The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry State Residential homes public hearing resumes today in Auckland.
Commissioners will hear from three witnesses. Witness evidence summaries are outlined below.
The hearing is being live-streamed here.
The hearing is open to media. Only opening and closing statements can be filmed but witness footage is available.
Hearing location: Level 2, 414 Khyber Pass Road, Newmarket, Auckland 1023. Entrance from Kingdon st.
Mr U is aged 39 is Māori. He will give evidence of being in Weymouth in 1995 and Moerangi Treks for three months in 1995, when he was aged 14. He experienced extensive periods in solitary confinement at Weymouth, and was strip-searched by staff. At Moerangi Treks he experienced extreme violence inflicted by other boys at the instigation of staff, sexual abuse by the wife of the manager, and was threatened by a staff member at gunpoint on one occasion. He was noot given medical attention despite serious harm, including concussion. His complaints about Moerangi were investigated by the Police and CYFS in 1995, but the programme was permitted to continue for a further three years. Mr U has been in and out of prison since leaving care, has struggled with drug addiction, and has been diagnosed with PTSD.
Mr Hurring is 60 years old and is of Pākeha, Māori (Ngāi Tahu) and Aboriginal descent. Mr Hurring experienced sexual, physical and psychological abuse in Lookout Point Boys’ Home, Kohitere Training Centre. He wrote a letter of complaint to the Director-General of Social Welfare that was not responded to. Subsequent to being in care, he used drugs and alcohol, and was sentenced to prison. He later obtained employment and had a family. Mr Hurring was eventually diagnosed with PTSD by a forensic psychologist in 2004. He will give evidence of the impacts of abuse, and the redress process. He is now terminally ill. His evidence is pre-recorded.
Mr Wiffin is a 61-year-old Pākehā man has given oral evidence at both the contextual and redress hearings. He was taken into care when he was 10 following the death of his father and was placed in Epuni Boys’ Home and family homes. In his previous evidence he described being sexually abused by a staff member, Alan Moncrief-Wright, over a nine month period when he was 11. He will give additional evidence of being driven in a van with other boys by Mr Moncrief-Wright to a nearby location where he subsequently became aware boys were selected from the van to be sexually abused. He will also produce records of a restorative justice process he undertook after Mr Moncrief-Wright was convicted of sexual offending against Mr Wiffin and others in 2011. During this process Mr Moncrief-Wright made admissions in relation to the violent and abusive culture at Epuni, and discussed inadequacies in the management of the institution and staff that allowed this culture to occur. Mr Wiffin will also speak to current concerns about the management of Epuni.
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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.