**Warning** This livestream includes graphic descriptions of abuse. Well-being support is available via phone, text or email.  Link to Witness summaries.  Link to FAQs.

If you'd like to watch previous sessions, click the 'event posts' button in the top right-hand corner of the video player above.

Information and schedule below are subject to change.

 

Day 1

 Monday 13 June

09.30am

Mihimihi

 

Welcome from Chair, Coral Shaw

10.00 am

Opening Statements

10.45 am

Hemi McCallum (Statement read by Hemi’s niece Tania Tonga and his sister, Dannette Carran, on his behalf).

11.30 am

Break

11.45 am

Mr EH

1.00 pm

Kai a te rānui – Lunch

2.15 pm

Ms Elison Mae

3.30 pm

Break

3.45 pm

Dr Sarah Calvert

4.45 pm

Closing karakia and waiata

5.00 pm

End of day

Day 2

 Tuesday 14 June

9.30 am

Opening karakia and waiata

9.45 am

Dr Sarah Calvert (Continued from Monday)

10.30 am

Break

10.45 am

Mr EC

11.30 am

Break

11.45 am

Mr EC (Continued)

12.00 noon

Kath Coster

1.00 pm

Kai a te rānui – Lunch

2.15 pm

Kath Coster (Continued)

2.45 pm

Dr Tania Cargo

3.30 pm

Break

3.45 pm

Dr Alayne Mikahere-Hall

4.45 pm

Closing karakia and waiata

5.00 pm

End of day

Day 3

 Wednesday 15 June

9.30 am

Opening karakia and waiata

9.45 am

Ms ED

10.30 am

Break

10.45 am

Ms ED (Continued)

11.30 am

Break

11.45 am

Stephen Shaw

1.00 pm

Kai a te rānui

2.15 pm

Associate Professor Emily Keddell & Dr Ian Hyslop

3.30 pm

Break

3.45 pm

Alex Kaspin Closed hearing: To protect the privacy of survivors and witnesses, this part of the hearing is closed to the public and will not be livestreamed.

4.45 pm

Closing karakia and kai

5.00 pm

End of day

Day 4

Thursday 16 June

9.30 am

Opening karakia and waiata

9.45 am

Mrs EJ

10.30 am

Break

10.45 am

Closed hearing: To protect the privacy of survivors and witnesses, this part of the hearing is closed to the public and will not be livestreamed.

Ms EL

Ms EM

2.00 pm

Ms EF

3.00 pm

Erica Dobson and audio by Darryl Brougham (Erica’s late brother and survivor)

3.45 pm

Break

4.00 pm

(No live stream). This documentary clip will not be shown on the livestream due to broadcast restrictions.

4.25 pm

Excerpt from Darryl Brougham’s book, “Through the Eyes of a Foster Child My Childhood in Over 30 New Zealand Homes”, read by Darryl’s widow, Emily Gao, to close.  

4.45 pm

Closing karakia and waiata

5.00 pm

End of day

Day 5

 Friday 17 June

9.30 am

Opening karakia and waiata

9.45 am

Survivor-led panel (with other expert participation)

Dr Tania Cargo, Facilitator

Neta Kerepeti

Dallas Pickering

Kath Coster

Dr Ian Hyslop 

Dr Sarah Calvert

10.45 am

Break

11.00 am

Survivor-led panel continues

12.00 noon

Kai a te rānui – lunch

1.00 pm

Afternoon Panel A

Dr Ian Hyslop, Facilitator

Elison Mae

Frederick Williams

Lady Tureiti Moxon

Dr Moana Eruera

Dr Valerie McGinn

2.15 pm

Break

2.30 pm

 

