.
92. One of the benefits of the approach used by E Tu Whanau was that it was flexible and responsive to community needs. It was based on
relationships of trust, and when help was sought on specific issues or for specific events, funding and support was made available. If needs
changed in the interim, the funding was flexible enough to reflect and adapt to this. Consequently, IWCNZ said of the E Tu Whanau programme:
Opportunities for authentic engagement, while limited, were helpful and substantive. Ownership of the projects sat within the community’s control and not the governments and it was community who determined which projects and programmes would go forward.
Development of a Muslim women position paper72
93. A very important initiative, undertaken by IWCNZ with support from E Tu Whanau was funding for the development of an IWCNZ ‘position paper’. XXX XXXX provided a facilitator for two days to help develop the paper, as well as funding all related travel costs. She herself was present for one of those days. All five Admin Council members were present for the two days. 73
The motivation came from the increasingly negative experience Muslim women were having in public life in New Zealand. The aim was
to use the paper as a tool for engagement with government in relation to the support, protection and development needs of the Muslim
community. Those issues were then put to Regional Representatives of IWCNZ and later an AGM for approval before its finalisation.
94. The first version of the paper (‘Position Paper,’) looked at nine areas: youth, education, health, police, employment, social isolation, family and sexual violence, civic engagement and the perception of Muslims in the media, and thereby Islamophobia generally. It did not address the rise of the alt-right as a separate issue at that time (2015). The Position Paper identified the problems and IWCNZ’s solutions to them for each area. This Position Paper became the basis of the approaches made to various government agencies from then on.
95. Later, IWCNZ would modify it and add priorities, while removing Islamophobia from the general category to its own separate category.
The reason for this change was the concern to address the alt-right directly. The international media were reporting activity and there was
a noticeable increase in harassment. Also, at that time legislation was going through Parliament that increased powers to undertake
surveillance on the Muslim community in New Zealand and the community was feeling more and more vulnerable to the rising alt-right.
96. The paper contained nine major areas of concern that needed to be addressed. The issues were explained, and IWCNZ put forward what
skills and assets the community brought to the table, as well as suggestions as to how the Government could address those concerns.
97. The nine issues are summarised below:
(a) Misrepresentation of Muslim women
i. The misrepresentation of Muslim women in the media and public as oppressed uneducated, unwilling to integrate and more recently as terrorists, often results in bullying and harassment. The harassment is on the streets but also carries through to mainstream organisations and service providers where Muslim women do not get the same access to services or opportunities as other New Zealand citizens and residents.
ii. The public misperception is impacting employability and acceptance of Muslim women in the wider New Zealand
community and within the education system which is impacting the Muslim child’s educational rights and comfort.
i. There were concerns with youth which are a much higher percentage of the Muslim population compared to other
i. There were major concerns about how Muslims are represented to other students in classrooms around New
Zealand and how Muslim youth are treated in the classrooms. In some cases, teachers were creating prejudice and
reinforcing prejudice by the way they taught Muslim issues. There was a lack of resources, expertise or knowledge among many teachers who were relying on misinformation from the Internet to explain topics or events. Many resources used in classrooms were either not vetted or not objective.
ii. At a national Muslim camp In December 2015 over 80% of participants indicated they had felt harassed by a teacher or instructor in a classroom because they were Muslim and that they had been asked to defend international issues relating to Muslims.
i. Harassment of Muslim women was significantly under reported. There was no category for reporting and
documenting harassment. Police were uninformed about religious and cultural practices.
(e) Democratic engagement
i. Very few Muslim women were involved in community decision-making and not visible on local boards, local parents’
groups and school Board of Trustees.
i. Many New Zealand employers were unwilling to employ or were significantly less likely to consider hiring a Muslim
woman. There was significant discrimination during job application and interview processes. When women were
employed, they usually did extremely well and were able to overcome discrimination.
i. There were concerns about how health providers interacted with and related to and cared for Muslim women.
(h) Social isolation
i. Social isolation was a rising concern. There were certain categories of Muslim women who were more likely to be
excluded, lonely or isolated. These were the elderly, new mothers, those with young children, young migrant wives,
and Muslim women who converted to Islam.
(i) Family violence
i. IWCNZ acknowledged family violence existed within the Muslim community and the statistics are likely to be
inaccurate due to under-reporting. Given the risk factors present in their community, there was a need for support in
Prime Minister and Security Intelligence Service
98. In December 2015, at a public hearing of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, where the head of the Security Intelligence Service, Ms Rebecca Kitteridge was being questioned, Prime Minister John Key implied that he had been informed by the Security Intelligence Service that jihadi brides had left New Zealand for Iraq to marry ISIS fighters. He repeated this claim in a media conference after the
Committee hearing. This created a stir in the media and there was considerable publicity on the story. This took the issue from overseas and
placed it in New Zealand and Muslim’s became immediate suspects.
99. The very next day New Zealand Muslim women and girls experienced harassment, threats and taunting on the streets, in school and
workplaces. IWCNZ were shocked at the jihadi bride reports and had no intelligence that anything like this was happening in New Zealand. With
their national and regional connections IWCNZ Admin Council members specifically inquired with their constituents if anyone was aware of such
departures and no-one was. WOWMA and IWCNZ had networks they believed would have picked up intelligence that this was likely to happen
before it had. Ms Rahman responded to media inquiries.74 She said IWCNZ had not been contacted by SIS about the matter. Further:
Council (IWCNZ) is trying to build Muslims’ ties with NZ to reduce their chances of identifying with IS or other extremist organisations and trying to make them feel like they belong here.
100. Ms Danzeisen and Ms Rahman responded to further media interviews on 12 December 2015, along with several other leaders in the Muslim community. 75
Ms Danzeisen reiterated that the Muslim community had no idea about women who were the subject of the SIS allegations. She
discussed WOWMA and how it helped women from refugee and migrant backgrounds. She said that taunts toward Muslim children were so
common that they often didn’t bother reporting the interaction to a teacher. She explained her students loved New Zealand: that’s why it
hurts so much when they are told to go back home. 76
101. Ms Rahman said there was a new generation of New Zealand born Muslims who were very much Kiwis, but were treated as though they do not belong in New Zealand and that was the pressure point. She criticised the then PM for making a jihadi bride revelation without any real
evidence being put into the public domain, and said that doing so created a general fear of Muslim women and the Muslim community. She invited him to engage with the Muslim community. No direct engagement came from the Prime Minister.
102. Shortly after the Jihadi Bride issue was the subject of publicity, John Key was replaced by Chris Finlayson as Minister of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service.
Prime Minister and Security Intelligence Service
103. In mid-March 2016 following an Official Information Act 1982 request by the Green Party, it was reported that no jihadi brides had left New
Zealand to join ISIS and it was evident the Prime Minister had known that before he spoke to the Committee. 77
104. On 16 March 2016 Ms Rahman was interviewed by Radio New Zealand about the news and was critical of the Security Intelligence Service and the Prime Minister. 78
She pointed out that extremely vague and loose language had been used to raise suspicion against a group with no basis. If this was all the information available it should not have been published. She expressed concern that the Muslim community in New Zealand was again put under the spotlight without full information being given. It was evident that the information had been released publicly, in the knowledge that it would create a media stir and create further negative attention towards the Muslim community, without its veracity being first checked by the SIS or the Prime Minister. She pointed out the publicity had a strong negative impact on the community as a whole and particularly on the safety of Muslim women.
105. Ms Rahman called on Ms Kitteridge and Mr Key to engage with the Muslim community as IWCNZ was hugely concerned about the safety and security of New Zealand. She indicated IWCNZ Admin Council had previously requested that there be more engagement and transparency
in dealing with the Muslim community, and specifically Muslimah, they being the most conspicuous visible face of Islam in New Zealand and the
ones that bore the brunt for such sweeping statements. 79
Human Rights Commission/ Race Relations Commissioner80
106. In early 2016, Dame Susan Devoy reached out to Ms Danzeisen at an UMMA Trust BBQ in Auckland. 81
As the Race Relations Commissioner, Ms Devoy sought to discuss issues concerning Muslim women in New Zealand. They met on 19 March 2016 and Ms Devoy offered assistance as part of her Race Relations Commissioner role. 82
107 . On 20 March 2016 Ms Danzeisen confirmed some of the matters they had raised in an email back to Ms Devoy, including that the issues facing Muslim women were complex and revolved around the nine points. In addition she wrote:
(a) The Muslim woman’s situation in New Zealand was becoming more challenging and the current national structure did not adequately
address those concerns because of limited resources and expertise. However, with those limited resources, mainly provided through
MSD, WOWMA had managed to develop a best practice model working mostly with the female youth and recently had begun to
expand it through the national umbrella of IWCNZ;
(b) Both WOWMA and IWCNZ were staffed by volunteers only and so had not been able to roll out to all areas of New Zealand. The
organisation had done its best with very limited resources and a large amount of volunteer effort but the community diversity is
extensive and rapid growth meant that volunteer efforts were no longer sufficient;
108. From then on Ms Devoy was a consistent supporter of IWCNZ’s efforts to engage with government. She met with them regularly and they
communicated on an ongoing basis. From 2016, Dame Susan was a consistent, strong, persistent, voice for Muslim persons and particularly
women, in trying to get government to support and strengthen the community. 83
10. On 5 December 2016, Dame Susan Devoy, wrote a reference for WOWMA in support of a funding application for the purchase of a house
in the Waikato District which could be used for Muslim and other youth camps. 84
In part she wrote:
As we all know that there are many challenges for New Zealand Muslims as a result of worldwide events and the rise of Islamophobia. This does not solve these problems but provides the chance for Muslims to feel safe and
secure and build resilience.
The Muslim community is unique in that people come from many different
ethnicities all with very different challenges and opportunities. Strengthening communities is critical to social cohesion.
I have the utmost respect for the executive of WOWMA. They are all volunteers who give of their time unselfishly, whilst all having full time jobs and raising families.
The retreat will provide a venue to further develop the wonderful work that this organisation already doing. I fully support this initiative and am happy to discuss it further if required.
Minister for Security Services
110. The Honourable Chris Finlayson, Attorney-General and Minister for Security Intelligence Services was invited to address the public forum at the April 2016 IWCNZ Hamilton Conference and did so. Before this event the women created a one-page summary of the report they had given to MSD concerning the nine issues of concern to Muslim women and they gave him a copy. Before his address he met IWCNZ executive members for an hour. There they briefed him on these issues and emphasised the importance of having Muslim females at the decision-making table. They also asked for government to engage with them separate to and in addition to engagement with FIANZ. When he addressed the public forum he gave these two undertakings. 85 86
111. Following the Orlando Nightclub shootings on 12 June 2016, Ms Danzeisen contacted Ms Devoy again. They met at Ms Danzeisen’s home
and Ms Devoy offered to approach the government on her behalf. 87
Security Intelligence Service
112. At the Eid in Parliament event in July 2016 Ms Kitteridge approached the FIANZ President and asked to meet with Muslim women. As a result of that request, some members of the Administrative Council of IWCNZ, along with a FIANZ staff member, met with Ms Kitteridge at her office in Wellington on 17 October 2016.88 She apologised for the jihadi bride comments. IWCNZ members told her about the issues they had (based on their nine point document) and emphasised the marginalisation and discrimination Muslims experienced. 89
113. Ms Kitteridge indicated she was aware that government was developing a Countering Violent Extremism project. IWCNZ members advised they had not been consulted, despite being in the front line of negativity and indicated they had ideas as to how such a project could and should run in New Zealand. She advised she was unaware that Muslim women were not being consulted. She offered to connect IWCNZ to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, who were working on the CVE programme at that time. She subsequently connected Ms Rahman to the communications staff at DPMC.
114. At that meeting Ms Rahman asked Ms Kitteridge to meet the IWCNZ Admin Council to further discuss the issues that had been raised. Admin Council subsequently decided to ask her to speak at the next IWCNZ conference, which she did. The speech focussed on what the SIS did. She may have again apologised for the jihadi brides comments. In December 2016 Ms Rahman invited Ms Kitteridge to speak at the next IWCNZ conference in 2017 and she accepted.90 Race Relations Commissioner meeting with IWCNZ.
115. On 25 November 2016 IWCNZ members met with Dame Susan Devoy, Race Relations Commissioner who liaised with Ms Danzeisen to bring active Muslim female leadership to the meeting. At that meeting the women expressed their grave concerns about the lack of a coordinated government approach to preventing radicalisation of susceptible individuals and responding appropriately to those who had already adopted a radical ideology. They explained they had knowledge of international projects of countering violent extremism (CVE) and were very concerned that action be taken in New Zealand. Those present discussed the challenges including harassment that was occurring around the nation towards women. There was also an acknowledgment of a lack of consultation of Muslim women in matters relating to their community.
116. Subsequent to this meeting, Dame Susan took up the charge of advocating more intensely to have Muslim women’s concerns and issues
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC)
117. In January 2017 IWCNZ Admin Council was invited to speak with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.91 On 18 January 2017, at
Bowen House IWCNZ members Ms Danzeisen, Ms Rahman, Ms XXX XXXX and Ms XXX XXXX met with XXX XXXX. After 30 minutes Mr XXXX was
joined by two senior policy people, XXX XXXX from the Office of Ethnic Communities and XXX XXXX from the Department of Internal Affairs.
Again, IWCNZ members went through the 9-point plan and discussed best practice in CVE. Ms Danzeisen followed up in early April 2017 to see
what was happening but did not find out. 92 She also approached a woman from DPMC at the 2018 security conference who promised to
look into it but never got back to her. A response to an Official Information Act request for all notes relating to this meeting reveals none
could be located.
Meeting Office of Ethnic Communities new appointee
118. After that meeting the women met with the newly appointed manager of community engagement, for the Department of Internal Affairs, XXX XXXX. Ms Danzeisen had congratulated her by text and indicated they would welcome a catch up when they were in Wellington. She had not yet started her job. All parties expressed the hope for a positive outcome for Muslims as a result of their working relationship. Later she rang Ms Rahman and asked for a run-down of the issues.
Race Relations Commissioner and State Services Commissioner decide to host Muslim and government leaders summit
119. Meanwhile, having written to Peter Hughes, State Services Commissioner, Ms Devoy met with him in January 2017 and it was
decided that the SSC and HRC would jointly host a one-day workshop in order for senior officials from government departments to hear directly
from leaders in the Muslim Community.
Planning for the 23 March 2017 summit.
120. A speaker line-up was organised and a joint letter dated 9 March 2017 was sent to each, from the Race Relations Commissioner and State
Services Commissioner. 93
We are writing to thank you for taking the time to talk with leaders from across the public service about how we can best support our Kiwi Muslim community to fully participate in New Zealand society.
We are looking forward to March 23, when officials will listen and learn from your experiences and thoughts about how to build a more inclusive society here in Aotearoa.
Bringing people from different backgrounds together as our nation grows more diverse is challenging work, and we need everyone’s help to succeed. But doing so will build and strengthen the kind of New Zealand we all want
to live in – one that lives up to our ideals of equality fairness and integrity.
We know that our people are really looking forward to hearing from you, and that the public service will benefit greatly from this workshop day. Our team will be in touch with you soon with a detailed program and how we
plan to meet your requirements on the day.
