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Historical abuse of Māori in care

Historical abuse of Māori in care: Iwi Board Chairs urged to support Royal Commission to find Māori solutions

4 February 2020

Abuse in Care Inquiry Chair Coral Shaw has urged Iwi Board Chair’s to assist the Royal Commission to reach Māori survivors and find Māori solutions.

At the Iwi Board Chairs Forum in Waitangi today Shaw said that “we know there is a pipeline – from state care, into the justice system and on to prison – where Māori continue to be over represented.”

“Of the Māori survivors of abuse in care we have spoken with so far, we hear of hideous abuse and neglect, a loss of identification and personal connections to their iwi and hapu.”

Māori are 15-16% of the New Zealand population and yet, at any given time, have made up more than 60% of children in care.

“This is the context this Inquiry is working in” Shaw said. “If we are to stop the abuse and neglect of our Māori babies and young people in care, we have to find Māori solutions. The Commission cannot and should not do that on its own.”

Through its Treaty Engagement programme, the Abuse in Care Inquiry is engaging, consulting and partnering with a wide range of Māori stakeholders.

“We must fully understand the specific burden for Māori who have been in care, including the impacts on their whānau through the generations.

“This is the only way our recommendations to the Governor General will be meaningful and hard to ignore,” said Shaw.

About the Abuse in Care Inquiry

The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry is looking into what happened to children, young people and vulnerable adults in state care and in the care of faith-based institutions between the years 1950-99.

Through hearing from survivors, evidence and research, it will make recommendations to the Governor General on how New Zealand can better care for children, young people and vulnerable adults.

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