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Royal Commission

Abuse in Care

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care is looking into what happened to children, young people and vulnerable adults in State and faith-based care between 1950 and 1999.

  •         It is a response to the many people and organisations who have called for such an inquiry over many years.
  •         It is guided by Terms of Reference that were finalised after engagement with more than 400 groups/individuals concerned with what the Commission should focus on.
  •         The inquiry will concentrate its investigation on:
    •    Why people were taken into care;
    •    What abuse happened and why;
    •    The effects of the abuse.
  •         Māori, Pasefika and disabled people will receive particular attention because of their disproportionate representation in State and faith-based care.
  •         Commissioners are responsible for:
    •    Listening to survivors share their experience in private sessions;
    •    Holding public hearings;
    •    Conducting research and engaging with communities;
    •    Making recommendations to the Government in 2023 on how New Zealand can better care for children, young people, and vulnerable adults.

The Anglican Church is not only supporting this Commission but, along with survivor groups and others, it successfully advocated for an extension of the Terms of Reference to include faith-based care. In 2018 our Primates wrote directly to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arguing for the extension so that “victims, survivors and the public at large would have greater confidence in the processes and outcomes of the Royal Commission’s Inquiry”.

The Anglican Church is working directly with the Royal Commission and actively encouraging all its partners to fully cooperate with the designated process. Late last year Archbishop Philip was interviewed by Newshub (from 5 minutes in) where he reflected on a “dark chapter in New Zealand’s history” and confirmed the churches would welcome the scrutiny and independence the Commissioners would bring. He added that it was “inconceivable” to think that there has not been some abuse in faith-based institutions and reiterated that the stories of the survivors were absolutely critical. Ultimately, we hope to contribute to a process of accountability, closure, and healing that embraces the core Gospel message that “the truth shall set you free.”

If you are a survivor of abuse in State or faith-based care we urge you to share your story. The Royal Commission of Inquiry is available on 0800 222 727 weekdays 10am to 4pm. For more information about the Royal Commission see the national website Abuse in Care.

Story Published: 14th of November - 2019

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