23 March 2017: Government and Muslim leaders’ summit
121. The Muslim/Government leaders summit took place on 23 March 2017 and was attended by senior officials from: Department of Corrections; Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet; Human Rights Commission, Massey University; Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment/Immigration New Zealand; Ministry of Culture and Heritage; Ministry of Education; Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade;
Ministry of Social Development; New Zealand Police and the SSC.
122. Ms Danzeisen and Ms Rahman arrived on the morning of the summit to discover that the acting Director of the Office of Ethnic Communities had resigned that morning and OEC would not be represented at the meeting. IWCNZ considered OEC to be a critically important participant and were very concerned that there was to be no representatives from that organisation on the day. They, however, focussed their presentation on those who were in attendance.
123. Speakers from the Muslim Community were: XXX XXXX and XXX XXXX from the Human Rights Foundation; XXX XXXX, President of the
Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand; Aliya Danzeisen. WOWMA and IWCNZ; Dr XXX XXXX, President of the Waikato Muslim
Association and Vice President, regional Islamic Dawah Council of Southeast Asia and the Pacific; XXX XXXX, President of the New Zealand
Muslim Association; Anjum Rahman, IWCNZ and Dr XXX XXXX, Refugee Youth Action Network.
124. Each leader was well versed in their community issues and they made suggestions and offered ideas on ways forward. Ms Rahman and Ms Danzeisen made a joint presentation at their session. Ms Rahman and Ms Danzeisen made the IWCNZ presentation by power point. It was
called ‘The Muslimah Experience’. 94
It raised the same nine topic areas but modified them to include Islamophobia as a separate category
further to the significant increase in harassment and vitriol that appeared to be arising from overseas events. The separation of Islamophobia
showed the increase in IWCNZ’s concern with the increase in alt right activity.
125. The women explained the unique aspects of the Kiwi Muslim community that required more nuanced approaches as:
(a) An overarching negative perception of Muslims in the media;
(b) The impact of international issues beyond the community’s control (eg ISIS, Syria, European bombings);
(c) An extremely diverse population of which a significant number are new migrants;
(d) A large number of refugees from war torn areas;
(e) Prevalent female marginalisation; and
(f) Unique demographic in which there are minimal elders present within the community and a significantly larger youth population
than the general New Zealand society.
(g) In relation to Islamophobia Ms Rahman described the coordinated activity around hate and alt-right activities. She referred to the
Quebec shooting in January 2017 where 6 worshippers at a Mosque were killed, a Facebook page saying all Muslims should be burned,
the anxiety of airport security checks and the additional risks Muslim leaders now took speaking out. She also spoke to a tenth
connected issue which was the increased level of fear caused by Trump, Brexit and Europe.
126. To bring home the impact on them of these activities, Ms Danzeisen included some comments from the particular Facebook page in an
envelope for each attendee and asked the attendees to open and read them.
127. IWCNZ gave all attendees an A4 page handout. Under Islamophobia it read:
With the rise of the alt-right (also happening in NZ) there is an increasing level of fear in the community. We are seeing more signs of co-ordinated and well-funded activity targeting not only the Muslim community but others as well. Women like ourselves face increasing levels of anxiety in speaking out, with the level of harassment through doxing and other forms of targeted harassment.
128. The concluding paragraph read:
We have solutions for all of these issues that are practical and have demonstrated success. To make positive change for Muslim women and their families, we need a comprehensive long-range strategy that allows for capacity building and sustainable long-term resourcing, with the right people delivering effective outcomes that are compatible with Islamic values.
129. In each of the topic areas they advised what IWCNZ provided and what its needs were. Specifically, the needs were listed as:
(a) For Youth: paid qualified social workers, parenting workshops, sports engagement programmes, designed programming with
(b) For Education: resources to develop quality materials; teacher training, recognition that the Muslim community often fits with
(c) For Employment: resources to develop training organisations; internships and paid apprenticeships; skill building and upskilling
programmes for higher level employment;
(d) From Police: recording of hate crimes; community outreach by Police; more in-depth cultural competency training, and for existing
(e) For social isolation: volunteer drivers and affordable driver training; network with health providers to connect with vulnerable women;
service for new mothers; mentoring system for elderly Muslimah;
(f) For family/sexual violence: specialist service, adequate research into prevalence and patterns, programming and support for
perpetrators; Kiwi Ora, education for religious leaders;
(g) For Health: lowering of bias in offering employment; cultural competency training for existing staff (regular), freeing time of
existing Muslim staff for organisational change;
(h) For civic engagement: leadership development programme; notice of opportunities; and
(i) For Islamophobia: training; scholarships in communications, employment opportunities in media; storylines about positive
contributions to NZ.
130. What was made very clear by IWCNZ and WOWMA in their presentation was that the community itself had the capabilities within the community to address its issues, but lacked capacity to address all matters independently. They explained they were time poor and had minimal
funding. They also noted that marginalisation wasn’t created by the Muslim community, so the burden for solving it should not be placed fully
on the Muslim community. Wider New Zealand society needed to take responsibility and action.
Second Meeting with Minister for Security Intelligence Services March 2017
131. On 24 March 2017, Ms Rahman and Ms Danzeisen drove to Auckland to meet with Minister for the Security Intelligence Service, Chris Finlayson at the offices of the Human Rights Commission. The meeting had been sought as a follow up to the IWCNZ meeting with the Minister at the April 2016 conference. The request for this meeting had been made on 11 January 2017, prior to any planning for the 23 March 2017 meeting. 95
132. The Minister had requested that the meeting be at a private location not visible to the public. He did not bring any advisers to the meeting. Three members of IWCNZ Admin Council were in attendance – Ms Danzeisen, Ms Rahman and Ms XXX XXXX.
133. IWCNZ went over the issues presented the previous day, which had already been presented to Minister Finlayson the year before. Ms
Rahman and Ms Danzeisen specifically raised with him their concerns around what appeared to be more organised alt-right activity in New
Zealand and their concerns around the safety of the Muslim community. IWCNZ put forward their expectation that the SIS would be spending as
much time and resources investigating alt-right activity as they did on Islamic terrorism. Minister Finlayson responded to the effect that altright activity was not a major problem in New Zealand, but was more of an overseas issue. Ms Danzeisen disagreed with this and told him an altright type flyer had been posted in her letterbox and there was a confederate United States rebel flag in the back window of a ute in her neighbourhood. Ms Rahman felt frustrated that they were not getting through to him. He did not seem to accept their concerns as valid or nor
have a sense of urgency. They felt very discouraged.
Government working groups formed post March 23 Summit
134. After the March 23 Muslim/government leaders’ summit, two government working groups were formed. While initially there had been
verbal indications that Muslims would be made part of the groups, they were not included. Similarly, there was no ethnic person from migrating
communities, and apparently only one Māori person. At some point OEC was given the task of coordinating and carrying out activity in this area, without any consultation with the Muslim community. This was despite it not being at the government leaders’ day, despite it not hearing the
presentations and in spite of their inability to maintain confidentiality.
135. On 25 April 2017, Ms XXXX, Policy Analyst, DIA emailed Ms Danzeisen and Ms Rahman to advise that government officials had met on 12 April 2017 to work on the next steps. She attached notes from both meetings and advised the establishment of a multi-agency governance group to develop a work programme. She concluded: 96
As advised in the notes, we will ensure there is consistent and meaningful engagement with Muslim communities in the development of a work programme. Please give me a call if you wish to discuss the notes from both meetings and/or proposed next steps. Otherwise we will keep you informed of progress. 97
Work with Department of Corrections
136. On the 23 March government leaders day, the representative for the Department of Corrections, XXX XXXX approached Ms Danzeisen and Ms Rahman, and discussed the issues around employment they had raised in their presentation. At some point in that conversation, he indicated that Corrections was also having staffing difficulties and there may be an opportunity to mutually help his organisation and the Muslim
137. The following day Mr. XXXX contacted IWCNZ thanking them for their “powerful presentation”, indicated there may be opportunities to
connect and focused on opportunities for the Waikato for young graduates. Correspondence was ongoing and introductions made about career opportunities and internships in the months immediately after the heads of government meeting. These opportunities were relayed to the community and ultimately, a session introducing Corrections employment options was brought to the community later in the year.
138. In June of 2017, Mr. XXXX approached Ms Danzeisen to participate in the Corrections Forum intended to support communities where members had been imprisoned for extremism and asked for IWCNZ’s participation for a variety of reasons relating to CVE including ensuring that convicted persons had adequate support from the community when they were allowed to return to society. 99
139. Due to short notice, IWCNZ did not send a representative to the first meeting; however, they did agree to participate and because of Ms
Danzeisen’s exposure to CVE through the summits and her involvement with the community and her ongoing contacts with Corrections since
March, she took on the role of attending subsequent quarterly meetings for IWCNZ. This Forum is ongoing.
Ministry of Education
140. In early March 2017, Ms Danzeisen spoke with the Secretary of Education, Ms Iona Halsted, by telephone.100 In it she appraised Ms
Halstead of the difficulties experienced by Muslim youth in New Zealand schools and the bullying some were experiencing, particularly by teachers who were making them answer in class for terrorism events overseas. She advised that action needed to happen at the national level to support students, and educate teachers.
141. In a subsequent email to Ms Halsted she suggested resources and training for schools, students and parents. She referred to possible resources such as a ‘know your rights’ and the Islamophobia pocket guide, a guide for educators of Muslim students, the development of a website to provide quality and accurate information on Islam to support learning in New Zealand schools. Ms Danzeisen heard nothing back from Ms Halstead.
142. She also followed up with an email to Ms XXXX at the Ministry of Education:
We believe school principals and others involved in school leadership (BOTs and Deans as examples) should be sensitised to the potential harassment of their Muslim students and that options for safety plans for students be presented or suggested to schools.
143. Nothing was heard in response to this suggestion. Following an Official Information Act request it was apparent that no specific steps were taken at all to deal with the issues she had raised. Ms Halsted appeared to misunderstand that the bullying being complained about was from
teachers, not peer to peer bullying. While there were processes in schools to deal with peer-to-peer bullying there was nothing for teacher/student bullying. Further, most Muslim parents would find it difficult to confront a school board about the comments of a teacher, no
matter how severe the impact was on their child.
Work with Department of Internal Affairs/Office of Ethnic Communities
DIA decides to go with a Hamilton pilot project
144. An IWCNZ member attended an OEC meeting on 17 Feb 2017.101 In July 2017 Miss Rahman was contacted by the Manager of Community
Engagement for OEC, XXX XXXX, who asked to meet with her. Ms XXXX and Ms Rahman met at a cafe in Hamilton on 13 July 2017, and Ms XXXX
advised that OEC had decided to do a workshop in Hamilton with the Muslim community to discuss what the issues were and what local
programmes could be implemented. She assured Ms Rahman that IWCNZ would have full control of the agenda, and they would be consulted on who would be invited. She also requested that IWCNZ put forward two programmes that could be implemented immediately. Ms Rahman advised Ms XXXX that she would not be able to commit to any proposal without consulting with the Admin Council of IWCNZ, who
would be meeting at their annual conference later that week.
145. When Ms Rahman presented Ms XXXX’s proposal of a workshop in Hamilton to the Admin Council at the Annual Conference on 14-16 July
2017, it was a major surprise. Concern was expressed that IWCNZ had already presented a comprehensive list of issues to heads of government
on 23 March 2017. Those issues had been identified by the Admin Council, then put to regional representatives and later an AGM for
feedback before finalising the Position Paper. The issues should have been known to the DIA by then.
146. Further, the Admin Council agreed that IWCNZ wanted action on a national level, not a couple of programmes in Hamilton. After discussing the matter, IWCNZ responded by email, asking: these questions: had Ms XXXX met with Ms Rahman as a representative of IWCNZ or WMA? ; why had DIA chosen Hamilton as the location of the workshop and what was the need for a workshop? what was the need for a workshop prior to the inter-agency meeting.
New senior appointments in OEC and DIA
147. There were new appointments to DIA leadership. The new director of OEC was Wen Powles and a deputy director of DIA, Marilyn Little, was appointed to oversee the ‘Social Cohesion’ project.102 A meeting was held at Ruakura, Hamilton on 7 August 2017. DIA officials were : Wen
Powles, Marilyn Little, XXX XXXX, XXX XXXX, XXX XXXX, XXX XXXX, XXX XXXX. Hamilton Muslim membership were Ms Rahman, Ms Danzeisen, Dr XXX XXXX and Dr XXX XXXX. For the first half of the meeting, XXX XXXX, XXX XXXX, XXX XXXX and XXX XXXX were not present.
148. The Muslim representatives advised DIA to go to a community where there was no programming or nothing was working or where there were no structures in place, to trial programmes. 103
Unlike many other areas Hamilton was not a “vulnerable community”. Rather, from IWCNZ and WOWMA’s perspective, it was the most cohesive Muslim community, the most progressive, the most engaged with other religious communities (interfaith) and had a good relationship with government in that every prime minister had been to the Hamilton mosque two or three times.
149. Further Waikato had been the most active Muslim women’s community in New Zealand for years and almost all the main Muslim leadership had come from Hamilton. They pointed out that Auckland had the greatest need and if OEC wanted to create a pilot programme, it should be in Auckland not Hamilton. DIA officials would not negotiate on this point. They responded that their idea was to trial things first in Hamilton and perhaps something bigger could happen the next year elsewhere.
150. In the meeting IWCNZ were asked to brief Ms Little and others about IWCNZ’s issues and its history with DIA and OEC to date. Once again they had to repeat the same information on the nine priorities and their solutions. (They had by then presented these to government officials
several times.). They explained the problems with accessing funding, in that IWCNZ was an NGO that could not accept lotteries funding.
151. They emphasised their view that the way to proceed was with a national strategy, not a Waikato pilot. They said that Muslim female leaders in IWCNZ, and around the nation were by now overworked and exhausted trying to provide social support to their community and badly needed
152. Ms Rahman emphasised that IWCNZ representatives needed to engage directly with relevant government people to raise awareness and show what works for the community and what did not.
153. The role of local government was discussed. Ms Little asked how vulnerable the Muslim community would be if there was a terrorist incident here in New Zealand and it was on the news. Ms Danzeisen said that if it was on the news at 7.00 pm the children would face the consequences at 8.30 am the next morning. She said that teachers had been known to ask Muslim children “Are you happy that such and such
was attacked by ISIS?”.
154. There was discussion around the appointment of women to advisory boards where policies were being made. DIA explained the two routes – either through the Women’s Appointment file managed by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs or through the Office of Ethnic Communities (OEC) woman’s nomination service. It was suggested that employers could be given incentives to employ Muslim people given that in a recent survey Muslims were described as the group people felt less warmth for in New Zealand. There was a discussion on women’s health issues.
