Royal Commission of Inquiry announced to investigate abuse in state care

by RNZ / 01 February, 2018
RelatedArticlesModule - state abuse

Thousands petitioned the government to set up an inquiry into abuse in state care and delivered it to Parliament last July. Photo / Getty Images

Details of the Royal Commission of Inquiry have been released today by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

A former governor-general will chair a Royal Commission of Inquiry into historical abuse in state care, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.

Ms Ardern and Minister for Children Tracey Martin are giving details of the inquiry which is formally established today.

"This is a chance to confront our history and make sure we don't make the same mistakes again. It is a significant step towards acknowledging and learning from the experiences of those who have been abused in state care," said Ms Ardern.

The Royal Commission will cover circumstances where the state directly ran institutions such as child welfare institutions, borstals or psychiatric hospitals, and where the government contracted services out to other institutions. Groups of survivors have said they want an inquiry to cover places like religious institutions and sports clubs.

Following a consultation period, the Cabinet will make a final decision on the terms of reference, the additional inquiry members and its final budget.

The Royal Commission will be chaired by former Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand and will start considering evidence once the terms of reference are finalised and published.

Sir Anand has the "experience, mana and integrity" for the role, the Prime Minister said. The inquiry is expected to take three years and the hope is to have a report back by the end of this parliamentary term, she said.

"At any given time there are 5000 children in state care and to all intents and purposes we are the parent," Ms Ardern said. If there was an abuse of those children the government had to take responsibility no matter where it happened.

Minister for Children Tracy Martin said the draft terms of reference approved by Cabinet task the Royal Commission with looking into what abuse happened in state care, why it happened and what the impacts were, particularly for Māori. They also ask the Commission to identify lessons that can be learned from this abuse today.

"We have set a wide scope. The time period covered is the 50 years from 1950 to the end of 1999 and, unlike some similar overseas inquiries, the Royal Commission will take a broad view of abuse and consider physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect

A Royal Commission has the same legal powers as other public inquiries but is generally reserved for the most serious issues of public importance.

 

This article was originally published by RNZ.

Latest

If I were a rich man: A grammarian on the nettlesome subjunctive
98551 2018-11-19 00:00:00Z Diversions

If I were a rich man: A grammarian on the nettleso…

by Ray Prebble

Many people find themselves using one or other of these subjunctive forms without really knowing why.

Read more
As China shuts its gates to our plastics and paper, how can NZ stem the tide?
99059 2018-11-19 00:00:00Z Planet

As China shuts its gates to our plastics and paper…

by Veronika Meduna

Unless we get serious about recycling, there’ll be a tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish in the ocean by 2025.

Read more
Heights of contradiction: American and Israeli Jews' complicated relationship
99055 2018-11-18 00:00:00Z World

Heights of contradiction: American and Israeli Jew…

by Todd Pitock

Todd Pitock's travels through Israel reveal the true differences between American and Israeli Jews.

Read more
The Democrat's midterm wins spell the end of Trump's dream run
99105 2018-11-18 00:00:00Z World

The Democrat's midterm wins spell the end of Trump…

by Paul Thomas

Far from being Trump’s near-“complete victory”, the midterms mean opportunities for rigging electoral boundaries have swung back towards the Dems.

Read more
Sally Rooney's Normal People has the makings of a classic
99094 2018-11-18 00:00:00Z Books

Sally Rooney's Normal People has the makings of a …

by Kiran Dass

Normal People is sharply observed portrait of an on-off romance and a book you need to read.

Read more
Why you should avoid 'eating for two' during pregnancy
98747 2018-11-18 00:00:00Z Health

Why you should avoid 'eating for two' during pregn…

by Ruth Nichol

Doubling down on food during pregnancy is out, unless it’s diet quality we’re talking about.

Read more
The long, slow goodbye to Angela Merkel
99173 2018-11-17 00:00:00Z World

The long, slow goodbye to Angela Merkel

by Cathrin Schaer

German Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to leave the job in 2021, but that’s not soon enough for some.

Read more
Silent witness: The forgotten NZ movie star
97576 2018-11-17 00:00:00Z Movies

Silent witness: The forgotten NZ movie star

by Paul Little

One of the earliest and possibly least known NZ movie stars is Eve Balfour, a silent-movie actress, born in Christchurch in 1890.

Read more