National terrorism threat level reduced to ‘medium’

Immediately after the Christchurch mosque massacres, the national terrorism threat level was raised from low to high. This seemed to be a bit late, after the act, but I presume there were fears of it triggering other attacks, either planned, copycat or some sort of reprisal attack.

Nothing happened that suggested the risk was any worse than it had been – there had always been a small risk of someone doing something terrible. It had already happened in Aramoana (I drive through there a bit and still think about what happened there), but that wasn’t terrorism, it didn’t seem particularly planned or deliberate but it was probably a terrible crime waiting to happen, otherwise the mass murder wouldn’t have been armed as he was.

Yesterday, just over a month after the Christchurch attacks, the threat level has been reduced to ‘medium’. I think that’s more like medium level worries rather than actual chances of something else bad like that happening again.  But the authorities have to be careful to reduce the chances of a terrorist or terrible act catching them unaware.

The reality is that the chances of a repeat of something like what happened in Christchurch are low. There are very few people in out population who would even consider doing something as bad as that.

We are at far greater risk of violent death on our roads. There is on average one road death per day in New Zealand, and may more injuries.

We have a far bigger problem with death by suicide than terrorism or even murder. We should be more concerned about the reasons and risks for that.

Of course there are risks that a terrorist could strike here again, and eventually it’s likely, but it is likely to be years if not decades before this sort of thing happens again here. We are best to carry on with our normal lives without being paranoid or fearful.

Government media release:


National terrorism threat level moves to medium

New Zealand’s National Terrorism Threat Level has moved from high to medium following review by the Combined Threat Assessment Group (CTAG) Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.

CTAG is an independent multi-agency group with the primary task of continually assessing New Zealand’s threat environment. Their assessment undergoes rigorous peer review before a final decision is made to maintain or change the threat level. 

Medium is defined as a terrorist attack is assessed as feasible and could well occurThe new level remains higher than it was before the 15 March terrorist attack when the threat level was low. 

“New Zealanders’ safety is the highest priority for the Government. Following review and peer review of the current threat environment CTAG have concluded this change accurately reflects our current status,” Jacinda Ardern said.  

“While the threat level has been revised to medium, and there is no current specific threat agencies are responding to, people will continue to notice a clear Police presence at public events, including on ANZAC Day.  

“Government organisations, including Police, are required to assess their own security settings and ensure they are appropriate when there’s a change to the National Terrorism Threat Level and they will make operational decisions accordingly.  

“Behind the scene there remains an extensive cross-agency response to counter any potential threats. A number of agencies, including the Police and NZSIS, continue to work hard to understand, mitigate and manage threats and I am receiving regular briefings on that work.  

“New Zealanders should go about their daily lives as normal, but remain vigilant. If you see something suspicious or behaviour that concerns you, then speak up and call the Police. 

“I’m very heartened that people have been doing this since the Christchurch attack, while also continuing to show their support and solidarity with the Muslim community across the country.” 

The following agencies contribute to CTAG:

  • New Zealand Security Intelligence Service
  • Government Communications Security Bureau
  • New Zealand Defence Force
  • Civil Aviation Authority/Aviation Security Service
  • New Zealand Police
  • Department of Corrections
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

How CTAG sets NZ’s National Terrorism Threat Level:

  • The national terrorism threat level is under continual review.
  • CTAG uses a wide range of intelligence and information to analyse the intent and capability of potential terrorist actors
  • The result is a probabilistic statement of likelihood of a terrorist attack, using New Zealand’s national threat level framework
  • Similar groups in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom are responsible for setting their respective national terrorism threat levels; their threat language and frameworks differ.
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10 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  18th April 2019

    Meaningless measures…one reading’ is…’feasible’!