155. On 10 August 2017 Ms Little emailed the Waikato Muslim Association President, XXX XXXX, saying that having sat down with senior colleagues following from their discussions, they identified what they could usefully do and this was:
(a) Support community leaders to prioritise the strategic issues facing the Muslim communities of the Waikato;
(b) Brief the leaders on the community lead development program and other crown funded schemes administered by the department. In
this case it would be exclusively about crown funded as opposed to lotteries funded options;
(c) Work with the community if it wished to develop a crown loan/funding proposal;
(d) Continue to coordinate across government agencies focusing on those who can assist which ever priorities the Muslim leaders
156. She concluded that she agreed to look forward to further indications on the next steps and they would be happy to meet again. She confirmed her offer to find suitable paid facilitators and to assist to work with the Muslim community on the journey. She identified XXX XXXX as the person on the ground in Hamilton and the main contact person for WMA, though XXX XXXX remained the key liaison point on ethnic community matters.
157. On 11 August 2017 Ms Little emailed Mr XXXX advising that her colleague XXX XXXX would work with XXX XXXX to arrange a briefing on community lead development programmes and some other Crown-funded schemes. The same day, Mr XXXX replied thanking the department for its prompt response.
158. On 11 August 2017 Mr XXXX emailed Ms Little expressing his sincere appreciation on behalf of the Waikato Muslim Association. On the same day Ms Little responded that she mentioned the offer of locating and paying facilitators because, as part of preparing themselves for a
potential community-led programme proposal, they may want to work through their thinking and priorities with the assistance of one or more
159. On 13 August 2017 Mr XXXX emailed Ms Little advising that he would like to have a briefing about the community lead development programme and other Crown funded schemes and would work to engage young males, adult woman and the elderly in the community to determine areas that required immediate attention.
160. On 15 August 2017 Ms Rahman emailed Ms Little confirming that they were interested in developing a national strategy and then prioritising which parts were to be implemented. She pointed out it was important that Muslim women have an area of focus as many do not have adequate support and often don’t have representation. She confirmed that IWCNZ had already done preliminary work on a national strategy identifying the areas that needed attention.
161. Ms Rahman reminded Ms Little that work had been presented in summary to Minister Finlayson at the IWCNZ annual conference in
Hamilton in April 2016, was discussed again at a meeting with DPMC in January 2017 and presented to the inter-governmental group at the
Wellington meeting in March 2017. 104
We have engaged with government in good faith over period of time, stressing the urgency of the issues and the need for support, but to date have seen no results, and as we have said, engagement seems to be quite one-sided, with polite nods by government and its agencies but no actual action or support as requested…..
Also we didn’t raise this at our meeting last Monday, but given events overseas and the increase of Islamophobia Muslim women are experiencing here in New Zealand, we have also presented our concerns regarding the rise of the alt- right in New Zealand to the March meeting and in a subsequent meeting with Minister Finlayson. Given many Muslim women are clearly identifiable by dress and are already a target for abuse, we believe this is an area of immediate priority as well. 105
162. Ms Little replied to Ms Rahman on 18 August 2017. She said:
(a) XXX XXXX from the Hamilton DIA office would contact them. She had expertise in community development and could brief them on
Crown funded schemes, including the community led development programme;
(b) XXX XXXX from OEC would support XXX so as to provide continuity between them and OEC;
(c) DIA would fund a facilitated workshop and had a list of facilitators;
(d) That having heard of the frustration at the length of time that had passed since they had been raising concerns with various parts of
government, she didn’t want to raise expectations by meeting IWCNZ too early. She thought she should get early thinking on a social cohesion strategy underway before engaging with IWCNZ.
(e) She continued:
I am very aware that five months had passed since the March meeting and I am intending to commission the work quickly.
163. On 18 August 2017 Ms Little emailed Mr XXXX advising that DIA would assist leaders by funding a facilitated workshop.106
164. On 20 August 2017 Mr XXXX emailed Ms Little updating her on contacts he had made within his community. He referred to discussions he had with WOWMA representatives and with FIANZ. He said there was absolute support for the initiatives taken by the WMA. 107
165. He also advised that he proposed to bring together all New Zealand Muslim community leaders for a one-day symposium to make them
aware of what was happening in the Waikato and to accumulate their opinions on current issues and a future focus to effectively integrate the
Muslim community with the wider New Zealand community. OEC had some input into the planning and contributed some funds towards it.108
166. As a result of that the next FIANZ meeting would be held in Hamilton and all national delegates would participate in the Muslim Leaders
167. On 25 August 2017 Ms Little emailed Ms XXXX saying they were pleased that the Waikato Muslim Association was collecting and gathering the views of the community and noted that the Hamilton project served all parties in the local community may well turn out to be a helpful prototype in the national context.109 She confirmed:
(a) DIA staff members stood ready to assist in developing community lead priorities for Hamilton;
(b) XXX XXXX could describe the various projects that can be supported by crowdfunding and answer any questions on criteria project
scope and design;
(c) XXX XXXX, another DIA employee, could provide guidance on the ethnic community development fund including the criteria, should
they be interested in a future bid; and
(d) She reiterated the offer of professional facilitators.
168. On 27 August 2017 Mr XXXX emailed Ms Little and asked if the department could help them generate a dataset regarding Muslims in the
Waikato region. The areas were: sources of income; total income; highest qualification by age, education participation; immunisation rate;
offenders and victims of crime including domestic violence; life expectancy; health expectancy; homeownership and children in CYF
169. He advised Ms Little that thisinformation would enable the development of a 20-year strategic plan for the Waikato Muslim Association. He said that he thought he may be being too ambitious but that his motivation came from Ms Wen Powles’ encouragement and offer of help.
170. On 7 September 2017 XXX XXXX forwarded to the Waikato Muslim Association a record from the recent meeting she had with them. In it
she noted that WMA wished to become a lead social service provider for the Muslim community in Hamilton. 111
171 Key focus areas for funding included but were not limited to:
1 Employing a researcher to undertake a scoping exercise to examine the current position of the Muslim community in Hamilton and assess the current challenges faced by the community
2 Employing two social workers (male and female) to work with the Muslim community in Hamilton to address the emerging needs and connect the communities to other service providers.
3 Hosting a New Zealand community leaders symposium in Hamilton.
172. The action plan included:
(a) A workshop focusing on community development to be held on 12 September;
(b) A list of possible facilitators which would be sent to WMA to choose from for the meeting;
(c) A meeting would be organised between key funders in the region and WMA personnel. The purpose of the meeting would be to
develop a relationship with and identify funders, to provide an overview of WMA, and to outline how WMA can collaborate with
the Waikato funders to address the emerging needs for the Muslim community in Hamilton;
(d) XXX XXXX would lead a workshop on community-lead development and what tools the community can utilise to create greater
community connections among the community;
(e) MS Little would follow up regarding externally focused women’s projects at a national level;
(f) A meeting with the Muslim community was still very much on the agenda for WMA however the then President indicated he would
like to see the proposed facilitated workshops in relation to strategic planning underway before he came to DIA about the next
70 A particular problem was the inability to take lottery funding due to religious beliefs in a situation where all other ethnic groups on the margins relied heavily on such funding to improve the situation for their people and enable them to access equal opportunity.
71 BD 18, 76, 81, 118, 160, 185. See also approaches to Islamic Development Bank for funding. 187
72 BD 56-71
73 These were Dr Maysoon Salama, Aliya Danzeisen, XXX XXXX, XXX XXXX and XXX XXXX,
74 Sam Sachdeva: Islamic Women’s Council not aware of any Kiwi ‘jihadi brides’ – Sam Sachdeva (Stuff) http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/74893140 091215
75 Kate Kenny Kiwi Muslims: Suffering stigma or extremist’s actions – Kate Kenny (Stuff) http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/74893140
76 Ms Rahman explains further that migrant adults and youth who arrive in New Zealand understand that they are ‘other’ and come from a different country and so racism and taunts are at least understandable to them. However, children of migrants who have grown up in New Zealand and are ‘Kiwis’ but not accepted as such by others, are at greater risk of marginalisation.
77 News release ‘John Key knew NZ Jihadi brides claim to be fake ‘BD 1050-1052
78 BD 82,83,91-93
79The term ‘ Muslimah’ refers to girls and women who are Muslim.
80 The Commission, is a Crown Entity for the purposes of section 7 of the Crown Entitles Act. The Race Relations Commissioner is a Commissioner appointed under the Human Rights Act 1993.
81 The UMMA Trust is a charitable trust established in 1993 to provide social and community services for refugee and migrant communities with a specific focus on the wellbeing of Muslim women, children and families who are socially and economically disadvantaged. BD 84
82 BD 85-87, 212
83 BD 177-179, 278, 290-291
84 In the event this plan never went ahead.
85 BD 72-73,100-102,165,197
86 IWCBZ press release about the meeting BD 1053
87 BD 1054
88 Attendees from IWCNZ were XXX XXXX, XXX XXXX, XXX XXXX and Anjum Rahman.
89 BD 166-174
90 BD 193-196, 307-314
91 BD 198-202 92 BD 662
93 BD 228,232,238,239, 243-251
94 BD 942-958. Ms Rahman’s speech notes at 1020-1022; 1039 - 1040
95 BD 219-222, 225-227
96 An undated report on the working group process appears to suggest that DIA did not want to continue with the multi agency group BD 921-927
97 BD 267
98 BD 255,257, 285-287
99 BD 344-347
100 Ms Devoy had made an approach to Ms Halsted which was the precursor to the phone call. BD 216,229-231
101 BD 217,334-343. The meeting was attended by XXX XXXX of IWCNZ and was a brainstorming and networking opportunity with community representatives.
102 BD 292,305-306
103 In attendance from DIA were Wen Powles, Marilyn Little, XXX XXXX, XXX XXXX, XXX XXXX, XXX XXXX, XXX XXXX. During the first part of the meeting Dr XXX XXXX, Dr XXX XXXX, XXX XXXX and XXX XXXX were not in the room.
104 BD 352-354
105 Ms Rahman concluded: In terms of steps forward, we think it would be useful for us if we could have a teleconference with yourself and the Admin Council of IWCNZ, to discuss the options you mention and the Crown Development Programme. This would help us to determine a path towards implementation of our existing solutions to the issues we have been raising consistently.
106 BD 358 The funding of the Hamilton Symposium was a tenth of its actual cost. The remainder had to be picked up by FIANZ.
111 BD 471 In fact what was provided was a small amount for a leader’s symposium in Hamilton which represented about a tenth of the cost of the event, with FIANZ being forced
to pick up the costs, taking more resources from the community.
112 From time to time IWCNZ requested additional independent calls with Ms Little.
DIA facilitating meetings between WMA and funders
173. DIA asked representatives of WMA and WOWMA to attend three different meetings to learn how to access funding and to present their case for funding to the funders. While the engagement regarding the Ethnic Communities Development Fund did result in IWCNZ gaining
$10,000 for a youth camp, the meeting with local funders was more difficult. Community members were sceptical as they had been told the
funding levels available were much lower than what they needed, being funding of a male and female social worker to be based at the Hamilton mosque. Nevertheless, they attended a meeting and presented to local funding organisations who told them the most they could fund would be $5000 each, and it would be year to year. Some of the funding required ‘community engagement and work for 5 years before any large project funding would be considered’. 113
174. The funders at this meeting told WMA and WOWMA members they would be happy to meet with government officials and tell them that
government was shirking its responsibilities to Muslim communities. They explained that there was simply not the kind of funding WMA was
seeking, despite DIA continuously telling them they could help them access private funders. This was said in front of DIA employees. There
was no response by DIA employees to that comment. There was no advice on alternative funding options.
175. WMA and WOWMA were then told by DIA and OEC that there was no funding anywhere and that they did not know what had happened to the CVE funding that had been promised. At that stage the department was running the elections and had capacity issues with progressing the
matter. They told members that the work programmes were dependent upon the outcome of elections.
176. On 20 September 2017 Ms Little sought a phone call with IWCNZ admin council members.114 After that, an application was made for ECDF funding. 115
On 28 September 2017 Ms Powles complimented Ms Rahman on a media interview.116 Dr. Salama, Ms Danzeisen and Ms
Rahman were invited to feature in an OEC newsletter. 117
There was another phone call with Ms Little on 12 October 2017 118.
DIA gave information about appointments to government boards on 21 October 2017. 119
On 26 November Ms Powles communicated with IWCNZ about funding problems. 120
On 30 October Ms Danzeisen sought a confidential call with Ms Little regarding brick walls in relation to funding. 121
177. By November 2017 IWCNZ council members were extremely discouraged and frustrated at the actions of DIA in progressing their concerns. 122
The reasons were:
(a) Council members had been given people from DIA to work with whom they lacked confidence in.
(b) Steps taken by DIA had been inept and wasteful of IWCNZ’s time.
(c) DIA was taking a piecemeal approach despite the community continually asking for a national Muslim strategy, especially for
178. They were upset that they had been excluded from the government working group where policy for Muslims was being discussed. One of
their priorities was to have Muslim voices at the table when decisions were being made about Muslims. They had to rely on go-betweens and
observed considerable self-interest in agencies wanting to maintain funding in their own departments even if the departments had no history
of effective delivery of programmes for the Muslim community.
179. There was minimal evidence that the items IWCNZ and WOWMA had requested from the 23 March summit had been acted on in any way.
Their stated priorities, besides being at the table, had been, first, funding so that they could lead their own programmes and not have government employees eat it up with costs on salaries. This was a total failure and zero progress had been made. They were gravely concerned at the immediate needs to deal with the harassment and discrimination Muslim youth where experiencing at the hands of educators and other students.
180. IWCNZ had to re-educate new DIA and OEC people continually. While they had developed some personal faith in Ms Little’s understanding of their issues, she could come up with no funding. Apart from Corrections and MSD, departments had seemed unwilling to act without funding and unwilling to find funding within their own departments to assist Muslim integration into the New Zealand community.
181. It appeared that agencies wanted to claim that they were doing something but wanted the road to be easy with as little work as possible
and to even take credit for programmes that IWCNZ and WOWMA in particular had already developed and were showing progress. They felt government agencies were using IWCNZ’s precious and limited time and picking their brains without offering anything new or anything in return.
182. Ms Rahman and Ms Danzeisen had attended and presented at three funder meetings taking several hours each session. These had been
organised by DIA. IWCNZ were presented with the same information at the meetings that they had already been aware of years before the
meetings. These women who were already working overcapacity lost hours of precious time in this process. Further, DIA’s linking of them into
other contacts, while well intentioned, had not resulted in anything and had wasted their time. The Chinese New Settlers Services Trust had a
vibrant community outreach programme with above 23 paid staff but the start-up funding for this organisation came from Lotteries funding, which the Muslim community could not access due to the conflict with their religious beliefs. The head of CNSST indicated to them that it would be near impossible to develop something similar to what they had without lotteries funding. 123
183. The ‘engagement’ with funders had turned out to be a ‘teach and inform’ process led by WOWMA and IWCNZ. This when they were already extremely time poor.
184. Throughout this process Ms Danzeisen emphasised to DIA, on numerous occasions, that the engagement with community was not a nine to five job, and that government employees needed to work times and hours that reflected community needs, not their own needs. For example, government employees overseeing community portfolios should be available when the community is active (i.e. after 5 pm when school and mainstream work are finished and on weekends). While government officials showed up from time to time, there was no tangible change. They continued, however, to keep contact and remain positive in the hope of change. 124
They had serious concerns about the competence of staff they were being required to work with. 125
The proposal to fund a male and female social worker for the Hamilton mosque looked as though it would not be possible due to MSD registration requirements. 126
They reported on their communications to Dame Susan. 127
Taking up funding problems with senior DIA
185. On 24 October 2017 Ms Danzeisen emailed Ms Little, Ms XXXX and Ms Powles on the subject of funding challenges relating to the Muslim
community. She described the brick wall that community members found and which was impeding the Muslim community advancements. The two recent meetings they attended with funders arranged by the Hamilton office re-emphasised the differences in their limited access to resources.