Afternoon Panel B

Dr Ian Hyslop, Facilitator

Neta Kerepeti

Liua Vatuvei

Denis Smith

Dr Alayne Mikahere-Hall

Dr Teuila Percival

Dr Tania Cargo

4.00 pm

Break

4.15 pm

Closing submissions by Crown Counsel and Counsel Assist

4.45 pm

Karakia and mihi whakawātea

_____

Day 1 – Monday 13 June

Hemi McCallum of Ngāi Tahu and Ngāpuhi descent, was in State care in the 1960s-1970s. Hemi passed away in March 2022. Hemi’s experience of multiple abuse and placements had severe impacts on his life. During his time in foster care, Hemi suffered physical and emotional abuse, and neglect. He was also forced to undertake extreme physical labour at a very young age. Hemi’s sister and niece will speak about his time in State care from age 2 until he was discharged at age 15, and his key recommendations for changes to improve the foster care system.

View evidence

Mr EH is a Pākehā male who will speak about the sexual and physical abuse and neglect he suffered while in foster care, and the life-long impacts of the abuse. Mr EH will discuss the extensive physical labour and farm work he was forced to undertake from a young age as part of his foster care placements and his reflections on leaving care at the age of 19.

View evidence

Ms Elison Mae is of Ngāti Kahungungu ki Wairarapa and Rangitāne descent. Elison suffered emotional, physical, sexual and psychological abuse during the 17 years that she was in State care. Elison later worked as a solicitor for Child, Youth and Family until 2019.  Elison shares her experience of the foster care system alongside her current concerns and recommendations for the future.

Ms Mae will also be one of our panel members in the survivor-led roundtable to discuss the changes that are needed to support children in State care. The outcomes of these discussions will inform the Commission’s recommendations in the Social Welfare report.

View evidence

Dr Sarah Calvert is a renowned Family Court clinical psychologist who specialises in work with children and adolescents. Dr Calvert is experienced in areas of family conflict, sexual assault, treatment of victims and dynamics of sexual and physical assault on children and adults. 

View evidence

_____

Day 2 – Tuesday 14 June

Dr Sarah Calvert (Continued from Monday)

Mr EC is of Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Kurī descent. He suffered from neglect, excessive labour, psychological and physical abuse from his foster carers. Mr EC was separated from his siblings and moved to multiple foster placements and borstal before spending time in prison. Mr EC speaks about his experiences and the impacts that foster care has had on his life and family relationships.

View evidence

Kath Coster is the third generation of her family to have been in State care. She shares experiences of her early family life and multiple foster and family home placements. Ms Coster discusses the impacts that foster care has had on her life including her health and relationships and the significant effect it has had on her cultural identity. Ms Coster shares a number of recommendations for change. 

View evidence

Ms Coster will also be one of our panel members in the survivor-led roundtable to discuss the changes that are needed to support children in State care. The outcomes of these discussions will inform the Commission’s recommendations in the Social Welfare report.

Dr Tania Cargo is a senior Māori clinical psychologist and senior lecturer in psychological medicine. Dr Cargo is also a national trainer for Parent-Child Interaction therapy (PCIT) in Aotearoa New Zealand and is a member of the International Board of PCIT. She has been working in child and adolescent mental health for 18 years and has been specialising in infant mental health for 12 years.

View evidence

Dr Alayne Mikahere-Hall is of Ngāti Whātua, Te Rarawa, Tainui and Pākehā decent.  Dr Mikahere-Hall is a registered psychotherapist, a member of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapist (NZAP) and a founding member of Waka Oranga – National Collective of Māori Psychotherapy Practitioners (NCMPP). Dr Mikahere-Hall has worked across a wide range of community services for over 20 years including Māori Mental Health Child and Adolescent Services and private practice. She also undertakes research and works with whānau, adults, children and adolescents with a number of issues including whānau violence, complex trauma and intergenerational trauma.

View evidence

_____

Day 3 – Wednesday 15 June

Ms ED is a Pākehā woman from the South Island. She will share her experience of suffering physical, sexual and psychological abuse from both a family member and a foster parent throughout her time in foster care, where she had over ten different placements. Ms ED will also share the reactions she experienced when she attempted to report a foster carer’s abuse, and some of her recommendations for improving the foster care system.

