Faith-based institutions response hearing
The responses of faith institutions to abuse and neglect of thousands of children, young people and vulnerable adults in their care will be examined by the Royal Commission of Inquiry during a final public hearing, from 13 to 19 October.
The Royal Commission will hear from leaders of the following faith-based institutions (in hearing schedule order):
- Gloriavale Christian Community
- Dilworth School
- Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand
- St Patrick’s College, Silverstream
- Dioceses and congregations of the Catholic Church of Aotearoa New Zealand
- Wesley College
- Methodist Church of New Zealand
- Presbyterian Support Central
- Presbyterian Support Otago
- Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand
The Royal Commission will question these faith organisations about their failures to provide adequate care and respond to allegations of abuse and neglect. Multiple witnesses from each faith organisation will be called to give evidence, allowing the Royal Commission to hear senior leadership perspectives. The faith hearing is the second Royal Commission Institutional Response hearing, the first being an examination of State agencies during August.
During that hearing the Royal Commission heard from the Public Service Commission, Oranga Tamariki, Social Development, Health, Education, Education Review Office, Teaching Council, Police, Corrections, Te Puni Kōkiri, Pacific People, Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People, also the Children’s Commissioner and Ombudsman.
Prior to these two institutional response hearings, the Royal Commission’s 127 days of public hearings were mainly survivor focussed. Over recent months the Royal Commission has written to Crown agencies and faith institutions asking for written responses to questions regarding abuse and neglect under their care.
These questions included:
- How care systems were monitored and those in care protected from physical, psychological, sexual abuse and neglect.
- Whether organisations had met their obligations under te Tiriti o Waitangi.
- To what extent their care systems had met the needs of Māori, Pacific and Disabled people and people with mental health conditions.How racism, ableism and bias impacted delivery of care services.
The hearing will have an historical and contemporary focus.
The Royal Commission is mandated to investigate and examine the Aotearoa New Zealand care system from 1950 -1999 and to make recommendations for changes to ensure factors that allowed abuse to occur in the past do not continue today and in the future. Evidence from our public hearings, investigations, survivor and witness accounts, research and policy review, hui, wānanga, fono and community engagement will inform the final report due to the Governor General in June 2023.
The five-day Faith-based Institutional Response public hearing will take place from 13-19 October 2022 at 414 Khyber Pass Road, Newmarket, Auckland.
It will be open to the public and live streamed on this page of the Royal Commission’s website.
The public is able to access the hearing space from 8.30m each day. The hearing begins at 9am each morning and ends at approximately 5pm.
The hearing space and building have had an accessibility assessment from Vivian Naylor, who is a Barrier Free Advisor from CCS Disability Action. We have made a lot of changes as a result of the assessment and other feedback:
- Click here for parking information.
- NZSL interpreters will be translating the hearing
- Improvements to our furniture, bathrooms and tea and coffee stations to make them easier to use.
If you are planning to attend the hearing in-person you can email the Contact Centre on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0800 222 727, to talk about what you’ll need. We can plan ahead to make sure you are comfortable getting to and from the venue and during the hearing.
If you are survivor of abuse at a faith-based or State 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 faith-based or State 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 faith-based or State care institutions, then please call us confidentially on 0800 222 727 or register online.