186. She wrote that those meetings confirmed that the maximum amount they could get from each funder would be about $5,000 although one fund is slightly higher but gives only 10 per cent of any project. She advised that the funds for the appointment of social workers should fall
within government funds. Further, that the funders indicated they were happy to meet with members of the DIA to discuss what was available
and what was not.
187. Ms Danzeisen asked if the department could suggest a solution to IWCNZ’s need for adequate and Islamically appropriate funding so they could run social programmes to help the successful integration and participation of their community.
188. Once again, she emphasised the time that had been taken in the last two weeks on funding requests and that this was not sustainable for them or the community in the long run.
DIA/OEC briefings for incoming Ministers
189. In October 2017 the Office of Ethnic Affairs and the Department of Internal Affairs prepared briefings for the incoming ministers, as there
had been a change of government following the general election. In it there was no specific mention of the Muslim community, their significant
vulnerability, or the need for special support for it given its unique characteristics. 128
190. There was however recognition of the fact that language, unconscious bias and discrimination can make it difficult for some New Zealand
communities to access employment, information and services. Further, that developing a sense of belonging and inclusion for all migrants and
former refugees is essential if New Zealand is to benefit from the advantages their diversity brings and that would also ensure society was
191. On 8 November 2017 Ms Rahman emailed to advise Ms Powles that they had managed to get their ISWS application filed on time. and had
received support from XXX. 130
She sought a meeting when Ms Powles was next in Hamilton. IWCNZ sought meetings with new Ministers Salesa and others. 131
Ms Danzeisen reports frustrations to Ms Devoy.
192. On 8 November 2017 Ms Danzeisen expressed the above concerns in an email to Ms Devoy, the Race Relations Commissioner, concluding: 132
We are FRUSTRATED, because it’s clear that there is no urgency amongst these guys. We’ve been asking for help for well over three years now and still moving as slow as molasses, yet we are the ones that will be immediately at risk If these efforts fail. We don’t have time to sit around and figure this out for another 12 months. CVE moves fast and government doesn’t.
Finally, I do want to emphasise Marilyn does seem to be listening, and I’m gaining some confidence in her personally, but the last call we had confirmed that her hands are quite tied.
193. She also raised her concerns with Ms Devoy about the DIA efforts in Hamilton since August and advised that they had actually weakened the community. They had been forced to work with people they lacked confidence in.
194. On 14 November 2017 Ms XXXX forwarded information about the MSD accreditation process for social workers onto Mr XXXX. He forwarded it onto Ms Danzeisen. In fact, WOWMA was already aware of this information. It had been working on it and discussing the options to get to level two with MSD. It had turned out to be a difficult and tedious process and MSD had advised them it would take three years to obtain a
level of accreditation that was high enough to be able to employ social workers.
195. On 24 November 2017 Ms Powles, Ms Rahman and Ms Danzeisen had a dinner meeting. Ms Powles informed Ms Rahman and Ms Danzeisen that OEC had some additional funding and they would use this to employ a person for six months in Hamilton.
196. On 25 November 2017, Ms Rahman subsequently emailed Ms Powles and asked her to reconsider this decision. She had another suggested use for this funding:
We think it would be useful to put the funding towards a working group that could develop an overall strategy for work needed in this space. The group could include Muslims and non-Muslims, and all genders. The working group could comprise of people who should have access to information and data that should be able to support any workplan
developed as part of the strategy document.
197. The suggestion was discussed at a teleconference with Ms Little, Ms Powles and OEC employee XXX XXXX. The suggestion was written off as not being possible, and both Ms Powles and Ms XXXX insisted that a sixmonth position in Hamilton was an effective use of the funding, despite protests from Ms Rahman and Ms Danzeisen. At a subsequent teleconference on 14 December 2017, which included Ms Little, Dr XXXX,
Dr XXXX, Ms Danzeisen, Ms Rahman, and Ms Powles, it was confirmed that the position had been advertised. The expertise and concerns of Ms
Danzeisen and Ms Rahman had clearly been ignored. 133
198. Ms Powles had a short-term role in the OEC and had gone by March 2018. It was the November 2017 teleconference that caused Ms Danzeisen to make personal contact with the State Services Commissioner over inaction by DIA.
199. Under the Official Information Act IWCNZ has obtained a memo from Ms Little to the Chief Executive of DIA dated 14 February 2019 on social cohesion and Muslim communities. The report was misleading and inaccurate in that it suggested that the work of the working group
following the March 2017 Muslim meeting with government leaders: focussed on the Muslim community in Hamilton, which was identified as
vulnerable and in need of additional support. IWCNZ makes personal contact with State Services Commissioner over lack of action.
200. With intense frustration at the minimal progress and increasing risk to Muslims in New Zealand, particularly Muslimah, Ms Danzeisen emailed Peter Hughes on 4 December 2017 and introduced herself as one of the two Muslim women who had presented at the summit meeting on 23 March. She asked to meet with him to discuss developments since that meeting and to offer direct suggestions on how the various government agencies could and should be proceeding in order to benefit the Muslim
community and the wider community of New Zealand. 134
Specifically we are experts of our community and we are experts in manoeuvring in it. We have been successful in working with in this community which can be challenging at the best of times. Why are we not at the table? And why can’t we be at the table? It seems like most of the government agencies are talking about us, but they do not seem to be listening to us! While many efforts may have been well intentioned, from the female Muslim perspective this process has been damaging to our work and to our programs. Additional delay and analysis of this initiative without us present will likely not get any results and could hurt us further.
We have already spent three years looking into this in depth and have ideas and clear suggestions on how the government could be most effective through empowering communities. These suggested solutions will need to be implemented by our community, as all the major research points to the fact civil society’s involvement is necessary for success within the arena of CVE and social cohesion.
201. On 15 December 2017, not having received a response, Ms Danzeisen wrote a follow-up email and again requested a meeting to discuss
developments since the March summit. She advised that there had been an unproductive telephone conference with OEC and Waikato Muslim
community leaders the previous day, and as a result, she was only more convinced that the Muslim community was not being listened to and not making progress. She proposed that in lieu of OEC employing someone on a limited six-month contract in Hamilton (which they were planning to do) SSC utilises those funds to create a working group of Muslim leaders
to advise government.
202. She advised that they had been informed by OEC that forming a working group couldn’t be done so OEC was going to go forward with employing someone regardless of the fact the community leaders did not think it would be helpful for the Hamilton Muslim community. She proposed that Mr Hughes call Muslim leaders who presented at the summit in March 2017 for a follow up meeting with each agency and the agencies report on what they had accomplished since the meeting and then there could
be of future steps. On this point she concluded:
…that would ensure the voices from the Muslim community are heard and not lost in translation, misinterpreted or misrepresented…
203. She continued:
Because I believe time is of the essence I believe this could all be done by the end of January and perhaps the same venue used with the March meeting could be booked again. I also think that this could be an effective model for all communities and should not negatively impact others. The SSC would then have a model within its hands and our community could start making quality progress on matters of urgency quickly and nationwide (it would also ultimately eliminate the competition amongst agencies that I believe has been an impediment to progress).
204. Peter Hughes replied. Instead of inviting all Muslim Leaders to meet with him, as requested by Ms Danzeisen, he invited only her. She then sought leave to bring along Ms. Rahman and Dame Susan Devoy. Mr Hughes agreed and the meeting was set for Jan. 25, 2018.
State Services Commissioner meeting with IWCNZ
205. On 18 January, DIA advertised the part time Hamilton job and Ms Powles acknowledged this is not what IWCNZ were wanting.135 She also invited Ms Rahman and Danzeisen to meet with her staff. 136
On 25 January 2018, Ms Danzeisen and Ms. Rahman met Mr Hughes in Wellington. 137
Dame Susan Devoy and Mr Al Morrison were also in attendance at the meeting. Ms Danzeisen explained the reasons she sought the working group. She raised a number of issues the theme being that there was no adequate response by government to the Muslim community’s pressing concerns.
(a) Lack of awareness or appreciation of the sensitivity, complexity and urgency of issues impacting the Muslim community in New
Zealand. In particular there was a disregard of the existing gender inequality in the community and disregard of the impact that engagement had on access and facilitation matters.
(b) The public servants’ inability to maintain confidentiality when engaging with the community and their unfamiliarity with Muslim
community programmes that have produced results. Some public servants were appearing to drive a wedge into the community,
whether by intention or negligence, in their consultation process and were destabilising pre-existing programmes.
(c) There was apparent infighting, fund protecting’ and ‘gameplaying’ between agencies and ministries, in particular OEC, DIA, MSD
(d) There was inordinate government reliance on lotteries funding to cover social disadvantages. The result of this was that the Muslim
community (and any other communities similarly placed) were being treated as second class citizens.
(e) The little funding that was available was nearly inaccessible due to cumbersome processes and inflexibility.
(f) Concern that those in charge of ‘social cohesion’ were picking the ‘low hanging fruit’ , that is using successful programmes in the Waikato, to show results with minimal efforts actually made. There was a lot of ‘busy’ and ‘pleasantry’ from senior managers within DIA with very little productive work.
(g) Under the guise of ‘engagement’ the state sector was requiring already stretched community members to work unpaid to upskill ‘professionals’ who have no background, skills and/or expertise in the Muslim community.
206. The discussions were direct, and Ms Danzeisen and Ms Rahman provided examples that supported their concerns. Ms Devoy supported them and indicated to Mr Hughes that the concerns raised were valid and should have never happened. She informed Mr Hughes in clear terms that this was not how good government is supposed to work.
207. At the end of the meeting, Mr. Hughes said he’d get back to Ms Danzeisen within the month and that in the meantime, she should work on
identifying individuals within the community who could serve on a working group. In the same meeting, he charged his deputy, Mr Morrison, to look into finding some seed funding to support the Muslim community around the nation. He also requested that in their meeting
with Minister Andrew Little, Ms Danzeisen and Ms Rahman ask the minister to meet with Mr Hughes and require Mr Hughes to form a
Meetings with Ministers of new government
208. Subsequent to the meetings with Peter Hughes, Ms. Rahman and Ms Danzeisen met with the Minister of Ethnic Affairs, Jenny Salesa and then Minister Andrew Little. (This had been arranged so IWCNZ could make the most of their resources in travelling to Wellington). Ms Danzeisen had written Minister Salesa and the Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, asking for a meeting with IWCNZ. The offices of Minister Little and Hipkins were also approached. Previously Ms Rahman had approached the newly appointed Minister of Women’s Affairs, Julie Anne Genter, and asked for a meeting, explaining that they had been engaging with the government for the previous three years.
209. During the meetings, the women once again raised the nine points. With Ms Salesa, the conversation focused on the harassment that female youth were experiencing in the educational environment, but again all points were addressed 138.
With Mr Little, the focus was more on safety and security of the community. A meeting with Minister Sepuloni was set for March 139, and although sought, no appointment was ever confirmed by Minister Hipkins.140 Mr Little said he would speak to Mr Hughes. Meanwhile, on 1 February 2018 Ms Wen Powles resigned. That day Ms Danzeisen participated in a religious panel organised by the Human Rights Commission. 141
210. On 5 Feb Ms Danzeisen emailed Ms Powles about the problem of harassment of Muslim youth in schools. Ms Powles replied saying that DIA would be working with the Ministry of Education highlighting the pressing issues. 142
DIA led project to establish a Muslim Community Advisory Group
211. On 9 February 2018, Ms Danzeisen followed up with Mr. Hughes confirming she had come up with a list of people to take part in a working
group. She advised that the names on the list represented the diversity within the New Zealand Muslim community (including sect, gender, ethnicity and age) and all had solid reputations as well as portfolios of work to justify their presence on the working group. She thanked him for listening to IWCNZ’s concerns and being open to considering their suggestions. She acknowledged in the same correspondence:
It was not surprising to read last week's report from the Children's Commissioner, as the racism expressed therein was notably consistent with the experiences of our youth in schools.
212 Mr Hughes replied on the 15th February:
Thank you for your email following up from our meeting. For me, the meeting was useful in clarifying your concerns and in particular the areas that I can help you with. It is good that you have identified suitable people for the working group you have suggested. It will be important that the public service now works with you to form, and be part of, that group so that we can work through in detail a programme of support for your community. That work on the ground needs to be undertaken by Marilyn Little and her team at the Department of Internal Affairs. I have asked Al Morrison to work with the Chief Executive Colin MacDonald and Marilyn on my behalf to ensure this happens quickly. I am also conscious that we undertook to ensure the Ministry of Social Development reviews its funding approach for the support you need and Al is pursuing that as well. Al will follow up this email and get in touch with you to map a way forward and he will report progress to me. I suggest we meet again in about six months to discuss where things are up to.
213. Despite this aspiration to meet in six months, this correspondence was the last direct communication Mr. Hughes made with Ms Danzeisen.
214. On the same day of the reply from Mr. Hughes, Al Morrison emailed Ms Danzeisen advising that he and Mr Hughes had discussed the need for access to a fund but he was not clear how much she was looking for. He asked for an estimate and a plan as to how they would disperse the money and queried whether the purpose of the working group would be to control the disposal of the funds. 143
215. On 19 February 2018 Ms Danzeisen responded to Mr Morrison on his funds inquiry. She said they had not set an exact amount but envisaged it would be an interim fund to allow communities to build capacity and establish social support systems. She pointed out again that they could not rely on Lotteries funding as many communities do. She anticipated the fund being around $200,000 to $250,000 per year for three years. She advised that this should be sufficient time to ensure communities have in place structures and records of work to allow them to offer effective community support and to qualify for social worker funding.
216. On 21 February 2018 Ms Danzeisen communicated with Ms Little to discuss the proposed working group.144 On 22 February 2018 Ms
Danzeisen emailed Ms Little in relation to the Muslim Working Group. 145
She confirmed her understanding that:
(a) The purpose was to ensure that Muslim leaders are at the table so that they can work jointly with the public sector on a programme
of support for the Muslim community;
(b) From her communication with Peter Hughes she understood the working group would be formed quickly so that there could be
substantive traction on matters and that Mr Morrison would be overseeing this;
(c) At Mr Hughes’ request she had created a list of names of Muslim people who represented the diversity of the Muslim community in New Zealand including sect, gender, ethnicity and age
(d) All people in the group had solid reputations as well as portfolios of work to justify their presence on the group.
