Christchurch terror attack: Federation of Islamic Associations of NZ 'disappointed' at Government for not fulfilling hate speech promises

A group representing Muslims feels let down by the Government after it failed to deliver on promises following the March 15 terror attack. 

Wednesday marks four years since the attack in Christchurch where 51 people were murdered and 40 injured.  

Religious and cultural understanding has been at the heart of a $550 million budget allocated since then to try and prevent such hateful actions again.

But a report from the Federation of Islamic Associations (FIANZ) has found $525 million of it (95 percent) has gone to work done by the Government and consultants. Just five percent has gone to community-led projects. 

On top of that, the review of hate speech laws has been watered down and lumped on the Law Commission to consider. 

Abdur Razzaq from FIANZ told AM on Wednesday there is an "imbalance" between the money going to communities and the Government and consultants. 

"If society is supposed to work, then we need funding for it. We are all charitable organisations, we all have day jobs, while the Government has a lot of full-time workers and they come to us for consultation and engagement," he told AM co-host Melissa Chan-Green. 

These organisations are the ones on the front line feeling the hate and need a significant increase in funding, Razzaq said.  

"We don't have the resources, we don't have the time. The key thing is these civil society organisations, they are at the forefront, they are the ones who are feeling the pain of the hate," he told AM. 

"They're the ones who people come to from their communities. I'm not just talking about the Muslim community, I'm talking about the ethnic and minority communities. So we are seeing that imbalance of budget."

Razzaq said they're "disappointed" in the Government as they have failed to deliver on promise after promise with hate speech laws. 

"First, there was the  Royal Commission recommendation and then the Prime Minister at that time promised we will do this and had the mandate," he said.

"Then it went to the first phase where the Government went to consultation, where the consultation was really mucked up in that sense because the Royal Commission said, 'point out to the public that there's a direct link between hate speech and hate crime.'" 

Razzaq said Wednesday is an "important day" for his community and they are focusing on the victims of the Auckland flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle.

"March 15 was a time when the whole of New Zealand showed warmth to our community, it was a sincere warmth and that's the New Zealand we want to cherish," he said. 

Watch the full interview with Abdur Razzaq in the video above.