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Royal Commission welcomes extension as new evidence emerges

Royal Commission welcomes extension as new evidence emerges

  • 17 Apr 2023
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(Picture caption: The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry has been granted an extension to deliver its final report, that best honours the needs and testimony of survivors.) 

An extension granted for the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry reinforces the importance of the voices of survivors and the work being done to bring them justice.  

Investigating abuse and neglect of children, young people and vulnerable adults within state and faith-based institutions in Aotearoa New Zealand between 1950-1999, the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry was announced in 2018, with commissioners appointed in 2019.

The Government has agreed to a request from the Commission for more time to deliver its final report, which is now due on March 28, 2024.

Minister of Internal Affairs Hon Barbara Edmonds says in the past year, the Commission has received a large amount of evidence that requires detailed analysis, including over 400,000 evidential documents.

“There have also been recent survivor-driven engagements, including with gang members, and legal requirements need to be met to complete complex natural justice processes,” Minister Edmonds says.

“The work of the Royal Commission is immensely important and the Government wants to ensure it delivers a final report that best honours the needs and testimony of survivors,” the Minister adds.

“When the Commission was announced in 2018, we made a commitment that every survivor who wanted to be heard would have to opportunity to do so.  

“This timeframe extension reflects the huge amount of evidence received and the need for every voice to be included.”

Inquiry Chair Coral Shaw says the scale of abuse is beyond what anyone had ever imagined at the start of this inquiry.

While report writing is well underway, more time ensures the final report and recommendations are impactful and meaningful for survivors, she adds.

“They must demand transformational change in the way we nurture and protect tamariki, rangatahi and adults in care.”

The Royal Commission has the widest scope of any similar inquiry around the world. 

“Our final report and recommendations must be robust and credibly meet the terms of reference, as well the expectation of the courageous survivors who shared their care experiences and ongoing impact,” Coral says.   

“Up until registrations closed on March 21, 2023, survivors continued to come forward to be heard.

“We also continue to receive new evidence - we have received 400,000 new evidential documents recently, held 133 days of public hearings, and undertook many survivor engagement hui across the motu.

“We are now focused on analysing this information, testing and refining our findings and recommendations to ensure they will affect meaningful change to prevent abuse in care happening again.”

Many survivors have already passed before they have received puretumu torowhānui – a proper apology, compensation, or acknowledgement of what happened to them, she adds.

“We encourage the Government and Faith-based institutions to continue progressing the recommendations made in our report He Purapura Ora, he Māra Tipu - From Redress to Puretumu Torowhānui.”

Visit the Abuse in Care website for more information.