217. While communication had been occurring since February, by the third week in April 2018 Ms Danzeisen had some serious concerns about the approach being taken by DIA to the working group. On 21 April 2018 she emailed Ms Little and Ms XXX XXXX (the Acting Director of OEC) making the following points 146:
(a) She had signed off the letter on 4 April 2018 to be sent out to the attendees of the working group expecting it to have gone out immediately but she had no feedback as to whether this had been done. She asked for it to be sent out immediately if it had not been
(b) She had become aware that staff at the OEC were referring to the working group as ‘Aliyah and Anjum’s’ project rather than
describing its true origins, that is a request made long ago that the Muslim community be consulted and be allowed to be at the table when decisions were being made and that they have input into the development of a national strategy
(c) She expressed concern that the government was not viewing the group as a working group which was professional and community
based ensuring a national project was developed but rather just a “pet project” of one or two individuals. She also commented that the way it was described had created backlash on herself and Anjum in the community;
(d) The facilitator should not be a Human Rights Commission employee, XXX XXXX, as the Commission was an important player that should not be limited in their input and contributions;
(e) They were surprised that the department did not have a list of people who had attended the 23 March 2017 meeting. She provided their list of attendees.
(f) In conclusion she wrote:
XXXX, please do not take this as criticism of your office or the work done as I think the office has performed efficiently on a quick turnaround this week and we are looking forward to working with you at such a level. Still the foregoing highlights the difficulty we have faced with the continual changing and bringing up new people into this as they don’t know everything that was agreed upon in the past nor are fully aware of the nuances of our community. For example, XXX would not have known labelling this as Aliya and Anjum’s project could have an impact on us personally or on the long-term success of the program. Marilyn you are aware of previous occasions where we have taken the brunt.
…I am, and I’m confident Anjum as well is looking forward to the establishment of the working group and we are pleased that the date is confirmed and bookings made.
218. She explained that the working group would have two main objectives: first, to support agencies with ideas and ways the agencies can effectively address matters relating to the Muslim community, and second, to establish the priorities for funding. She advised that they believed
funding would best be administered or dispersed through the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and suggested the E Tu Whanau programme within the Ministry. 147
113 BD 348-357, 442-446. DIA also gave information on the Ethnic Community Development Fund: BD 397-400
114 BD 415,416,465-467
115 BD 419-421, 475-476, 481-490, 494
116 BD 434
117 BD 435, 460-464, 450-452
118 BD 470-474
119 BD 495,501
120 BD 506-521; 538-543, 548,549, 555, 559, 579-582
121 BD 518-521
122 Ms Danzeisen reported these concerns to Ms Devoy , including pointing out that there was no national strategy. BD 544-547
123 BD 422-423, 491-493, 505
124 BD 570
125 BD 560-562
126 BD 556-558
127 BD 570
128 Diverse migrant and refugee sub populations, overrepresentation of youth compared to elders, harassment of youth, particularly female due to visible dress, inability to access lotteries funding. BD 921-927
129 Briefing for Incoming Minister for Ethnic Communities at 5 at . BD 526-534
130 International Students Wellbeing Strategy. BD 295-296
131 Minister Salesa agreed to a meeting in the new year. BD 583-584. 602-607; 571,572. Ms Danzeisen attended a religious communities leadership Forum with the Minister on 10 December 2017, BD 573-575
132 BD 544-546
133 The appointee was XXX XXXX. Both women met with her on several occasions. At the end of her six-month appointment she prepared a report. A copy was never provided to the
women, despite their engagement with her. It was obtained under the Official Information Act and is called ‘Final report’ Hamilton Social Cohesion Pilot’. 31 August 2018. Author:XXX
XXXX, Senior Diversity and Engagement Adviser. The Hamilton project resulted in a small contribution to funding for a WMA leadership symposium but no other action. Certainly, no
steps were taken to develop a nationwide strategy or support for the Muslim community, or for that matter a Hamilton-wide strategy.
134 BD 576-578
135 BD 591-593
136 BD 596-600
137 BD 589-590, 601
138 BD 612-614 139 Ms XXXX and Ms Danzeisen attended the meeting with Minister Sepuloni.
140 BD 602-607. They made persistent efforts to make an appointment with Minister Hipkins , Minister of Education to raise issues about bullying of Muslim students by teachers but were unsuccessful. BD 687-689. A thank you letter to Minister Salesa was sent by IWCNZ BD 611
141 BD 619
142 BD 934-935
143 BD 655-659, 663-685 (some duplication)
144 BD 620
145 BD 621. Meanwhile on 22 February 2018 Ms Khan introduced the successful appointee for the Hamilton project, a XXX XXXX. BD 622. On 15 March Ms XXXX sought meetings with IWCNZ.BD 641-643
146 BD 690-693
147 See response BD 694-697
219. On 1 March 2018 Mr Morrison replied that he was continuing to pursue funding and being asked questions such as who would they be funding, what are the issues, and what they would be doing with the funds. He explained that, in other words, he needed to develop a business case that set out the issues that the funding would address and costings. He said he assumed the working group being established within DIA would distil those issues and what needed to happen to address them. He acknowledged that there was some work in this and towards that MSD had offered to provide a skilled person to help build the business case and a form that could be used for the application. The OEC would also provide support to get to that point. 148
220. Ms Danzeisen replied (copying in Ms Devoy). She appreciated the need for a business plan but indicated it was a two-step process. The first intermediate step was the establishment of the working group which would meet and set the priorities in the types of initiatives and projects
that should be funded to address the rising social needs. She explained that this would ensure that the Kiwi Muslim community was at the table when the programmes were designed. The business plan would then follow and would have an accurate framework of how much funding was
needed to address those priorities.
221. She reiterated the case for special consideration of the Muslim community that had been set out the previous year at the meeting with
the officials across government:
…to briefly summarise some of the unique factors: international issues beyond our communities control (Isis, Syria, European bombings), an extremely diverse community with new migrants, a large number of refugees within the community, overarching female marginalisation to name a few.
222. She concluded:
the reason we went to Peter Hughes was there had been too much delay and minimal evidence of progress on these issues since then. We are now one year out, despite what was clearly an urgent matter last year. As you
rightly identified, we need the working group set up so we can start making traction.
223. On 5 March 2018 Mr Morrison emailed Ms Danzeisen:
I understand the urgency around establishing the working group and Marilyn is leading that work from DA. I will stay in touch with Marilyn over that.
As you say, the officials meeting last year did set out some very clear issues that you are experiencing in your community. I assume the working group will work around those issues but possibly surface something that we
didn’t cover. Those that need to be built into a business case to support funding but I appreciate that you need to do that work first. Let me know when you’re ready to prepare the business case and whether you want to take up the MSDS offer of assistance to do that. In the meantime I understand the constraints you face and applying for funding and I will continue to pursue possible avenues for that.
224. On 23 March 2018 Ms Danzeisen forwarded Mr Morrison a simple draft of a funding plan that could be put to agencies. She did this so as to expedite matters as quickly as possible.
225. On 9 April 2018 she emailed Mr Morrison and asked him to confirm that he had received it as she hadn’t heard from him since it was sent. Mr Morrison replied later that day giving apologies and advising where
things were at:
(a) DIA had agreed to be part of the working group and agreed to pay to bring the Muslim members together for a meeting.
(b) He had met with MSD. They had offered to help the working group to build a business case for funding. That capability could be accessed before the first meeting of the working group. He acknowledged her estimate of $250,000 annually for three years and the thinking behind it but the SSC needed to build a much more solid business case for any application.
(c) He had spoken to MSD and it was not the place to manage a fund from because it is focused on Maori and he wondered if the OEC
was a more appropriate fund holder but noted that the pressing need was for a business case to promote a funding application.
226 Ms Danzeisen replied later that evening.
As I informed you previously we have already identified those individuals who are best served on the working group and we are ready to proceed. What we need is the initial funding for this group to meet and formalise our terms of reference and our priorities and to work with whomever you were sign to support building the business case.
Can you please advise us where and when this initial funding for the working group will come from?
227. On 10 April 2018 Ms Danzeisen wrote a follow-up email. She pointed out it was the Director of OEC herself who referred them to MSD for the reason that OEC did not provide funding or support for social work matters and the like and it was in MSD’s domain and not her offices to do
so. She concluded:
This was after more than five months of meetings and engagement with OEC and DIA officials. Ultimately, whichever agency administers it is the governments prerogative, not ours. We just don’t want the constant back and forth and shifting that we’ve been seeing
228. She commented that MSD’s E Tu Whanau values were consistent with the values of the Muslim community and those values work very well within their community. She also pointed out that the Maori population in their own community was growing quickly and the values aligned and supported the Muslim community well.
229. On 10 April 2018 Mr Morrison emailed in response: 149
The initial funding that you refer to will come from DIA. DIA has committed support for the working group meeting. That includes hosting the meeting, paying travel costs and identifying and paying for a facilitator if one is required. DIA conveyed that offer some time ago and is waiting for you to send the names of the members you have identified for the working group and some potential meeting dates that would suit you so that they can get on an organise the meeting. I understand that XXX XXXX from the Office of Ethnic Communities has been in contact with you about that.
I gave you the contact of the MSD manager who is offered to support the working group to build a business case to apply for funding to support your community and addressing the issues that have been well rehearsed and
will doubtless be the areas that the Working Group focuses on. I understand you have been in contact with him.
230. Ms Danzeisen had been in contact with the MSD manager who appeared to be open to MSD having the fund and indicated he had not said it did not want it. On 11 April 2018 Ms Danzeisen replied:
While our issues may appear to be “well rehearsed” it is only so because the Kiwi Muslim community has been seeking support to address those urgent needs for several years now and we’ve been forced to repeat them
over and over. The issues are real and need urgent support. The establishment of the working group, I am hopeful we will be able to make significant progress quickly.
I have communicated with XXX XXXX who only asked me for them at the end of the day midweek and dates proposed. As an example of a “time poor Muslim leader” since her email arrived, I’ve actually spent 64 hours away from my home on community business (this is besides working my full-time job) and dealt with reading and responding to more than 100 community related concept correspondence. Such circumstance is not unique to me; it is also so common amongst the Muslim female leaders in New Zealand. As we mentioned last year it’s unsustainable.
I did wish to speak to Marilyn after receiving XXX‘s email but had been informed she was away (a call with her was scheduled for next Monday). I’ve been asking for movement on this since mid February since Peter gave
us the go-ahead. The delay has not rested on my shoulders. Looking forward to the date confirmation and invites being sent out.
One request I would like, so the inaugural meeting is highly productive from the “get go”, all ministries and agencies that were present at the 2017 March meeting, to prepare a memo describing the project they are running or developed to support the Muslim community and the progress has been made in the These areas so that we can see their vision and so we can offer further suggestions and develop on those successes.
Finally, I wanted to let you know that Ramadan is set to start by May 15. I suggest that the working group meeting should occur prior to that time so as not to impose more challenges relating to travel and food on those who will be participating in the working group.
National Security Conference – 10 April 2018
231. Ms Danzeisen was asked to speak on behalf of IWCNZ in the third panel on human security as a member of a ‘suspect’ community at the New Zealand Second National Security Conference on 10 April 2018.
232. In that meeting, which was attended by members of the SIS, GCSB, Police, and NZ Defence Force, Ms Danzeisen stressed to the audience how it was important it was for the government agencies to get it right. She explained how Muslim youth and children were being harassed and that she would get up each morning to check the news to see if she had to prepare her children for increased harassment because of issues
overseas, and that the Muslim community would be the first community to suffer if agencies got it wrong.
233. What became apparent to Ms Danzeisen as she presented, was the real lack of awareness and understanding of the individuals. 150
A security commentator, XXX XXXX, identified her as the ‘standout speaker’ 151 152DIA/Hamilton work continues
234. XXX XXXX was the staff member within DIA appointed to the six-month Hamilton ethnic community liaison contract. Her job title was Senior Diversity and Engagement Advisor, Office of Ethnic Communities, Engagement. In June 2018 she forwarded a document that had been worked out for how government should liaise with Maori (community engagement project). She asked for comments about its relevance to the
235. On 28 June 2018 Ms Rahman responded to Ms XXXX‘s request for feedback making the points: 153
(a) The model proposed was one that could certainly be adapted for the needs of the Muslim community and many of the detailed
outcomes could be adapted to the Muslim community as they were consistent with their needs and aspirations
(b) Whanau and community-centred support recognised a core Muslim value - that individuals are connected to families and
communities and it is best to create support structures through them.
(c) It was important to use a strength-based model and use the knowledge held by individuals and the whanau about what would
best suit their particular circumstances.
(d) The idea of commissioning agencies was interesting and was a model that could work with the newly formed Muslim working
(e) The community would need some time to train people who had sufficient knowledge of faith and religious sources, as well as social
work training and knowledge of local agencies and culture.
236. Ms Rahman noted that the model required a significant level of investment by government to set up structures and train people. One of
the challenges would be to ensure that they obtained the resources to implement the model in a way that made a positive change for the
community and strengthened individuals, whanau and the community as a whole.
237. She also pointed out that this was something that should be discussed at a national level rather than just in the Waikato. Given that they have the working group that is composed of people who work on the ground and have a good grasp of the issues, it would be good to have the discussion with them to see what is possible and how they could proceed. She indicated she was available for a follow-up meeting on 10 July 2018 with both Ms XXXX and Ms Danzeisen about a framework.
238. IWCNZ has sought Ms XXXX’s report of her six-month contract under the Official Information Act. 154
Reading the report was a distressing experience for Ms Rahman and Ms Danzeisen. The report was inaccurate and aimed, in their view, to justify the expenditure of six months’ salary. Very little information had been identified that was not already known about prior to the contract. The report suggested the March 2017 presentation was about Hamilton and Waikato issues, when in fact it was most definitely and clearly about national issues and that national solutions were being sought. 155
Even the WOWMA presentation was cited to demonstrate the value of youth programmes nationally. IWCNZ’s objection to the later focus on Hamilton was well known by DIA. 156
Muslim Community Advisory Group (MRWC)
239. In May 2018, the ‘Muslim Community Advisory Group’ met for the first time. 157
All individuals who were invited accepted the invitation. Ms Danzeisen had complied the invitee list at the request of Mr Hughes ensuring it was Muslim leaders who were representative of age, gender, ethnicity and the diverse branches of Islam. Three gave apologies for the
day but indicated an intention to participate long term. Members had to take annual leave to attend, most of whom were busy professionals with significant community commitments as well. For example, Mr XXXX was doing 30 to 40 hours community work on top of a day job. Ms Danzeisen had to do follow up liaison with members. Ms Rahman had just been appointed to Trust Waikato and had to put significant work into
240. Prior to the meeting, Ms Little requested all agencies that had been present to hear from the Muslim community on 23 March 2017 to
provide an update to the group on what steps they had undertaken since then. Only three agencies replied at all. The efforts by the three that did respond, made it clear that only minimal progress in the 14 months since had been made. Presumably no progress had been made by the other agencies.
241. The MCAG worked throughout the day identifying issues and developing its terms of reference. Once again, Islamophobia came out as an
overarching issue. At the end of the meeting, a timeline was established and a date set for attendees to come back six monthslater. When it came time to decide who would lead the group, none present wished to because of demands on their time. Finally, Ms Danzeisen acquiesced,
with the agreement that all would put in the work necessary to support the group and all were given assignments. An ambitious deadline of
August 2018 was set for the provision of further input but due to time constraints in their own schedules the members of the group could not
manage to achieve this goal. 158
242 At the same time the Deputy Commissioner’s demand for a business plan to be produced by the community to justify funding of them was pressing. No secretariat assistance was offered to write up the plan. By then Mr Morrison had already indicated he could not locate funds and in July 2018, when there were still no funds located, Mr Morrison wrote to Ms Danzeisen indicating that SSC was backing off and leaving the efforts with DIA and Ms Little. 159
243. At the same time there were enormous demands on Ms Danzeisen’s time so that she was finding it impossible to accomplish all tasks. At that time Ms Little met Ms Danzeisen. At that meeting, Ms Danzeisen expressed her exasperation to Ms Little about the inability of the government to even find $200,000 to support the Muslim community and to support preventative measures, when they could find funds to support surveillance and the like. She also expressed anger at having to do the government’s work in writing up the plan.
