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Government spends more on lawyers than compensating victims

Jacinda Ardern
Deputy Leader

MEDIA STATEMENT

7 March 2017

Government spends more on lawyers than compensating victims


Minister Anne Tolley handed a double whammy to victims of historic abuse in state care, defending the spend on a Queen’s Counsel hired by the Government to fight their claims, while also refusing to hold a proper inquiry says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern.

“The QC’s job was to fight claimants tooth and nail and the Government spent more money on lawyers’ fees than compensating individual victims.

“The Government is failing to address what some have gone as far as to describe as the worst human rights breach in our country’s history.

“The Minister for vulnerable children has also denied the abused the right to recover by dismissing any form of an inquiry because she says they just want financial compensation and an apology. That will be a major blow to many, and is just plain wrong.

“Labour supports the Human Rights Commission’s call for an inquiry because potentially hundreds of children suffered mental, physical and sexual abuse while in state care and we must do everything we can to ensure we don't repeat those mistakes.

“Already, Labour Leader Andrew Little has said the least the Government can do is commission an independent inquiry and make its recommendations binding.

“The state was supposed to be taking care of 100,000 children who were institutionalised between the 1970s and the 1980s.

“Minister Tolley must rebuild confidence amongst those who were in care and do the right thing on this one - it's the least we can do,” says Jacinda Ardern.

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