The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry’s Interim Report Tāwharautia: Pūrongo o te Wā(external link) was released by the Minister of Public Service today.

Tāwharautia: Pūrongo o te Wā summarises the Inquiry’s work to date. Key findings about abuse in care between 1950-2019 outlined in the report include:

  • Up to 655,000 children, young people and vulnerable adults were in State and faith-based care during 1950-2019 and up to 250,000 children, young people and vulnerable adults were abused.
  • A wide range of abuse and physical, emotional, psychological, medical, educational, spiritual and cultural neglect has occurred.
  • Common factors in abuse cases include a lack of training and vetting and poor complaints and response processes and at the worst further abuse, harassment or punishment for reporting abuse.
  • Discrimination and racism played a role from authorities and the public in both being taken into care and the treatment received in care.
  • Abuse in care is estimated to cost an individual $857,000 over the course of their lifetime; the cost to society for abuse in care between 1950-2019 is up to $217 billion.
  • Redress processes have not worked for many survivors; instead tending to focus on the financial implications to the State rather than providing wellbeing and compensation to survivors. This has understandably created angst and trauma for some survivors.

Inquiry Chair Coral Shaw said that Tāwharautia: Pūrongo o te Wā is important part of its work to date but is by no means the end of what it will find out.

“We will continue to uncover much more about the nature and extent of abuse in care over the course of this Inquiry which will inform our final recommendations to the Governor-General.

“We are indebted to the survivors of abuse in care who have come forward to share their experiences – some of whom have now passed on. Without them, there would not be an Interim Report,” Shaw said.

The Abuse in Care Inquiry’s Interim Report and associated reports can be found here(external link).

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Media enquiries: 027 298 2094; media@abuseincare.org.nz

About the Abuse in Care Inquiry

The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry is investigating the abuse and neglect that happened to children, young people and vulnerable adults in care from 1950 and 1999. It will also consider experiences of abuse or neglect before outside these dates. After completing its investigations, 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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