244. Ms Danzeisen broke down and told her how frustrating the whole process had been and that the government was shirking their duties and putting a burden on an already challenged community and its leadership. In response, Ms. Little said she would arrange a writer to support Ms Danzeisen to complete the ‘business plan’ and that she would then arrange government meetings with chief executives thereafter.160
245. Subsequent to the meeting, Ms Danzeisen offered dates when she could meet the writer. Ultimately, a writer was assigned, XXX XXXX, who came to a meeting in Ms Danzeisen’s school holiday period. The writer spent about two to three hours with Ms Danzeisen who explained the issues once again and began upskilling the writer. At the end of the meeting, Ms. XXXX indicated she would go off quickly and that Ms Danzeisen would have a draft by end of school holiday. That did not come about, and then Ms. XXXX went on leave.
246. When Ms. XXXX returned, she had produced just a cut and paste of IWCNZ’s Position Paper onto a government form and had added little of any substance.161 As it had not included any of the additional information provided by the MCAG members at its first meeting, which information had been conveyed to Ms XXXX, Ms Danzeisen did not find it worth taking back to the group .162
247. The second (and last to date) meeting of the group took place in November 2018. 163
Once again there had been issues arranging logistics, with OEC initially expecting Ms Danzeisen to do all the travel and other
This is despite OEC having known since May of the concrete date for the next meeting. The group had expected that Ms. Little, as leader of the ‘social cohesion project’ would be present along with MSD, but immediately prior to the meeting. Ms. Little indicated she had made no plans to come as she had not been ‘invited’. She had been invited and Ms Danzeisen considered it was obvious that Ms Little would know she needed to be present. MSD did not attend either, nor XXX XXXX, whose role was to write up the business plan. Both had also been invited. 165
248. The next contact Ms Danzeisen had with Ms Little was on 16 March 2019, the day after the mosque shootings, when Ms Little informed her by text that OEC would be getting additional resources.
249. During the November 2018 reference group meeting issues and priorities and plans, were discussed. All required funding which they were aware was currently non-existent. In December, 2018 Ms XXXX approached Ms Danzeisen to advise that she was ready to work on the paper again. Ms Danzeisen once again took a day out of her schedule to work with Ms XXXX. Once again Ms. XXXX came, and Ms Danzeisen had to upskill her again. However, just like last time, Ms XXXX was again heading off on leave for several weeks. She indicated she wouldn’t be able to work on the draft again until the end of January 2019. In fact, it was not until 12 February 2019 that Ms Danzeisen heard from her with a second draft that needed extensive work.
250. By February 2019 Ms Danzeisen had not heard from Ms Little for more than three months and Ms Little had not inquired as to the outcomes of the November 2018 MCAG meeting.166 With too many demands placed on her, and being extremely time poor, Ms Danzeisen decided to prioritise work in her local community and put the preparation of the plan on hold. Ms Danzeisen emailed Ms. XXXX two days before the attack:
Sorry I haven't been in touch, but when we said two years ago to government officials in Wellington that we are overcapacity, we really meant it. I am living on about 6 hours of sleep a night since the start of
school and have been at full capacity on the weekends. I have a gap this weekend for about 4 hours and will try to fill in what I can if no community demand takes priority. I have been trying to get such time for the last month and have had no success, but we shall see.
251. At the time she had agreed to once again do the government’s work for them, Ms Danzeisen was in fact flying to Christchurch to support her devastated community. The desperate fears and worry about the lack of support and protection for Muslims, conveyed countless times to
Government, had come true.
Annual IWCNZ Conference and later contact with SIS
252. In March 2018, IWCNZ held its annual national conference in Wellington. On the first evening, IWCNZ held an opening ceremony and government officials were invited to it. This included Ms. Kitteridge from SIS, Ms Little from DIA, Ms XXXX from MSD and a few other government officials. At that event Dr Maysoon Salama, IWCNZ National Coordinator, was approached by a woman from the SIS called XXX XXXX who asked to speak with her. Ms. XXXX had apparently been appointed to work on women’s engagement.
253. When they met, Dr Salama complained about the lack of preventive action by government. When Ms XXXX asked to meet her again in
October 2018 Ms Salama refused as she had nothing to report and felt there were no listening ears to hear what they thought would be useful
for her community.
254. On 21 May 2018, Ms XXXX called Ms Rahman and asked to meet her, the purpose being to discuss engagement with the Muslim community. They met at Wellington airport the following day along with XXX XXXX from IWCNZ. 167
At this meeting, Ms Rahman and Ms XXXX both went through the list of issues again and explained to Ms XXXX the pressure points on the Muslim community – including concerns about the alt-right and the effects of marginalisation.
255. On 8 November 2018 Ms XXXX had a meeting, at her request, with Ms Danzeisen in Hamilton. 168
She asked if Ms Danzeisen had any issues of concern that they were seeing in the community. Ms Danzeisen told her:
(a) There was nothing to report of concern from her community;
(b) There was a significant issue of lack of support by the government for the Muslim community on the front end preventative side and
it was causing significant frustration;
(c) They had continually sought support from this and previous governments so that youth workers and social workers could be employed to prevent violent extremism and support the community but to no avail;
(d) Government funding structures had basically set up the Muslim community as second-class citizens, given they could not access
lotteries funding there was nothing else for them;
(e) They had seen a rise in hate and hate groups in New Zealand. They did not have the statistical information but hate appeared to be on
the rise as evidenced by the ‘war against Islam’ Facebook page. Action was only taken by Facebook after she had raised this at a
security summit. Even then Facebook had limited only some of the content, mostly in the comments field;
(f) There was a brochure circulating that had ‘dog whistle’ words in it that any nationalist-leaning person would understand but the
average kiwi would not;
(g) There were US confederate flags on vehicles in her own neighbourhood.
Engagement with Police
256. IWCNZ engagement with the police has been ongoing and sustained in various forms over the years.
257. Early on Muslim leadership were reporting hateful and threatening comments and the challenges of such language and behaviour. Concerns were primarily about the safety and security of Muslims in Aotearoa, but there was also a concern about the emotional impact such comments have, especially on women as well as children and youth.
258. Throughout the years, the police have provided various lectures and training to the community on how to keep safe. As an example, in
September 2015 at the WOWMA leaders retreat, Inspector XXX XXXX, Constable XXX XXXX and Constable XXX XXXX gave a talk to the Muslimah leadership in attendance. Such presentations were common.
148 BD 631-634, 636-640
149 BD 638
150 The ‘Islamicity Index’ has been released several times since 2010 and New Zealand has been placed top on several occasions including the last three years . The latest can be found here: http://islamicity-index.org/wp/latest-indices-2018/
151 para 3/5
152 BD 686 (e link)
153 BD 792-794
154 BD 799-833, 837.
155 Page 21 first line of first paragraph.
156 An implication in the report was that the Et Tu Whanau programme was the reason for the success of the Youth programme. While that funding was helpful it was the huge number of volunteer hours and sustained commitment of individual Muslim women that was the predominant reason behind its success. The report appeared to take disproportionate credit for the government when it was not due.
157 BD 635. There had been difficulties with the organisation for the day. SSC did not attend though asked to. BD 698-704, 711,713, 718, 724-739, 740,741,760-763, 765,767
158 BD 763,791
159 BD 795,796
160 BD 798,834-835,839-842,853
161 BD 957-979
162 BD 856-869, 891-894
163 BD 881, 843-852, 855-858
165 See notes of meeting 882-883
166 Ms Little provided a memo to the chief executive, DIS on 14 February 2019 about the Social Cohesion and Muslim Communities project BD 896-998. Ms Little next contacted Ms
Danzeisen on 16 March 2019. BD 909-910
167 BD 762 168 BD 879-880
Non recording of hate speech, hate crimes and hate incidents
259. Because there was no mechanism to record hate crimes, and due to the significant underreporting of such incidences because of embarrassment, lack of awareness of rights, fears of government security personnel and the reaction of police when raised, IWCNZ was always unable to determine exactly how big an issue it was. Nevertheless, IWCNZ estimates there would not be a Muslim woman in New Zealand who
wears the head scarf who has not been abused in public at some time. Though there is no statistical data, there is clear evidence that IWCNZ and regional organisations were concerned about the safety of the Muslim community.
260. There were also indicators that levels of hate were increasingly significant and dangerously. From what had been intermittent side
comments on the street, there was an increase in numbers of incidents and an increase in aggression. There were increased numbers of people
shouting at and threatening young people. In one reported incident a female Muslim youth was threatened by another customer at a petrol
station. She called the Police but the police refused to come out.
261. Simultaneously, the online vitriol was also increasing. By 2015, websites and social media were filled with inappropriate language and threats towards the Muslim community. The Muslim community tried to address it through the social media companies, but with minimal success. They often received a response that the inappropriate language fell within the definition of “free speech”. As a particular example, in 2015, IWCNZ membership began raising concerns about a site on Facebook called War Against Islam NZ. This page was using language and calling for physical threats against the Muslim community.
262. There was a call among IWCNZ Facebook membership to report the page. A campaign was organised but efforts were in vain. Facebook’s initial response was that it did not violate standards. When Facebook refused to remove the offending material, Ms Danzeisen approached XXX XXXX of the police. They had checked the membership and found that not a single posting was from New Zealand and only two members had New Zealand passports. Given the people posting were not in the country, the Police felt their hands were tied. Ms Danzeisen raised concerns about jurisdiction, about how it would impact NZ’s reputation and how it was likely to incite others. The page remained.
263. Subsequently, Ms Danzeisen raised the matter with a Facebook Senior representative at the June 2015 CVE summit. While Facebook removed a similar page in Australia, the New Zealand one remained, although some content was required to be removed. This particular example was discussed at the summit meeting with Heads of Government on 23 March 2017.
264. By late 2015, such was the concern regarding the online hate towards Muslims, and with an awareness of the Norway camp shooting of 2011, Ms Danzeisen approached the police seeking their presence at the upcoming IWCNZ national camp. The police were supportive and
provided three female officers throughout the camp. They also sent diverse female officers from Auckland to present a safety workshop to
the attendees. The consistent feedback from attendees was that the officers were fabulous and the interactions with Muslim youth were
265. At the 2015 camp youth present were spontaneously raising their concerns about harassment they were experiencing in schools and
tertiary education. When the youth leaders probed this and asked those attending how many had experienced harassment or discrimination by
an educator in the last year, over 80 per cent raised their hands.
266. This was shocking to the IWCNZ leadership and indicated just how widespread harassment had to be if people in positions of power and
authority and charged with the care of youth were engaged in harassment. From that camp, this became a consistent point of advocacy.
267. In April 2016, IWCNZ hosted a national conference in Hamilton and requested police presence once again. It was again provided. At the
public forum of the event, a male individual known to have verbally harassed female youth showed up, but quickly departed when he saw
police. The 2017 and 2018 national conferences did not have a public forum and were not open to the public and no special police support was
268. On 9 December 2018, IWCNZ was once again organising a national camp and needed to publicly advertise. After advertisements were sent out, Ms Danzeisen started to receive inappropriate comments from an individual on Facebook. 169
He then went to the WOWMA page and posted “We have ISIS Camps in New Zealand now?” When his own Facebook page was reviewed, the comments raised significant concern, and it was reported to the police. Subsequently, Police visited the individual and discussed the “wisdom of that type of post’ in the public domain.
269. The individual removed the posts. However, in the report back to Ms Danzeisen, the police inspector seemed to indicate Ms Danzeisen had somehow brought this on, and that she should modify her behaviour. he wrote:
In saying that, there are people that have differing views to the mainstream – I’d suggest that any Facebook communication with this person, as was commenced by yourself regarding the initial post about ‘tourists’ will only invite a similar response. Can I suggest that avoiding contact with this male would reduce his audience thus removing the
motivation of posting items designed to shock others”
270. Ms Danzeisen challenged the Inspector.
Thank you XXX for your prompt address of the covered post where the man made comments about ISIS on a youth camp designed for female youth age 12 to 25. I did want to clarify the record so there is no confusion... I
did not initiate contact with XXX XXXX. And I did not comment on his own page as well. I only commented on my own pages where he was dropping comments including saying he would burn the Quran. And replied that we
had referred his ISIS comment to authorities. I only copied his page where he mentioned tourists and muslim women in unfavorable light to send to you so you had more background. Once again IWCNZ appreciate your diligence in ensuring our youth at the camp are safe.
271. The Inspector quickly responded with an apology.
272. As a result of the Facebook exchange IWCNZ requested police presence at its national camp in December 2018. The event was held in New Plymouth. A female officer visited and once again, gave advice on how to keep safe.
273. Over the similar period, IWCNZ is aware that several regional camps, including Dunedin and Christchurch, sought police support as well.
Threat to WOWMA Facebook
274. On 20 February 2019 the WOWMA Facebook page received a threat via Direct Message. This threat made inappropriate and offensive comments about Prophet Mohammed and the author indicated that he intended to burn a Quran in front of the mosque on 15 March 2019. The individual who sent the comment had his location identified as Christchurch. Ms Danzeisen sent the threat to the police and sought support. 170
275. Ms Danzeisen contacted XXX XXXX and XXX XXXX of the police via email on 21 February 2019 about the threat, copying Dr XXX XXXX of WMA and FIANZ President XXX XXXX. Dr. XXXX replied that there had been similar threats at the mosque the previous Friday during prayers and there was a police presence for protection. Officer XXXX replied that she would discuss this with Officer XXXX. Similarly, Officer XXXX had indicated that he had followed up with Hamilton police and that Ms Danzeisen should ‘rest assured that XXX and police are across this.’ They ‘would be in touch shortly.’ 171
276. Officer XXXX made contact with Ms Danzeisen. They spoke on 26 February 2019. Initially, he did not seem to take the matter too seriously,
saying the individual posting was known to the police, suffered from a mental illness, and would likely not harm anyone. There seemed to be a
reluctance to follow it up further. Ms Danzeisen insisted and raised concerns about this with Officer XXXX, indicating that had a Muslim been
making such comments it would have been addressed and that Officer XXXX needed to realise that this was a page for a female youth group and his comments were inappropriate for any page, but especially this page.
277. She explained that such comments would have a chilling effect on WOWMA’s ability to post and share information about its events. Ms
Danzeisen told the officer there was a concern such individuals if unchecked could come to WOWMA events and cause problems. At the
end of the telephone conversation, Officer XXXX indicated he understood Ms Danzeisen’s concerns and that he would follow up. Ms Danzeisen
asked where the individual resided because his location had indicated Christchurch and did Officer XXXX intend to act in Hamilton or
Christchurch. He assured Ms Danzeisen that the perpetrator was based in Hamilton.
