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What is the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care?
The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care was established on 12 November 2018 to investigate the historical abuse of people in State care and in the care of faith-based institutions. It was set up in response to calls from survivors and supporters for an independent inquiry into abuse in State care. The Government extended the Inquiry to include faith-based organisations. The Inquiry, chaired by Sir Anand Satyanand, is independent from the Government. The Royal Commission will report back to the Government on its progress in 2020 and present its findings and recommendations in early 2023.
What will the Inquiry cover?
The Inquiry will investigate the abuse of children, young people and vulnerable adults in the care of the State and/or faith-based institutions in New Zealand between 1950 and 1999. The Inquiry may also look at cases of abuse and neglect that occurred outside of those years, including people who are in care now. We will look at why people were taken into care, what happened to them and why it happened. We will consider the impacts on the abused person and their whānau and on future generations. We will look at what needs to change to prevent abuse occurring in the future.
How will the Inquiry work?
The Inquiry is asking people to share their experiences with us. This can be done in many ways. Private sessions, where survivors can tell Commissioners what happened to them, have already started. There will be many public hearings during the Inquiry; the first one will begin on October 29. We will also be setting up roundtable meetings, hui and conducting research. The Inquiry has the power to obtain documents and records and to require people and institutions, including government agencies, to give us information.
Who is included in the Inquiry?
We want to hear from anyone who was abused in the care of State or faith-based organisations between 1950 and 1999. This includes anyone who was in a children’s home, fostered or adopted out, in a youth justice facility, in psychiatric care, in any disability care or facility, at a health camp and at any school or early childhood centre. Survivors of abuse in police cells, court cells or police custody, or in transport between different care facilities are included in this Inquiry. We also want to hear from people who suffered abuse while in the care of a church or religious group of any religion or faith.
Working in partnership
The Royal Commission of Inquiry recognises Te Tiriti o Waitangi and is committed to working in partnership with Māori. Our focus is on survivors and we will take a whānau-centred view. We are guided by a set of principles; the first principle is to do no harm. There are many different communities, with many differing needs, that we will hear from during this Inquiry. Our aim is to make sure that all survivors from all communities we engage with feel safe and supported.
Get in touch
Register on our website www.abuseincare.org.nz; call us on 0800 222 727 (between 10am and 4pm), email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us at PO Box 10071,The Terrace, Wellington 6011. Follow us on Facebook @abuseincareRCNZ. Visit our website to find out other ways you can be involved in the Inquiry