    Reply
  2. Corky

     /  18th April 2019

    I don’t believe New Zealand has too much to worry about in the interim. I think another Western nation will be chosen for a revenge act. My GUESS is that country will be Australia.
    Maybe Canada.To think there will be no consequences from the Christchurch massacre is to live in lala land.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  18th April 2019

      I think that’s a reasonable view. I’m sure security agencies around the world have already identified the potential for a reprisal terrorist attack to be carried out against “white unbelievers” like Tarrant somewhere in the world including in any countries perceived to have some who are relatively easy & unsuspecting targets.

      The very public, very internationally-publicised, response of overwhelming support from horrified New Zealanders – including the concert last night – probably does mitigate the retaliatory threat against New Zealanders to a fairly high degree.

      Australia has had some ugly incidents involving radical Imams & confrontations between Muslims & Muslim-hating groups, and has a larger Muslim population. AlJazeera runs a doco on the Cronulla riots, which although I think was sparked by anti-Lebanese sentiments could be seen as anti-Muslim, it being incorrectly assumed by some they were Muslims.

      Tarrant came from there. I would consider it a high risk target for any reprisal attack that might occur. That disgusting killer came here to murder as many Muslims as possible because it was easy to get the arsenal & they were easy, helpless targets.

      But there’s no underswell of animosity towards them in NZ, only a relatively small number of people who persistently bang on about what a threat they are, have been darkly predicting an ISIS-inspired style terror attack on unsuspecting “whiteys” sooner or later (boy did they ever get that one wrong) & talking about how they will get special treatment that takes away other New Zealanders’ rights to use public swimming pools or whatever whenever they want, &/or how one day they will take over etc (from the more paranoid or utterly-obsessed end of the spectrum).

      And the last thing I want to see is for that to develop or grow from a tiny fringe of haters who need watching, or from people looking to create animosity for their own personal or political reasons or advantage.

      I personally don’t think Canada is at greater risk of a reprisal attack than any other country with “white” unbelievers – including any country with foreigners working there. They may even be easier targets.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  18th April 2019

        A Maori friend in Sydney made sure that his Maori tattoo was always visible and did other things to make himself look Maori as his features and skin colour could have been mistaken for Middle Eastern.

        The idea that because a few swimming pools make one pool women only for a few hours a week Kiwis are losing some basic rights is ludicrous. How about the mother and small children times? Many of the ‘demands’ (that emotive word) supposedly made by Muslims are either requests or fabrications, like the ‘demand’ made by Jews and Muslims to have Christmas decorations banned somewhere in the UK. This prompted the two federations to say that they were tired of being used by people who were too gutless to speak for themselves. They put it more diplomatically than that, of course.

        Reply
      • harryk

         /  18th April 2019

        Below I’ve quoted from an IS propaganda statement in response to Christchurch. It is a clear explanation of strategic rationale –

        ‘Deterring Crusader armies from harming Muslims in Muslims’ lands is among the goals of the mujahidin’s operations in the crusader countries. Likewise forcing their governments to deter criminals among their citizens from harming Muslims who live there, attacking their mosques or destroying their properties is among these goals. Achieving that will will force them to realize that once they open the door to more similar aggressions, more individual Muslims will feel like they have to fulfill their duty toward their religion, themselves and their brethren.’

        For different motives, Islamic militants, China and Russia all wish to split the US alliance and NZ is seen as a potential weak link.

        Reply
  3. NOEL

     /  18th April 2019

    Great, now the Police an step back for a while and get some well earned R and R.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  18th April 2019

      I was impressed enough when it was supposedly 36 minutes between the first shots and the arrest …but 19 minutes is extraordinary. Is this a record ?

      Reply
  4. Gerrit

     /  18th April 2019

    The terrorists have won when first the Anzac parades were cancelled and now the university capping parades.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12223701

    Next Santa parades as well?

    Bloody heck, even the Boston marathon was run in 2014 after the 2013 terrorist attacks. Are we taken these treats just a teeny bit to far? Are we softer and more easily scarred than the Yanks?

    Reply
  1. National terrorism threat level reduced to ‘medium’ — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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