278. On 14 March 2019, Officer XXXX brought a statement to Ms Danzeisen’s work for her signature and she signed it. Although rushed, Ms Danzeisen again sought assurances that the individual was located in Hamilton, and not Christchurch. Officer XXXX once again assured her that the individual was located in Hamilton. Ms Danzeisen also discussed with him the concern if a Qur’an was burned in front of the mosque. She felt this would definitely generate a reaction by the Hamilton Muslim community. Officer XXXX indicated that the police were going to increase patrols to ensure nothing got out of hand. Ms Danzeisen signed the document and went back to work.
279. After the events of 15 March 2019, Ms Danzeisen initiated contact with the police seeking assurances regarding her own safety, but also asked if there was any connection with the earlier events to what occurred in Christchurch. She was given assurances from Officer XXXX that there was not, however, he indicated he would likely not be able to share that if there were. Abuse towards the Muslim community continued after 15 March (there was also tremendous support). 172
The police responded again to the 20 Feb WOWMA FB message on 24 July 2019. 173
169 BD 890,895
170 BD 899-906
171 ‘XXX’ is Sergeant XXX XXXX, the Community Relations Coordinator (previously the Ethnic Liaison Officer) in the Hamilton office of the New
ealand Police. He is well-known to ethnic and religious minority communities in Hamilton.
172 BD 911-912
173 BD 913-914
Submissions on IWCNZ engagement with government
280. These submissions specifically address Terms of Reference 2(c) and 2(d):
2Purpose of Inquiry and matter of public importance
The matter of public importance that the inquiry is directed to examine is-
(c) Whether there were any additional measures that relevant State sector agencies could have taken to
prevent the attack; and
(d) What additional measures should be taken by relevant State sector agencies to prevent such attacks in the future
281. The submissions are relevant to all five of the matters that the inquiry is required to report on under section 4:
4 Matters upon which findings are sought
(a) whether there was any information provided or otherwise available to relevant state sector agencies
that could or should have alerted them to the attack and, if such information was provided or otherwise
available, how the agencies responded to any such information, and whether that response was
(b) the interaction amongst relevant State sector agencies, including whether there was any failure in
information sharing between the relevant agencies; and
(c) whether relevant State sector agencies failed to anticipate or plan for the attack due to an
inappropriate concentration of counter terrorism resources or priorities on other terrorism threats; and
(d) whether any relevant State sector agency failed to meet standards or was otherwise at fault, whether in
whole or in part; and
(e) any other maters relevant to the purpose of the inquiry, to the extent necessary to provide a complete
Positive government actions
282. Before addressing these areas IWCNZ submits that the government has failed to support and protect the Muslim community and prevent the Christchurch attack. IWCNZ also records that the Prime Minister’s willingness to immediately call the shootings at the Christchurch mosque
“terrorist attacks” was appreciated. Further, the way in which she spoke to, and about, grieving Muslims showed a care and respect that was
greatly appreciated by IWCNZ and all members of the Muslim community.
283. The police support in the days after the attacks was also greatly appreciated. They made a real effort to comfort and assure Muslim
communities of their safety.
284. The gun law reform was also commendable and helped members and their families feel that protective and proactive steps were being taken in support of them at such an excruciating time.
285. The Prime Minister’s statement that the state sector needed to be overhauled is also appreciated, acknowledged and endorsed.
286. One government department whose actions were commendable and strongly supportive of IWCNZ was the Department of Corrections. It had held a job fair for interested Muslims which WOWMA facilitated and organised. Human Resources at Corrections explained the application
and employment processes, identified the current and upcoming job opportunities, gave internship deadlines and informed attendees of the
work conditions they might experience.
287. When issues arose relating to Corrections matters that impacted community members, again, Corrections were open to adapting. For
example, when a community member had parole challenges, the process was explained. Ms Danzeisen had meetings with an employee and they discussed how matters could be improved for immigrant families to understand the process. Similarly, discussions were had about the employment of a psychologist and offering practicums. 174
288. IWCNZ had also, overall, been comfortable with their engagement with MSD, which extended back for many years though again there had been a lack of funding for employees to cover the intense time demands on the Muslim community and there had been no options provided to get the needed social workers and youth workers in the short term. MSD requirements mandate at least a three-year established record.
286. In the years prior to 15 March 2019 there were repeated major public service delivery failures in relation to government dealings with and
responsibilities towards the Muslim community in Aotearoa New Zealand. It is likely that, but for the failures (particularly of the security
services and police), the horrific events of 15 March, 2019, might not have occurred. It is certain that but for the failures of the other public
sector agencies there would have been greater support and protection of the Muslim community before 2019 as the pressure on them grew
and after, when the trauma and shock had to be dealt with.
Failings in preparedness of SIS for attacks on Muslim community
289. In March 2016 the then Prime Minister and Minister for the Security Services, John Key, knowingly used misinformation about Muslim women leaving New Zealand to be jihadi brides. He said this at a select committee hearing in full awareness it would be picked up by the media. As was predictable, it caused an immediate backlash against Muslim people as they went about their lives the next day and further scared the dominant population off Muslim women. This cynical use of misinformation showed an attitude of mind of the Prime Minister and Minister responsible for security services that he was no friend, and had no interest in being a friend, of the New Zealand Muslim community.
290. Being concerned to correct the facts and educate New Zealanders and the SIS, Ms Rahman publicly called on the Prime Minister and Ms
Kitteridge to engage with the Muslim community ‘as Muslimah were the ones that bore the brunt of such sweeping statements.
291. The next month IWCNZ members also took pro-active steps to educate and alert the new minister, Chris Finlayson. He was invited to speak at their national conference in April 2016 and met with their executive for an hour beforehand. There they went through the multiple and diverse challenges they faced, one of them being the public perception of them and backlash against them.
292. It is evident that by June 2016 Ms Rahman’s comments went unrecognised and were ignored. In other words, government decided to
ignore intelligence that there were people engaged in anti-Muslim hate speech and crimes in New Zealand. Ms Kitteridge’s speech that month
was entirely focussed on threats from the Muslim community in New Zealand with almost no recognition that the Muslim community itself
could become a prime target of hate crime rather than be caught up in a backlash against a crime being perpetrated by one of its members. 175
293. In July 2016 Ms Kitteridge sought a meeting with the organisation and that took place in October 2016. She apologised for the jihadi bride
statement. They appraised about the marginalisation and discrimination Muslims experienced, particularly women.
294. Again, the women were proactive in maintaining contact and building connections with her. They invited her and she attended and spoke at their 2017 national conference public forum. 176
295. Continuing their proactiveness they made a follow up appointment with the Minister, Chris Finlayson, in Auckland at the offices of the Human Rights Commission. Their motivation was to address the growing fear and concern for the safety of their people. At this meeting, on 24 March 2017, among other matters they forcefully raised the threat of alt-right activity and their fears and concerns about its increase in New Zealand and the risks this posed to the Muslim community. The Minister dismissed their concerns, saying it was more of an overseas issue.
296. Ms Danzeisen countered his dismissal and told him she had an alt-right flyer posted in her letterbox and there was a US confederate flag in the back window of a utility vehicle in her neighbourhood. Had he taken this concern seriously, and discussed it with the SIS, intelligence services may well have had a greater focus on the alt-right, and any movements by altright extremists into New Zealand would have been monitored. 177
297. The next year, in March 2018, at the IWCNZ national conference, XXX XXXX, an SIS employee, approached Dr Maysoon Salama, IWCNZ National Co-ordinator and asked to speak with her. She wanted intelligence on the Muslim community – any concerns they should know about. At that meeting Dr Salama complained about the lack of preventive (CVE) activity by government.
298. When XXX approached her again in October 2018, Dr Salama refused to meet with her as there had been no progress by government in
addressing their concerns. She felt there were no listening ears to hear what Muslims were saying.
299. In May 2018 XXX approached Ms Rahman and sought a meeting which occurred at Wellington Airport. Again, the focus for the SIS was on what they knew about issues in their community (with potential terrorists). Finally, on 8 November 2018 XXX sought out Ms Danzeisen, to ask if she was aware of any issues of concern in her community. Ms Danzeisen responded with a message that was strong, clear and unable to be misinterpreted. It was that the government had failed and was failing the Muslim community. There was a lack of support on the preventive side. There was a rise in hate and hate groups in New Zealand. There was a War against Islam Facebook page with comments that were only removed after she had raised it at a security summit. There was a brochure with ‘dog whistle ‘words circulating and confederate flags in her
300. Four months later the attack on Muslims at the Christchurch mosque occurred.
301. IWCNZ engaged with the most senior person in the SIS, with the minister responsible. They also engaged with an employee. All three were personally appraised by IWCNZ members of the serious security problems they were facing and the increasing harassment, hate speech
and Islamophobia being experienced by them in New Zealand. While they listened and, in Ms Kitteridge’s case, expressed sympathy, no-one acted. The minister actively discounted their concerns.
302. The wider New Zealand security community were also appraised by Ms Danzeisen in her address in April 2018. This was attended by members of the police, SIS, GCSB and defence. Her speech made an impact. It was described as ‘standout’ by a security commentator. She spoke as a member of a ‘suspect class’ and told them about the daily harassment her community experienced. She warned them that the Muslim community would be the first one to suffer if agencies got it wrong.
303. There is no indication, from IWCNZ’s communications with several people, that the alt-right were under any, let alone serious or similar
scrutiny and surveillance as the Muslim community before 15 March, despite the increasing Islamophobia and hate speech directed at Muslims
in New Zealand and the rise of the alt-right in Europe and the United States and the many terrorist attacks by the alt-right.
304. This is not a situation where SIS members can claim to have been caught by surprise. They were appraised. The question is why did they not take the warnings of IWCNZ members seriously. At the same time there were terror attacks, hate crimes and alt-right activity occurring in other Muslim minority countries. The internet was flooded with anti-Muslim rhetoric. Why were IWCNZ warnings not placed alongside world events and action taken accordingly? 178
Their inaction has had the most egregious consequences.
305. If IWCNZ had been taken seriously the SIS would have kept an eye out for activity by white supremacists. They managed to catch young Muslim men sharing ISIS videos in New Zealand and have had them prosecuted. To discover this, they were spying on the young men online. Why was there no equivalent spying on young white supremacist men? The internet was flooded with anti-Muslim sites and there were well-known sites where men with white supremacist learnings congregated. It seems highly likely 00 0000 was joining into those sites regularly.
306. If this activity had been watched as it should, then Immigration New Zealand would have had the ability to detect dangerous white
supremacists, such as 00 0000, coming into the country. In the years before March 2019 there were many Muslim religious groups and
individuals who were having trouble getting into the country because Muslims were under such scrutiny. 00 0000 could have been detected
coming and going from New Zealand. He could have been watched.
307. People strongly aligned with alt-right thinking such as Jordan Peterson, Nigel Farage, Stephen Molyneaux and Lauren Southern all toured New Zealand before the Christchurch mosques attacks. If IWCNZ’s reports of growing Islamophobia had been taken seriously then these speaking tours would have been monitored for increases in alt-right activity during and after. If data was being kept then spikes in areas with violence would have been detected. They would have known local pressure points. The SIS should have ensured the police were collecting the data they were refusing to collect. It was critical to a proper monitoring of white supremacy in New Zealand.
Failings in performance of police in protecting Muslim community
308. IWCNZ acknowledges the New Zealand Police for several proactive steps they have taken to engage with and involve minorities in policing.
309. The New Zealand Police were the first state agency to develop an ethnic strategy and probably still the only one with a developed strategy. They appointed members to, and regularly met with, regional ethnic advisory groups. They appointed Ethnic Liaison Officers across the country. The one in the Waikato is Sergeant XXX XXXX. His job description has now been changed to Community Relations Coordinator. The Police also actively recruit from within ethnic communities. They have held partnership forums with ethnic communities. 179
310. After every international terrorist event Inspector XXXX would contact Ms Rahman and ask her how things were. Though reporting of hate
crimes was seriously under-reported, the police knew enough to know how vulnerable the Muslim community felt. They knew there was
increasing Islamophobia and the impact that was having. Direct communications with Ms Rahman make that evident. Ms Rahman was
also making public statements about the vulnerability of Muslims that were widely reported.
311. The police refusal to establish a hate-crime register or collect statistics was a dereliction of duty. They were privy to reports of growing
Islamophobia in New Zealand from the people who would know and who were experiencing it. They had been asked to establish a register by the Human Rights Commissioner with responsibilities for Race Relations and there were growing alt-right terror attacks and hate crimes against
Muslims in Muslim minority countries overseas. The internet was also flooded with anti-Muslim sentiment and threats to Muslims.
312. The police also failed in not developing a national strategy to deal with threats against Muslims and mosques, given the information they had. When, on 20 February 2019, a serious threat was made to burn a Quran outside a Hamilton mosque on Friday 15 March 2019, the police
dismissed the matter. They said the writer was known to them and had mental health problems. The message was showing Christchurch as the
sender’s location. Ms Danzeisen had to insist that the matter be recorded and sought assurances that it was the Hamilton mosque that was the
mosque at issue and that the sender was actually located in Hamilton. Her complaint was only followed up with her on 14 March 2019, when
she signed the complaint. There were earlier threatening calls to Dr XXXX and Mr XXXX. There was the attack at the Avondale Mosque. There were the IWCNZ reports. There were the Race Relations Commissioner’s strong concerns. The police had enough intelligence to warrant a coordinated national strategy.
313. If there had been such a strategy, then the message would have alerted every mosque in the country to a threat to one mosque on Friday 15 March 2019 and for all mosques to take extra security measures. Whether or not the threat was connected to the Christchurch killer is
Failings in performance of OEC and DIA
314. IWCNZ acknowledges that the Department of Internal Affairs through the Office of Ethnic Communities funded two regional youth camps for Muslimah: $10,000 for the camp in December 2018 and $13,500 for the camp in December 2015. In 2018 DIA funded two meetings of a Muslim Community Advisory Group (at the direction of SSC having previously resisted this request). Some officials had begun to develop a positive working relationship with IWCNZ members who sensed that they were beginning to comprehend the importance of presence at community events so as to begin to develop a personal understanding of and empathy with the problems IWCNZ was raising. 180
315. On the other hand, overall the work of these organisations in assisting IWCNZ was grossly inept and ineffective. There were several serious
failures in public service standards. The Muslim community was not ‘served’ by the public service. The consequences were that protective
and supportive systems were not in place or advanced to the extent they would otherwise have been before 15 March 2019.
316. If competent effective public service delivery had occurred and the requested structures and support were in place, the Christchurch Muslim community would likely have been in a far better situation to prevent or limit the destruction caused by the shooter.
317. Particular concerns are set out below:
(i) Non-attendance of OEC at 23 March 2017 meeting day between Muslim leaders and senior government officials
(a) It was appalling that there was no OEC representative at the 23 March 2017 meeting between Muslim leaders and senior
government officials. Whatever the reasons that led to Ms XXXX not attending, that should not have meant there was no other OEC senior representative present. This agency, under supervision from DIA, had the responsibility for social cohesion in New Zealand. This day was within its central portfolio of responsibilities. The Muslim community was extremely vulnerable. Collectively, they were experiencing
daily hate speech, harassment and threats against them. IWCNZ was making this point loud and clear. The Race Relations Commissioner was making this point loud and clear.