View evidence

Stephen Shaw is a Pākehā survivor who entered care at 16 months old. Stephen experienced sexual, physical, and psychological abuse in multiple foster care placements. Stephen will share his journey through State care, and the State’s failings that saw him placed back into the care of his abusive father. Stephen will share the impacts of abuse on both his physical and mental health and looking to the future will share his recommendations to prevent abuse in care.

View evidence

Associate Professor Emily Keddell is an associate professor at the University of Otago. Her research focusses on child welfare inequalities, child protection decision-making, the politics of child protection and the use of algorithmic decision tools in child protection. 

Dr Ian Hyslop is a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland. His professional interests are tied to a concern with the relationship between social work and social justice, locally and globally. Dr Hyslop has worked as a social worker, supervisor, and practice manager in statutory child protection practice in Auckland.  His recent book looks at the critical history of the relationship between child protection and liberal capitalism with an emphasis on the tensions with indigenous models of family life.

View evidence

Alex Kaspin is a non-binary survivor who was taken into State care as a young child and experienced more than 20 placements before being discharged from care at the age of 17. Alex will share their experiences of sexual, psychological and physical abuse while in foster care and the impacts that this abuse has had on them. Within this, Alex will talk about their continued experience with Oranga Tamariki after leaving care and what drove them to choose an open adoption for their own two tamariki.

View evidence

_____

Day 4 – Thursday 16 June

Mrs EJ was taken into State care in 1990s and will give evidence of her experience in a foster home she used to call the ‘House of Horrors’. Her foster caregivers were held in high regard in the community, but behind closed doors Mrs EJ was sexually abused by her foster father and his son. Mrs EJ was exploited as a free laborer on the family farm and suffered both physical and emotional abuse. Mrs EJ will share her attempts as a child to alert social workers and police to her abuse, highlighting a lack of advocacy and support for children and their voices in the care system.  

View evidence

Ms EM will give evidence of her time in foster care, including the abuse and neglect she suffered at several placements. At one home, Ms EM suffered sexual abuse and made complaints to her social worker about it, but this was not responded to adequately. The perpetrator would later be convicted of sexual offences against minors. Ms EM will also share her experiences with the redress process, her interactions with government departments, and recommendations to improve the future care system. 

View evidence

Ms EL is a Pākehā survivor who will give evidence on her experience in foster care, focusing on the sexual abuse she suffered in two foster placements. After leaving care, Ms EL notified the Department of Social Welfare of the abuse in both foster homes. One of these perpetrators was convicted of sexual offences against minors and Ms EL will speak to her experience as a witness at that trial. She will also provide details on her time in Kingslea Residential School, and the impacts of the abuse she experienced in care.

View evidence

Ms EF and her brother went into State care in the 1960’s at age 9 following her father’s conviction for sexual abuse of a child. Through her time in care, Ms EF was largely separated from her brother, except during repeated visits with their father, which were permitted by the Department of Social Welfare despite its knowledge of their father’s convictions. Ms EF’s father would sexually abuse her during these visits. Ms EF lived in multiple foster homes and was sexually abused by her foster father in the last home. Ms EF talks about the separation from her brother, disorientation from multiple placements, and shutting down due to what was happening as lasting impacts of her experience. As an adult, having had a career involved with pastoral care of school children, she speaks about the need for wrap around and trauma informed support for children in care.

View evidence

Erica Dobson is of Cook Island and Ngāti Kahungunu descent. Erica is a survivor of State care and will share her experiences in foster care including how she was let down by the State’s policies and decisions regarding the placement of children. Erica will provide further background information about her foster brother who experienced the same abusive placements.

View evidence

Emily Gao is the widow of Daryl Brougham, a survivor of State care who passed away in 2018. Ms Gao will say a few words on her late husband’s behalf from his book, titled “Through the Eyes of a Foster Child: My Childhood in Over 30 New Zealand Homes”.

