DPMC is leading work to develop a new government-funded National Centre of Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, provisionally called He Whenua Taurikura.
The National Centre of Excellence is in response to recommendation 14 of the Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain to “establish a programme to fund independent New Zealand-specific research on the causes of, and measures to prevent, violent extremism and terrorism”.
It is envisaged that the Centre of Excellence will be a “hybrid” model run by a Director and Programme Manager from New Zealand-based university or research institute in collaboration with other universities and organisations.
A Governance Board will oversee the work of the Centre. The Board will be comprised of tangata whenua, researchers, civil society representatives, government representatives, and the Centre Director.
The National Centre of Excellence will bring together research organisations and institutes, civil society organisations, and government to research preventing and countering violent extremism, with a focus on understanding diversity and promoting social cohesion.
The work of the Centre of Excellence will inform public discussion on preventing and countering violent extremism and guide the work of policy agencies across government.
Noting the Governance Board, when in place, will confirm these draft key objectives and deliverables of the Centre:
- Developing and maintaining a diverse and strong expertise base working on preventing and countering violent extremism that:
- is based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi as its foundation
- has Te Ao Māori approaches, human rights and tikanga at its heart
- is appropriate to the New Zealand context.
- Driving, supporting and incentivising New Zealand-specific research on the causes of, and measures to prevent, violent extremism and terrorism.
- Delivering policy-relevant information to help guide the work of government agencies and others, including by enabling non-government approaches.
- Helping support a better-informed public and strong partnerships between researchers, civil society, and government.
- Supporting tangata whenua and tangata tiriti partnership and participatory approaches to researching policy solutions to terrorism and violent extremism.
- Support and promote New Zealand-specific research on the causes of, and measures to prevent, terrorism and violent extremism.
- Provide platforms and create opportunities to support public dialogue and encourage discussion and informed debate of the evolving risk of violent extremism, including how social cohesion, social inclusion and diversity contribute to a strong society with resilience to violent extremism and acts of terrorism.
- Serve as a network hub to connect New Zealand government practitioners, civil society and researchers focused on preventing and countering violent extremism.
- Facilitate the delivery of policy-relevant products and inputs to guide the work of government agencies and non-government organisations involved in preventing and countering violent extremism.
- Establish and maintain relationships with regional and international organisations and centres to help inform New Zealand research and policy development, and to share New Zealand approaches with partners overseas.
- Establish, lead and chair the Advisory Group on Counter-Terrorism to provide advice to government.
- Lead the organisation of the He Whenua Taurikura annual hui on countering terrorism and violent extremism.
- Establishing a master’s scholarship programme to incentivise continued research excellence in this field of study. Applications for this will be open from October 2021.
- Appointing the inaugural Director of the Centre.
- Establishing the Centre’s governance board.
For more information on the Centre of Excellence please contact firstname.lastname@example.org