(b) The day was set up to address these issues across the whole of government. The then acting director had his diary clear for that meeting and should have turned up. For this day, he should have put the interests of the community above the
interests of his agency.
(ii) Continual departures of responsible OEC and DIA staff and burdens placed on community representatives to upskill new people
(a) There was an ongoing “roundabout” of staff appointed to work with IWCNZ. Some were new employees and some were new to working with IWCNZ. Just when IWCNZ would get one employee up to speed with their issues and sensitivities that person would be moved on or other persons given the responsibilities and they had to start the teaching and upskilling process all over again. New contacts in these years included Wen Powles, Marilyn Little, XXX XXXX, XXX XXXX, XXX XXXX. This put an extraordinary and unfair burden on a volunteer organisation, which was desperate for public service support for its community. Instead it was given uninformed, unskilled public servants who required training and upskilling by the people they were meant to be supporting.
(iii) Exclusion of IWCNZ and other Muslim community representatives from the working group after 23 March 2017
(a) The requests for government agencies to liaise with the community and the community to be at the table when decisions were being made were ignored. Critical decisions had to be made after the March 2017 summit. The next step was for the state sector to develop systems of support, to advance social cohesion and to attempt to reduce discrimination against the Muslim community. The blueprint was there – the UN had a plan of action and other comparable countries had been working on CVE and social cohesion for
(b) What was needed was a plan to be worked out with the community. A plan could not be made without their input. It was well-known that social cohesion projects did not work without close input from the community that needed the support and integration.
(c) IWCNZ, as community leaders with decades of experience in the grassroots of their community, put their hands up. They were eager and willing and proactive about working with the public service to move to the next step. There was no take up from the other side. Rather there was exclusion of them. They were kept in the dark while almost nothing happened. The government working groups seemed to be rudderless
and drifting with no sense of what was needed.
(d) The steps taken after the 23 March 2017 summit were inadequate and pathetic. The responsibility has to lie with OEC and DIA who were leading the social cohesion programme.
(iv) Decision to create a Hamilton project rather than a whole-ofgovernment approach
(a) With the problems the Muslim community were experiencing nationally, with the points made in the presentation of IWCNZ about the multiple difficulties in multiple areas, and with the level of active discrimination and harassment they reported, it is extraordinary that OEC and DIA decided to run a tiny pilot programme in the most supported community in the country. After IWCNZ protests were ignored that they
needed a national programme and resources to go where there are no supports in place, they had little choice but to work with this tiny vision. There was no promise at all by DIA or OEC of anything bigger happening in the future.
(b) What was clearly needed was a whole-of-government approach. Not having one was a fatal mistake. If this had followed from the March 23 summit, then agencies like customs and police would have had to do more. They would have been more aware of the issues; they would have had better and wider checks at the border. Focusing this work solely in DIA and solely in Hamilton harmed the government response. DIA and OEC could not see the need for a nationwide approach. Whether this was incompetence or a desire to keep and retain resources within DIA is an issue for the Royal Commission.
(c) A national focus on CVE would have put resourcing and effort into dealing with discrimination, which is what fuelled negative sentiments towards Muslims and migrants.
(v) Deciding to consult on what the issues were in Hamilton
(a) For the women at least, this was unnecessary. The government had already, through MSD, funded a two day workshop of IWCNZ council members to develop a plan of needs and strengths within the community. That had then gone through an exhaustive consultation with the full membership of IWCNZ and had been endorsed.
(b) It also funded an externally facilitated consultation day at the 2015 Leaders Retreat organised by WOWMA and supported by IWCNZ. During that retreat 33 Muslimah leaders from around the country were asked to identify what the issues and solutions were in their community. This information supplemented the report that had been handed over to MSD earlier that year. There was therefore no need for yet another workshop to find out ‘what the issues were’, as proposed by OEC, in July 2017.
(vi) DIA organising meeting with Hamilton funders who had no capacity to deliver what was being sought
(a) DIA organised a meeting between local funders and members of WOWMA , where the latter had to take time off work and present to the funders as to what their needs were. All of these funders were already well known to Ms Rahman, who had engaged with them in other roles. The funders told the women that their needs did not match what the funders were able to provide and in any event the level of funding available was at a level far below what was needed. Furthermore, the funders stated that it was central government’s responsibility
to fund the needs expressed at the meeting, and the funders were disappointed that they were asked to fund such issues. The funders apologised to the women and offered to engage with government to advise them what government funding responsibilities should be.
(b) DIA staff should have already known this, as local funders had previously expressed frustration at the fact that they were having to fund social issues that were the government’s responsibility. This was a foreseeable waste of already exhausted IWCNZ and WOWMA volunteers who were stretched thin. It deadened the morale of IWCNZ and further drained their depleted energy.
(vii) Sending IWCNZ to learn from a model that could not be adopted by IWCNZ
(a) One of IWCNZ’s points made regularly to DIA was that they could not, for religious reasons, rely on the funding that other
community groups in New Zealand relied on. That was lotteries funding. Throughout the years of IWCNZ engagement, DIA did not find any new or additional sources of funds to support the Muslim community nor did it offer social workers or the youth workers the communities were desperately seeking. Being sent to the Chinese New Settlers Services Trust, (CNSST) while intended to be helpful and provide guidance on organisational development for IWCNZ, only served to confirm the barriers IWCNZ was facing. The CNSST was thriving in a way the Muslim community could not because of seed funding from Lotteries. DIA and OEC staff had not bothered to check out such a basic fact. Again, the waste of time of very busy women was foreseeable.
(viii) Inadequate support for the Muslim Community Advisory Group
(a) Finally in 2018, only after Ms Danzeisen had contacted the State Services Commissioner himself, and expressed a very high level of frustration did DIA and OEC bring together a working group of Muslim community leaders to develop a national strategy for support and protection and to ensure social cohesion. It was very evident they were ordered to do it and there was no impetus or drive or even understanding of the necessity of such a group. What was being sought was best practice in countering violent extremism and creating
(b) It is evident DIA were entirely lacking in vision about CVE as it was labelled ‘Aliya and Anjum’s project.’ There was grossly inadequate secretarial support provided to the group. All administrative assistance had to be asked for. Even after Ms Danzeisen broke down and told Ms Little she was not coping, an incompetent and uninformed writer was provided part time. With no adequate support from DIA and OEC and with Ms Danzeisen exhausted and other members of the group overcommitted (with earning a living and needing to do voluntary work because of the high level of disadvantage within the community), the advisory group ground to a halt.
Failures in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
318. IWCNZ was an organisation with a small budget. It funded three Admin Council members to fly to Wellington from Auckland and Hamilton to meet with the DPMC. These three, along with a fourth women all took annual leave and spent time preparing for the meeting, believing that the DPMC would hear and support them.
319. Yet there is not even a record of this meeting having occurred, as a recent Official Information Act request has shown. Mr XXXX, whom they met with, has now left the department. It appears nothing was done. 181
A follow up email from Ms Danzeisen produced nothing. Neither did the woman who attended the National Security Conference from DPMC and who Ms Danzeisen approached asking for follow up, ever get back to her. 182
320. Once again IWCNZ women were politely listened to and promptly ignored.
Failures in Ministry of Education
321. The same can be said of the Secretary of Education. Many approaches were made by IWCNZ to address the situation of bullying and harassment of Muslim students in schools (particularly after international terrorist events). Despite a multitude of quality, concrete suggestions to improve the education of Muslim students in New Zealand schools, who contained among them students who were disadvantaged in multiple ways, it appears that Ms Halsted took no action whatsoever. In her follow up email to Ms XXXX of MOE, Ms Danzeisen had asked that safety plans for students be presented or suggested to schools. There is no evidence that any safety plan was produced up to 15 March to protect those vulnerable students. No record of Ms Danzeisen’s conversation with Ms Halstead have been disclosed under the Official Information Act request. As a result of the Ministry’s inaction, Muslim students in Christchurch suffered additional trauma within schools.
322. The Department went about its usual business, relying on its already existing resources, when clearly these had not been effective in
addressing the problems for Muslim students in a world that was turning increasing tension and pressure on them. Despite being told of their
worsening situation it remained unmoved.
323. In her OIA letter to Ms Joychild Ms Halsted recalls Ms Danzeisen speaking of ‘some Muslim girls’. This is a serious downplaying of what was actually said. Obviously, Ms Danzeisen would not have bothered the secretary if the matter involved ‘some’ girls and was able to be addressed at an individual level. Ms Danzeisen was raising a significant nationwide problem for a class of multiply disadvantaged students.
324. IWCNZ does acknowledge the support of a grant to IWCNZ to manage an International Students Wellbeing Strategy. This has had to be put on hold due to events on 15 March.
Failures of State Services Commission
325. There was no leadership within the state sector to ensure the government had effective national strategies to counter violent
extremism and create social cohesion. There was very poor oversight of the agencies responsible for social cohesion and for coordinating, strengthening and protecting the Muslim community
326. The initial agreement to co-host, with the Race Relations Commissioner, the summit between Muslim community leaders and senior government officials on 23 March 2017, was a positive step by the SSC. This had not come from within however but had followed the approaches from Dame Susan Devoy, the Race Relations Commissioner, after meeting with IWCNZ.
327. However, the abyss into which the issues fell for the rest of 2017 is evidence of a serious malaise within OEC and DIA that was not identified
or addressed by SSC. Another year would pass with the temperature all the while increasing on the Muslim community before the SSC was forced into action again. This time it was only after Ms Danzeisen had to be very direct and insistent with the State Services Commissioner himself. It was also after she had approached Minister Andrew Little. To a considerable extent Mr Hughes’s hand was forced to agree to the establishment of a Muslim Community Advisory Group.
328. However, as indicated earlier, the support of the group by the DIA was weak and ineffective and caused the group to grind to a halt.
329 Ms Danzeisen also requested, of the State Services Commissioner, funding for Muslim projects, given they could not seek the funding that
other community groups relied on though lotteries money. He tasked his deputy with finding it. Rather than being seen as an important idea to be embraced and supported, and in line with government obligations to develop effective CVE plans and policies, the deputy State Services
Commissioner approached the task half-heartedly. He put the onus on Ms Danzeisen to tell him what was needed and to make a business plan
to show it was justified, despite the information already before the government. Ultimately, he simply said he could not source funds.
330. When the state’s obligations in relation to CVE are taken into account along with the advice it was being given by those on the ground about the seriously vulnerable situation Muslim New Zealanders were in, it is extraordinary that proactive steps were not taken by the State Services Commissioner to ensure the development of effective programmes.
331. Ironically, on 16 March 2019, money had suddenly been found for the DIA for social cohesion. It took 51 lives lost in an alt-right terrorist attack to wake up the public service. They had been sleeping on the job, or, at the best acting negligently in ignoring or responding sluggishly and ineffectively to the continuing and increasingly frustrated pleas being made by IWCNZ. The State Services Commissioner, his former deputy and those state employees who advised the commission on social cohesion must be held responsible for the appalling performance of government agencies in the support and protection of the exposed Muslim community.
Conclusion: public service delivery failures
332. The public service (including police and security agencies) has failed dramatically in not protecting the Muslim community and the country from the Christchurch terrorist attack. While little might have been able to be done when the gunman opened fire, there was a multiplicity of actions that could and should have happened, but were not taken in the years prior to the attacks. Had they been taken the gunman is likely not to have got to the door of the mosques. 183
333. The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 8 September 2006, ten years before the Christchurch attacks. There were four pillars to the strategy. The first pillar, addressing the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism
was more or less never implemented in New Zealand. There was no effective social cohesion or Countering Violent Extremism programme
that supported and addressed the disadvantages in the Muslim community. Promises of funding were made but never realised. The
ineptitude of the DIA and OEC in handling this portfolio was profound.
334. The second pillar, Preventing and Combatting Terrorism, was an abject failure in New Zealand. The security services were turned in one direction only. That was combatting potential violent terrorism by Muslim extremists. They cannot say, however, they did not know of the exposure of the Muslim community to the threat from the Alt-Right. The minister and the director general were personally appraised of the situation by those in the know, i.e. Muslim women leaders who spoke for the group that were the first to experience increases in anti-Muslim activity in New Zealand. Also, terrorist events instigated by white supremacists were occurring overseas in Muslim minority nations. The internet was awash with white nationalists. The Minister negligently brushed their concerns off as an overseas problem.
335. Pillar three is about states being better equipped to fight terrorism which was also an abject failure. New Zealand was not equipped to deal with all potential terrorism in New Zealand.
336. There were plenty of overseas reports the government could have looked to for guidance. Ms Danzeisen and Ms Rahman knew their contents. They had knowledge and experience that was far more extensive than the officials they worked with. They knew what was best practice and what should happen. The difference between the groups was that IWCNZ cared because it was their community that was affected and they had a lot to lose.
337. The actions of the collective public service (with some exceptions referred to above) showed they did not care and did not take the Muslim community seriously and the little they did do was ineffective and too late.
338. The attacks and their devastating impact call for a reconsideration of the fundamentals of how the state services operate. Government must move into a role of thinking of itself as a horizontal organisation rather than a vertical one. Not only must it work across government but it must operate in the economic and civil spheres. It must be able and willing to link up with citizens where the need arises for joint, collective action. It must assess itself against desired and actual outcomes sought and being achieved. The government’s relationship with civil society should be one where it is less of a gatekeeper and more of an enabler, providing public resources when they are necessary.184 If those principles had been in place then IWCNZ’s approaches would have had much better outcomes.
174 However, IWCNZ were dismayed and very distressed to discover Corrections ineptitude in August 2019, in allowing the Christchurch gunman to write letters of support to alt-right people, one of which was posted on the internet. This appalling lack of judgment is part of the failing of the public sector as a whole.
175 It is noted that Prime Minister Ardern, herself, acknowledged that the Services were too focused on Islamic terrorism. See Newshub 15 May, 2019.
176 While she apologised over the Jihadi bride statements again she spoke in very general terms about her work.
177 While the minister may not have been able to ‘direct’ the Security Intelligence Services, it would surely be a dereliction of his duty as a minister not to pass on and discuss with them the type of intelligence he had received from IWCNZ.
178 From an intelligence perspective, these people had high-value intelligence.
179 BD 1070-1079
180 This is why the working relationship with XXX XXXX had gone so well.
181 Another matter of disquiet is that, shortly after that meeting Ms Rahman was tagged in a Whale oil blog article. A person is tagged where it is intended there be further reports on them. There were very close interactions between the DPMC and Whaleoil, as disclosed in the book ‘Dirty Politics’ by Nicky Hagar and followed up in the media. pp 203 - 204
182 The woman refused to give Ms Danzeisen her card though she took one from Ms Danzeisen and promised to get back to her about what was happening.
183 In particular if the SIS had the at-right websites and New Zealand participants of them under surveillance and had they linked communications with immigration and airport controls, as they did for Muslims, and the police had a system of national security alerts, then the gunman is unlikely to have escaped observation.
Dated 26 August 2019
Francis Joychild QC
Counsel for IWCNZ