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Government Acknowledges Release Of Royal Commission Interim Report

An interim report by the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care, released today, is a deeply moving record of the State’s past failings in looking after citizens in its care, Minister for the Public Service Chris Hipkins says.

“I welcome this interim report, and I acknowledge the courage and determination of survivors who relived their painful experiences with the Royal Commission,” Chris Hipkins said.

“The report is a difficult read, and shows the enormity of abuse and trauma that has occurred. The hurt and anguish that has been caused in New Zealand’s history is inexcusable.”

This report is based on the accounts provided up to the conclusion of the State redress hearing on 3 November, of people abused in State care that were given at private and public hearings. It has no specific recommendations but what the Royal Commission has learned will ultimately inform its recommendations to Government in a final report.

“All children in the care of the state should be safe from harm, but as the testimony sets out all too often the opposite was true. We need to acknowledge these past wrongs and learn from them.”

Chris Hipkins said the Royal Commission’s work would inform further improvements to today’s care-and-redress systems.

“The Royal Commission’s focus is on people in State and faith-based care between 1950 and 1999. As the Commission moves into the next stage of its work, it’s important to recognise the many changes to State care since 2000 – including, for example, the much-improved vetting, training and oversight of staff and caregivers.

“The Government will also continue work already underway on other problem areas raised by survivors, such as possible options for a centralised claims process and considering reforms to how the Limitation Act is used.

“Survivors have told us they find it difficult to navigate the different redress processes operated by State agencies, and we are exploring whether a single entry-point is possible for historic claims.

“The Limitation Act, which sets time limits on recognising civil claims against the State, has been used to deny claims in Court, and we are already looking into how the Act might be applied in future for historic abuse claims.

“The redress principles outlined by the Royal Commission in this report will help us progress these actions and the Government will continue to listen and learn from the experience of survivors,” Chris Hipkins said.

The Royal Commission’s interim report is available here.

If you are needing support or someone to talk to you can contact the Royal Commission:

Call on 0800 222 727 between 8.30am and 6pm weekdays

Call from Australia on 1800 875 745

Email at contact@abuseincare.org.nz

Write to PO Box 10071, The Terrace, Wellington 6143

Visit www.abuseincare.org.nz

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