_____

Day 5 – Friday 17 June

Survivor-led panel (with other expert participation)

Dr Tania Cargo, Facilitator is a senior Māori clinical psychologist and senior lecturer in psychological medicine. Dr Cargo is also a national trainer for Parent-Child Interaction therapy (PCIT) in Aotearoa New Zealand and is a member of the International Board of PCIT. She has been working in child and adolescent mental health for 18 years and has been specialising in infant mental health for 12 years.

Neta Kerepeti is of Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Wai, and Ngāti Mutunga descent. Ms Kerepeti has previously provided evidence at the Abuse in children’s State residential care public hearing. Ms Kerepeti will be one of our panel members discussing the changes that are needed to support children in State care. The outcomes of these discussions will inform the Commission’s recommendations in the Social Welfare report.

Dallas Pickering has 20 years of professional experience in the field of social work. She has valuable insights into contemporary issues within the State care system. She is also a survivor who was abused first by the family who adopted her, and then in the foster care system when removed from that family. Ms Pickering has previously given evidence at the Contextual Hearing and will be one of our panel members in the survivor-led roundtable to discuss the changes that are needed to support children in State care. The outcomes of these discussions will inform the Commission’s recommendations in the Social Welfare report.

Kath Coster is the third generation of her family to have been in State care. She shares her experiences of her early family life and multiple foster and family home placements. Ms Coster discusses the impacts that foster care has had on her life including her health and relationships and the significant effect it has had on her cultural identity. Ms Coster shares her recommendations for change. 

Frederick Williams is of Samoan descent. Mr Williams was placed in Ōwairaka and Kohitere after running away from home at the age of 12 because of abuse he was experiencing at home. He has previously shared his experience of the abuse he suffered at  Tulou - Our Pacific Voices: Tatala e Pulonga public hearing.   Mr Williams was also placed in a family home between multiple placements and is one of our panel members in the survivor-led roundtable to share his views on recommendations for change. 

Dr Sarah Calvert is a renowned Family Court clinical psychologist who specialises in work with children and adolescents. Dr Calvert is experienced in areas of family conflict, sexual assault, treatment of victims and dynamics of sexual and physical assault on children and adults. 

Dr Ian Hyslop is a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland. His professional interests are tied to a concern with the relationship between social work and social justice, locally and globally. Dr Hyslop has worked as a social worker, supervisor, and practice manager in statutory child protection practice in Auckland.  His recent book looks at the critical history of the relationship between child protection and liberal capitalism with an emphasis on the tensions with indigenous models of family life.

 

Afternoon Panel 1

Dr Ian Hyslop, Facilitator is a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland. His professional interests are tied to a concern with the relationship between social work and social justice, locally and globally. Dr Hyslop has worked as a social worker, supervisor, and practice manager in statutory child protection practice in Auckland.  His recent book looks at the critical history of the relationship between child protection and liberal capitalism with an emphasis on the tensions with indigenous models of family life.

Elison Mae is of Ngāti Kahungungu ki Wairarapa and Rangitāne descent. She suffered emotional, physical, sexual and psychological abuse during the 17 years that she was State care. Ms Mae later worked as a solicitor for Child, Youth and Family until 2019. Ms Mae shares her experience of the foster care system alongside her current concerns and recommendations for the future.

Lady Tureiti Moxon is of Ngāti Pāhauwera, Ngāti Kahungunu and Kāi Tahu descent. Lady Moxon has worked as a lawyer on Treaty of Waitangi claims and settlements and is a Chartered Fellow with the Institute of Directors. She is the managing director of Te Kōhao Health, a health, education, social and justice service provider servicing the wider Waikato region, and is Chair of the National Urban Māori Authority.

Dr Moana Eruera is a registered social worker with a PhD in indigenous studies and over thirty years of experience working in communities. Dr Eruera has more than 15 years’ experience in State sector strategic and operational leadership roles both as a consultant and as a senior government staff member. She can also provide a ‘grass roots insight’ from her experiences as a social worker.

