The Terms of Reference describe the purpose and boundaries of the inquiry and resulted in the work of the Royal Commission being guided by eight pou or strategic pillars. These are:
Te Tiriti o Waitangi
Circumstances of going into care
Nature and extent of abuse
Impact of abuse
Redress and rehabilitation
Transforming how we care.
On 1 February 2018, in a historic global first, the New Zealand Government asked Sir Anand Satyanand to gather New Zealanders’ feedback on the draft Terms of Reference for this Inquiry.
Sir Anand heard from over 400 groups and individuals and incorporated their submissions into a report. This report and its covering letter were presented to the Government on 31 May 2018 and have shaped the final Terms of Reference released by the Government on 12 November 2018.
Royal Commission’s final report and recommendations date extended to 28 March 2024
The Royal Commission has been extended until 28 March 2024.
2023 Terms of Reference Amendment Order (No 2) - September
The Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference were amended in September 2023 to confirm the interpretation of "ïn the care of faith-based institutions" in Minute 16 of the inquiry.
The four key changes were to:
- record the resignation of Ali’imuamua Sandra Alofivae, MNZM, of South Auckland, lawyer, former Families Commissioner, and Pacific community leader; and
- confirm the interpretation of “in the care of faith-based institutions” in Minute 16 of the inquiry (dated 31 January 2022); and
- accordingly, affirm the basis on which the inquiry has conducted its process and received evidence from victims and survivors in relation to abuse in the care of faith-based institutions; and
- thereby support the inquiry to discharge its functions in accordance with the principle of focusing on victims and survivors as required by clause 19(b) of the inquiry’s terms of reference.
You can view the Amendment Order here: https://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2023/0250/latest/LMS891702.html
You can view the updated Terms of Reference here: https://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2018/0223/latest/LMS118772.html?src=qs
2023 Terms of Reference Amendment Order - June
The Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference were amended in June 2023 to support delivery of the final report by 28 March 2024, within budget, and to prevent delays to cross-government work on a new independent redress system for survivors.
There were four key changes. The Royal Commission:
must not receive and consider new evidence after 31 July 2023, other than that which may arise during natural justice processes, if doing so may delay completion of the final report;
must not produce any additional interim reports after 31 July 2023, or produce any additional research reports, case studies, or issues papers if doing so may delay completion of the final report;
must deliver draft final recommendations to the appropriate Minister by 30 November 2023, and explain any differences between these, and those provided in the final report; and
must find ways to ensure the public understands and has access to its final report.
You can view the Amendment Order here: Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions Amendment Order 2023 (SL 2023/141) – New Zealand Legislation
You can view the updated Terms of Reference here: https://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2018/0223/latest/
2021 Amendment order
In April 2021 the Government announced they would be making changes to the Terms of Reference, and these changes were finalised in July 2021.
Changes to the Terms of Reference confirm the Inquiry can make recommendations to help avoid future abuse based on the lessons of the past, and to improve redress systems. To inform those recommendations, the Inquiry can continue to hear from survivors about issues and experiences up to the present day.
There are five key changes:
- To change our final reporting date from 3 January 2023 to 30 June 2023 (now extended to 28 March 2024)
- To remove the mandate to examine current frameworks to prevent and respond to abuse in care, including current legislation, policy, rules, standards and practices.
- To continue the ability to make recommendations on redress and to ensure that the factors that allowed abuse to occur in care pre-1999 do not persist.
- To continue our ability to hear from survivors about issues and experiences after 1999 for the purposes of making the above recommendations.
- To include more specific requirements about how the Royal Commission must report on its progress to the Minister.
Learning about these changes may be distressing for survivors and we encourage them and/or their whānau to contact us on 0800 222 727 or email@example.com. There are some frequently asked questions here to help provide more clarity on the changes.