Questions from Survivors

These are questions received directly from survivors and the answers are shared for everyone.

We anticipate conducting up to 20 investigations during the Inquiry although not simultaneously. Each investigation is effectively an Inquiry in its own right, although we understand where survivor experiences intersect and aim to reflect this across all investigations. We are currently running eight concurrent investigations, the details of which are published on our website.

Yes, the Royal Commission is following the same approach as the Australian inquiry.  In the State Redress hearing we are requiring representatives from the relevant state agencies to appear for questioning and in one case we have insisted on one particular state witness attending to answer the Commission’s questions. We will continue with this approach with faith-based institutions to ensure the right people can be called to account.

In short, no. Lawyers provided by the Inquiry are not able to help you with a civil claim or a criminal case.

Oranga Tamariki has a complaints process (and online form) on their website:

If you prefer not to use the online form, you can phone 0508 326 459

If you are worried about the safety and wellbeing of a child or young person, please use the phone number above or email 

If after talking to Oranga Tamariki you feel your concern is still unresolved, staff will talk to you about what else can be done.

For survivors

The Royal Commission does not pay compensation. We will make recommendations to the Governor General about what compensation may look like in the future and we encourage you to come forward and share your story.


Further information about historical abuse claims can be found on the Ministry of Social Development’s website


Section 14 of the Inquiries Act 2013 states that in making a decision as to the procedure of an inquiry, or in making a finding that is adverse to any person, the inquiry must comply with the principles of natural justice. 

The principle of natural justice ensures that people subject to criticism or adverse findings have a proper opportunity to respond to ensure that the Inquiry’s reports are fair and accurate.

If a proposed finding may adversely affect the interests of any person, the Inquiry must be satisfied that the person is aware of the matters on which the proposed finding is based andhas had an opportunity, at any time in the course of the Inquiry, to respond on those matters.

The Inquiry will then consider responses in light of further information provided and finalise its report.  

Private sessions

Firstly our contact centre staff will determine where you live and what is most convenient for you.  Our commissioners travel all over the country to listen to survivors. When they are near to where you live we may contact you to arrange a suitable time for your session. Once it is confirmed we will send you an information pack with the time, date and venue of your private session.  We can also help arrange transport if needed.

Yes. You can ask for support at any stage of your engagement with us.  We can provide support before, during and after a private session or any other time you engage with us. We will work with you to put together support and counselling that meets your needs and values. Support is provided by registered mental health professionals or approved providers. Speak to our staff about your needs. 

Survivor compensation

The Royal Commission cannot provide compensation for historical abuse or neglect, and it cannot receive or decide on claims for compensation or other forms of redress.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care is looking into what happened to children, young people and vulnerable adults in care and why. We are an inquiry that is independent of the Government and faith-based institutions, and we are not funded to make payments of compensation.

Under our Terms of Reference, we are required to identify, examine, and report on the abuse of children, young persons and vulnerable adults in State and faith-based care. When we report, we will make recommendations about how New Zealand can better care for children, young persons and vulnerable adults. It is not stated as part of our terms of reference that we can receive claims for compensation or pay compensation.

Several government agencies and faith-based institutions do accept and decide claims for compensation. There are contact details for these agencies here.