Dr Valerie McGinn is a neuropsychologist and clinical director of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Centre Aotearoa and is recognised as New Zealand’s leading expert in FASD. She has provided over 100 FASD assessments to New Zealand courts resulting in FASD now being widely recognised and accommodated within the legal system. Dr McGinn is a founding and board member of the FASD Care Action Network, New Zealand’s organisation to support and advocate for people with FASD and their families and caregivers.

 

Afternoon Panel 2

Dr Ian Hyslop, Facilitator is a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland. His professional interests are tied to a concern with the relationship between social work and social justice, locally and globally. Dr Hyslop has worked as a social worker, supervisor, and practice manager in statutory child protection practice in Auckland.  His recent book looks at the critical history of the relationship between child protection and liberal capitalism with an emphasis on the tensions with indigenous models of family life.

Neta Kerepeti is of Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Wai, and Ngāti Mutunga descent. Ms Kerepeti has previously provided evidence of her experiences at the Abuse in children’s State residential care public hearing. Ms Kerepeti will be one of our panel members discussing the changes that are needed to support children in State care. The outcomes of these discussions will inform the Commission’s recommendations in the Social Welfare report.

Liua Vatuvei is of Tongan and Māori descent. Mr Vatuvei  is a survivor aged in his 20’s who brings contemporary experience of being in the care system. Mr Vatuvei’s placements as a child were arranged through an organisation that provided support for disabled people. Mr Vatuvei experienced multiple placements and forms of abuse, including physical abuse and neglect. Once in foster care, he was separated from whānau and as a result feels disconnected from his culture. Mr Vatuvei will join our afternoon panel to discuss the changes that are needed to support children in State care. The outcomes of these discussions will inform the Commission’s recommendations in the Social Welfare report.

Denis Smith is a former social worker for the Department of Social Welfare. He began his career with the Department in 1969 at 23 and left in 1993, having also spent time working at IHC, Barnados and the New Zealand Foster Care Federation in-between. He took on various roles in the Department, including working as a senior social worker in the Adoption and Fostering Team. Mr Smith has also worked with victims and/or offenders of abuse by providing them counselling services in the Family Court, Community Corrections and the Ministry of Social Development. Since 1989, he has written and presented papers on male adolescent sexual abuse to men. Mr Smith will be one of our panel members discussing what recommendations to State care could look like. The outcomes of these discussions will inform the Commission’s recommendations in the Social Welfare report.

Dr Alayne Mikahere-Hall is of Ngāti Whātua, Te Rarawa, Tainui and Pākehā decent.  Dr Mikahere-Hall is a registered psychotherapist, a member of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapist (NZAP) and a founding member of Waka Oranga – National Collective of Māori Psychotherapy Practitioners (NCMPP). Dr Mikahere-Hall has worked across a wide range of community services over the past 20 years including Māori Mental Health Child and Adolescent Services and private practice. She also undertakes research and works with whānau, adults, children and adolescents with a number of issues including whānau violence, complex trauma and intergenerational trauma. 

Dr Teuila Percival is a director for Moana Research. Previously, she was the Head of Pacific Health Section at the School of Population Health, University of Auckland. Dr Percival has extensive research expertise in Pacific health research, in addition to her child health expertise which is often used in New Zealand and in regions in the Pacific and Australasia. Her portfolio includes being the principal investigator on the Pacific Child Health Indicators project in the Pacific and OPIC 2, the family-based intervention for Pacific children project. 

Dr Tania Cargo is a senior Māori clinical psychologist and senior lecturer in psychological medicine. Dr Cargo is also a national trainer for Parent-Child Interaction therapy (PCIT) in Aotearoa New Zealand and is a member of the International Board of PCIT. She has been working in child and adolescent mental health for 18 years and has been specialising in infant mental health for 12 years.

