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 Rei, 47, is Māori (Ngāti Toa Rangatira). He was in care in the Rosendale Family Home in New Plymouth, Hamilton Boys’ Home and Kohitere, from the age of 13 between December 1986 and April 1990. He will give evidence of neglect in the Family Home, the culture of extreme violence from staff and other children at Melville and Kohitere, extensive periods in solitary confinement as punishment, and the lack of education available while he was in State care. Mr Rei will give evidence of the impacts of abuse, including joining a gang at the age of 16, criminal offending, and a diagnosis of PTSD and a Generalised Anxiety Disorder.
Mr Meadows is a 55 year old Pākeha man who is gay. He was placed in Ōwairaka in 1980 at the age of 14. He will give evidence of suffering extensive sexual abuse at Ōwairaka, and being placed in solitary confinement. He self-harmed in an attempt to be removed from Ōwairaka. He was subsequently placed in a Family Home in Henderson, and placed into foster care with a known and convicted serial sex offender Nigel Hibberd, who raped him a number of times, and was convicted of this offending in 2000. Post-care, Mr Meadows spent a lot of time in psychiatric institutions for borderline personality disorder and suicide attempts. He has since gained degrees in social work and nursing and worked in both of these professions.
Ms T is a 70-year-old Māori woman. She was physically and sexually abused by her father from a young age. At age 13 she was placed in care after her complaint to a Social Welfare officer was not believed. Ms T was placed in family homes, Miramar Girls’ Home and Christchurch Girls’ Home, where she experienced psychological and physical abuse. Social Welfare allowed her father access to her while in care, and he continued to sexually abuse her. Ms T will give evidence of the ongoing impacts of abuse in care, including PTSD symptoms.
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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.