Christchurch terror attack: UK-based family of mosque shooting victim told they'd have to come to NZ to get copy of report

The niece of a man who was killed in the Christchurch terror attack says her family has been excluded from obtaining the Royal Commission's report into the shootings - despite other families and victims physically receiving the document this weekend.

Following the attacks on Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre on March 15, 2019, Commissioners were tasked with investigating the convicted gunman's activities prior to the shootings that claimed 51 lives. As well as assessing whether agencies could have prevented the tragedy, the report also recommends what can be done to stop similar attacks in the future.

Wedaad Mohamedhosen, the niece of victim Mohamad Moosid Mohamedhosen, says the London-based family has been refused advance access to the report due to security concerns - and will only be able to see the findings when the report is released publicly on Tuesday.

The family received an email from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), which according to Mohamedhosen, outlined "protecting the content of the report" and "the wishes of the most-affected to see it first" as reasons why the family couldn't access its findings.

"According to this, we are not affected, or we are less affected," Mohamedhosen, speaking on behalf of her aunt, Mohamad Moosid Mohamedhosen's next-of-kin, told The AM Show on Monday morning. 

"We've sent emails to DPMC and we have received the same response twice. No one has answered our question - why were we not included in the people who have received the report over the weekend? It just baffles me."

In July, the Government issued a border exemption for victims and families of the Christchurch mosque attack to attend the gunman's sentencing in August on humanitarian grounds. The Mohamedhosen family, who have already travelled to New Zealand a number of times this year, were informed that in order to obtain a copy of the report, they would need to physically collect it in Christchurch.

"Last week when we received the email from DPMC again, they said that you have to physically pick up the copy in Christchurch, and then I said no, we live overseas - and we're not the only next-of-kin living overseas, I know a couple of families in the same situation as me. The reply was like, we can't send you the link because of security reasons, and you will have it on Tuesday when it's made public," Mohamedhosen said.

"Again, it will be online - so what is the risk [of] sending it to us?... I don't see the problem.

"The report is as important as sentencing."

Mohamedhosen said the fallout of March 15 has been "never-ending", the constant back-and-forth preventing the family from grieving their loss. 

"Now with the report, which was frankly an insult to families overseas - no, you can't get a copy because of security reasons. It's outrageous," she said.

Yet Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has defended the decision not to grant early access to overseas families, telling The AM Show that the Government "had to make a call".

"We acknowledge there are people off-shore and we haven't shared it electronically - because we distributed hard copies. We've only just received [the hard copy], so literally it is tabled, we got it six days ago and have distributed it straight out to those families physically," Ardern said.

"We just had to make a call on how to do the best job we could. Again, I stand by the fact that we have tried to provide it in advance, which is unprecedented."

When pressed by host Duncan Garner, Ardern reiterated: "London might have been easier, but we also have families in some parts of Asia where it wouldn't have been as easy to [send] a physical copy. We didn't want to share it electronically because the point was to give people that private time with the report to digest it. If we started firing off the report electronically, it would make it that much harder. 

"Those off-shore, we couldn't cater for everyone… We made the decision and I stand by it."

On Sunday, Ardern visited Christchurch to meet with families and victims of the attack to discuss the findings of the report. She has promised accountability and action from the Government based on its recommendations.

"We just wanted to make sure that [if there were] any concerns, there was time before it became public for us to talk that through with those that were affected," Ardern said on Sunday.

The findings of the report will be made public on Tuesday.