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The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry is postponing its upcoming Māori investigation public hearing due to the recent COVID-19 community outbreak.
The hearing was due to take place at Whare Tupuna Tumutumuwhenua, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Marae from 6 to 17 September 2021.
Royal Commission Chair Coral Shaw said the health, safety and wellbeing of survivors, witnesses, whānau, attendees and staff are the most important factors in the decision.
“The uncertainty around the COVID-19 Delta variant and the current Alert Level restrictions mean postponing the hearing is the best and safest option,” said Judge Shaw.
“While it is too early for us to provide a new hearing date, we give our commitment it will be held as soon as the situation allows. The voices and experiences of Māori survivors of abuse in care are critical to the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s work.”
Judge Shaw said planning for the Māori hearing was well advanced before the alert level restrictions were implemented. This planning will continue throughout the lockdown period so that a hearing can be held as soon as possible after the restrictions are lifted.
She urged survivors that have any questions about the postponement to reach out to the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry.
The Royal Commission’s contact centre remains open throughout the lockdown, on weekdays from 8am to 6pm. Support kaimahi will be able to help with any queries. They can be reached on 0800 222 727 or email@example.com.
More information about the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry can be found at www.abuseincare.org.nz(external link).
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. The inquiry is due to deliver its final report in June 2023.