Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


New Zealand Historic Claims Stagnating

Justice Goddard Appointed to UK Abuse Inquiry – But New Zealand Historic Claims Stagnating

Cooper Legal, a law firm representing hundreds of people abused as children in Social Welfare care, congratulates Dame Lowell Goddard on her appointment to head the United Kingdom Inquiry into claims of child abuse in State and Church-run institutions.

Dame Goddard has a long history of advising on issues of human rights, including being an expert advisor to the United Nations Subcommittee on Torture. She is eminently qualified to head the Inquiry.

In contrast, Sonja Cooper, principal of Cooper Legal, says that hundreds of claims of abuse of children who were in New Zealand Social Welfare care are stagnating – overpowering Court resources and being subject to settlement processes which are inconsistent, biased and harmful to the wellbeing of the people they are intended to serve. Claims are dealt with by the Historic Claims Team (HCT) which is run by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).

“The HCT does not have the statutory powers of the UK Inquiry”, says Ms Cooper. “It is not independent or impartial, and turns a blind eye to what was, and remains, a system where children were subjected to systemic physical and sexual abuse”.

Ms Cooper says the HCT makes promises to abuse victims that MSD fails to keep – especially promises that their claims will be dealt with quickly. “Despite some clients filing claims nearly a decade ago, and settlement offers being made on their behalf up to three years ago, these people are still waiting for a response from MSD. Our clients are dying or committing suicide in the meantime.”

Ms Cooper says the HCT interviewers also tell abuse victims that they believe the victim’s accounts of physical or sexual abuse – only for MSD to write to the victim later, telling them that their allegations of abuse are not accepted. “It is hard for a victim to accept that one part of Government can apologise for abuse perpetrated on them, and another part of Government deny that it ever happened” says Ms Cooper.

While a few claims are settled with MSD every year, many more claims notified to MSD go unanswered.

“While our most qualified judge heads overseas to head a full-scale inquiry into similar claims, New Zealand abuse victims face years of waiting for acknowledgment, apology and compensation from MSD, which irreparably harmed them while they were in its care” Ms Cooper says.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Cancel Culture And The ‘hate Speech’ Laws

If there really is anyone out there who feels genuinely panicked about what ‘cancel culture' is doing to our precious freedoms, then maybe they should just take a deep breath, look hard at who has allegedly been ‘ cancelled’ and see if they can detect any trace of a lasting “cancellation“ effect. Chances are, the alleged cancellees will be doing just fine. By and large, they will be people who do not lack for a public platform – never have, never will – and the downstream effects of being “ cancelled” will almost invariably be trending towards zero... More>>


Government: To Rev Up Reductions In Transport Emissions

The Government is calling for feedback on a range of potential policies to eliminate emissions in the transport sector. Transport Minister Michael Wood today released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to ... More>>

KiwiSaver: Default Provider Scheme Improvements Slash Fees, Boosts Savings

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders will be significantly better off in retirement following changes to the default KiwiSaver scheme, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said today. More>>


Government: Hundreds Of New Electric Cars For State Sector

Total of 422 new electric vehicles and charging infrastructure across the state sector $5.1 million for the Department of Conservation to buy 148 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure $1.1 million to help Kāinga Ora buy 40 electric ... More>>

Child Poverty: Reports Highlight Need For Ongoing Action

The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, ... More>>


PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>





InfoPages News Channels