Duncan Garner: Government has moral obligation to pay out Christchurch shooting victim families

OPINION: The Royal Commission report into the Christchurch terror attacks has to be the biggest wake up call this country has ever had.

We were chosen because of our weaknesses - we were a sitting duck. We allowed him to do this.

It hurts to hear it, but he was smarter than all our checks and balances combined.

Our society is conflicted I reckon. On one hand we are told to be tolerant of others who might seem a little odd, strange, or have different beliefs to us. Let them be, allow them to live their full life, don't judge.

On the other hand we must speak up, step-in, it's not ok, shut them down.

And for those whose job it was to judge this fool, each and every time they missed the obvious flags. So no excuses, we stuffed it up. 

If just one extra person had done their job differently, he may never have got a gun or the ammunition required.

The police stuffed up and our intelligence agencies were out to lunch spying on the wrong crowd.

Some argue that we have paid the ultimate price. Well, 51 people certainly did.

It was harder for a 16-year-old to pass a driver licensing test than the many tests put in place to stop you getting guns and ammo. That has changed now of course.

Now is also the time to pay the victims families compensation. 

Former Christchurch city councillor Raf Manji has come up with a figure of close to $35 million, where the next of kin each get $300,000. 

It's not excessive at all. 

There is yet to be any payment to the victims from the Government to recognise accountability. 

Financial distress is rife amongst the families. 

We compensated families at Pike River and for Cave Creek.

Around the world in the wake of terror attacks in New York, Madrid and Oslo, state payments were made to the families.

Christchurch represents catastrophic failure and regardless of any formal culpability, the state here has a moral obligation to pay out. 

Saying sorry doesn't cut it, nor does it pay the bills.

Jacinda Ardern, it's your turn, and a payout will only happen if the Prime Minister wants it to happen.

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.