From 13-17 June, survivors who experienced abuse and neglect in foster care will share their experiences and evidence at a public hearing.

When the State intervened, many children spent time in foster care, after being taken from their family or whānau, hapū and iwi, and it is necessary to look deeply into the causes and effects of abuse in foster care environments. Foster care is also a contemporary issue, and with what we learn from this hearing we can influence change to protect children in care now and in the future. 

Survivors will share evidence about the physical, sexual, emotional or psychological and cultural abuse they experienced in foster care and what impact this has had on them and their whānau.

Experts who can speak to attachment, disconnection, trauma, Te Ao Māori, child welfare and social welfare practise will also give insights into the kaupapa being addressed by the hearing.  

From Monday till Thursday we will hear from Māori, Pacific people and Pākehā survivors who include survivors from the disability community and the rainbow community.  On Friday the final day, panels of survivors and other expert witnesses, will discuss the current State care system and provide advice on what can be improved.

The hearing will explore themes such as: 

  • the impact of abuse and multiple placements had on a survivor, including the survivor's ability to form and maintain secure relationships post their time in care
  • the impact of being removed or separated from whānau, culture and whakapapa
  • the survivor’s account of not being seen, heard, supported and cared for while they were in foster care, how children were disbelieved and discouraged from making complaints about their treatment.

Under the current COVID-19 settings it is safe for this hearing will be open to the public.  We warmly welcome survivors and members of the public to attend in person or to watch the hearing live stream. 

The hearing will take place at Tii Tu Tahi, Level 2, 414 Khyber Pass Road (entrance is on Kingdon Street).

From 13 June the hearing will be livestreamed from this page.
 
If you are having trouble accessing the livestream you can contact us on 0800 222 727. 
 
After each witness has finished their evidence we will upload a video of their evidence to our website.  

We will also upload the witness' written statement as well as a transcript of everything that was said by the witness, counsel and the commissioners while the witness gave evidence.  

Sometimes they may be delays in getting these videos and documents on to the website but we strive to get these published quickly. 
 
If you need a hard copy of a transcript or statement, let us know and we will send this to you.  

Sometimes it might take up to a few weeks after the hearing ends for these to be available. 
 
Please call the Contact Centre on 0800 222 727 if you need help with these documents or videos. 

We are investigating and abuse in State-based foster and family-home placements in Aotearoa New Zealand between 1950 and 1999.

The voices and experiences of victims and survivors of abuse in foster care are at the centre of this inquiry as we investigate and make findings on what happened and why.

When the State intervened, foster care was where many children were placed, after being taken from their whānau, hapū and iwi. Because most survivors we have heard from spent time in foster care, it is necessary to look deeply into the causes and effects of abuse in foster care environments.

Foster care is also a challenging contemporary issue, and with what we learn from this inquiry we can influence change to protect children in care now and in the future.

The Foster Care investigation is part of the social welfare inquiry which includes investigations into abuse in youth justice care and State children’s residential homes.

Survivors’ evidence will inform the social welfare report which will include findings and recommendations based on our investigations through public hearings, survivor and witness accounts, research and policy review, hui, wānanga and fono.

We will make recommendations on steps the State should take to address the harm caused, and changes to be made so that the factors that allowed abuse to occur in foster care do not persist in the future. 

This Minute sets out directions on the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s upcoming public hearing into abuse in foster care (the hearing).
Filetype(s): PDFCreated May 2022
Minute

If you are survivor of abuse at a State or faith-based institution and you want to share your story with us, please get in touch. You can call us confidentially on 0800 222 727 or register online

If you have whānau who suffered abuse at a State or faith-based care institution, your account is very important to this investigation.

These accounts, combined with those of many other victims and survivors of abuse in the care, are helping the Royal Commission to make findings about what happened and why, and any appropriate recommendations for change.

If you have information you want to share about abuse at a State or faith-based care institution, then please call us confidentially on 0800 222 727 or register online.