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


Historic Claims Process is Unfair, Flawed And Underfunded

Historic Claims Process is Unfair, Flawed And Underfunded

Cooper Legal, a law firm representing over 600 people abused as children in Social Welfare and CYFS care, is dismayed at Minister Tolley’s unexpected announcement of a “fast track” system to deal with historic abuse claims. The firm’s principal, Sonja Cooper, says the announcement confirms that the Ministry will implement a deeply flawed and underfunded process.

“We have been discussing the Ministry’s proposed process for nearly a year, because we recognise that there needs to be a system to resolve these claims. However, we identified significant issues with the Ministry’s proposal. The Ministry agreed that the process was incomplete and underfunded, but it has chosen to impose it anyway. It will infringe the basic rights of hundreds of people”, says Ms Cooper.

“The process announced by the Minister is deeply flawed”, Ms Cooper says. “It puts victims of abuse into six categories, each with a limited amount of compensation. There is no compensation for social work failures, which is often a major part of the claims. There is no compensation for claims for breaches of the Bill of Rights Act, which covers those people who were in Social Welfare care after 1990. The process will strip victims of their entitlement to be adequately compensated for the most serious breaches of their rights”.

Ms Cooper says that the process will suit some of the firm’s clients, and where that is the case the firm will recommend they ‘opt-in’ to the process. However, the process will be selling most victims short, unless the Ministry addresses the fundamental problems with it.

“The Ministry accepted that the process was underfunded. The ‘fiscal envelope’ available means there is not enough money to address all of the claims in the way the Ministry represents. Each claimant will receive less and less over time as the amount of available funding runs out.”

Ms Cooper says the way the Ministry proposes to investigate claims under the fast-track system means many victims will get little to no compensation at all. “The Ministry relies on a person’s records to indicate whether a person was physically or sexually abused in care, but records rarely record abuse as it was either not discovered, or when it was, it was dealt with quietly and not recorded”, says Ms Cooper. “This allows the Ministry to decline a large number of claims”.

“The Ministry proposes to conduct a cursory examination of its own actions, based on records written by its staff members, to establish its own liability. The likelihood of a fair settlement from that process is very, very low”, says Ms Cooper.


© 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