Jacinda Ardern admits proposed terror law changes wouldn't have prevented Christchurch terror attack

The Muslim community fear they could be targeted under new terror law changes - proposals the Prime Minister admits wouldn't have prevented the Christchurch terror attack. 

Temel Atacocugu was hit with nine bullets on March 15, 2019, in his teeth, his legs and arms. And his community is still hit by racism every day. 

"Some people didn't get lessons from that tragedy and massacre," he told Newshub. 

And new terror law changes announced on Tuesday wouldn't have prevented the tragedy or his injuries. It wouldn't have saved those 51 lives. 

"No, there's no suggestion that had the legislation - the Terrorism Suppression Act - been any different, that it would have necessarily led to a different situation," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. 

But Justice Minister Kris Faafoi says if this law had been in place and if police had picked up on Brenton Tarrant's plans, it could have made a difference. 

"If police were able to monitor some activities within this Bill then they could have taken action," he said.

A lot more action in fact, because the changes mean if someone is suspected of planning a terror attack, police would have powers to enter, search and spy without a warrant.

That's a lot more power. More than police had in 2007 when they controversially raided the Urewera Mountains and other properties around New Zealand for suspected breaches of the TSA.

"If they believe a situation is close to preparation in close to becoming an attempt or an act, then they need the ability to act," Faafoi said. 

He doesn't believe it could lead to another Tūhoe raids situation. 

"I think, hopefully, we would have learnt from that situation."

The Christchurch Royal Commission showed us that prior to March 15 our spy agencies were only spying on Muslims - no white supremacists. This gives more power to those same powerful authorities.

"We're targeted especially, the Muslim communities," says Atacocugu. "[It's] the issue with spying in New Zealand."

As for whether the new terror laws could disproportionately impact Muslims, the Prime Minister says the Government is just following the Royal Commission's recommendations. 

"A number of the changes we're looking to make here are in line with the findings of the Royal Commission," she said, when the question was put to her. 

ACT leader David Seymour says it's not good enough. 

"The laws we have should have captured the terrorist. The Government agencies failed under the old law. Now they're trying to change the law to shift the blame."

National is eyeing up supporting the changes.

"Much of what is asked for in this legislation has been what we have called for back as far as 2019," says National MP Gerry Brownlee. 

The Counter-Terrorism Bill would address just one of the Royal Commission's 44 recommendations. The recommended plans to tackle hate speech and hate crimes will be a harder sell for cross-party support.

But they've been kicked into the long grass anyway.

"They are still being developed," said Faafoi. "That is going to be a longer piece of work."

Victims of March 15 have already waited more than two years.