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Māori public hearing – 7-18 March

The voices of Māori survivors who were abused by State and faith-based institutions will be heard from 7-18 March at the Māori public hearing.

We are holding the hearing with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. We have decided the hearing cannot be open to the public during the COVID-19 Protection Framework restrictions.

We will deliver an “online” hearing that ensures the voices of Māori survivors are heard through Aotearoa New Zealand.

Witnesses will provide evidence remotely by video and the hearing will be livestreamed on our website.

We’ve made a small video about the hearing and our shift to an “online” mode:

You can find out more about the hearing on our Māori public hearing webpage:

New Zealanders need to know what led to the over-representation of Māori in care, and the long-reaching impacts of Māori being abused in care for our nation.

Māori survivors must be heard, and this hearing will give them a powerful platform to share what happened to them and what needs to change to make sure abuse in care never happens again, e kore ano.


Marylands School hearing now completed

The Marylands School public hearing is now finished, and written and video witness evidence is being uploaded on our website as soon as it is ready.
You can find links to the witness evidence from the Marylands School public hearing page here:


We are grateful to all the brave survivors who gave evidence at this public hearing. Here are a some of the witnesses:

Donald Ku – Survivor witness

Survivor Donald Ku gave evidence about the abuse suffered at the hands of Brother McGrath. He also saw other boys being abused at Marylands School.  Donald’s evidence is here:


Steven Long – Survivor witness

Survivor Steven Long talked about the culture of silence at Marylands School. Many boys were afraid of speaking out about the abuse because they feared the consequences.

“They were so sure that they were protected, they could do anything they wanted to us kids in Marylands. We had no hope of being heard, and we were afraid of what the brothers would do to us if we did try to speak out.”
See Steven’s full evidence here:


Hanz Freller – Survivor witness

Hanz said it was not easy to give evidence, but he did so for one of his close friends who is not alive today. Hanz's full evidence is available here:


Darryl Smith – Survivor witness

Darryl Smith gave evidence about the abuse he suffered and witnessed at Marylands School. Darryl Smith also shared about how Māori children were treated at the school. Darryl’s full evidence is available here:

Ken Clearwater – Survivor advocate

Ken Clearwater is a survivor advocate who works with survivors of sexual abuse. He led the Male Sexual Assault Survivors Trust for many years and has supported many Marylands School survivors. Ken gave evidence while protecting survivors’ identities, about the experience of some of the Marylands School survivors he worked with. He also shared his own observations.
"Sorry. How many times have we heard sorry from the Vatican down? I can tell you they are sorry. Sorry they have been caught out around the world and especially now, here in Aotearoa New Zealand."
Ken's opening statement video can be found here:

https://www.abuseincare.org.nz/our-progress/library/v/346/opening-statements-at-the-marylands-school-public-hearing (scroll down as each opening statement is a separate video).

Ken’s video and witness statement can be found here:
Dr Murray Heasley and Liz Tonks

Dr Murray Heasley and Liz Tonks, leaders of the Network for Survivors of Abuse in Faith-Based Institutions presented at our Marylands School public hearing.
"The behaviour you walk past is the behaviour you accept......New Zealand tolerates abuse of its children," said Liz Tonks.
Listen to their full remarks here:

Dr Michelle Mulvihill

Dr Michelle Mulvihill is a former nun and a clinical psychologist. She worked for the St John of God brothers in Australia from 1998 to 2007, helping the order respond to sexual abuse claims.
Dr Michelle Mulvihill shared her view that the order was in a state of denial and that they protected the brothers who had allegations against them.
See Dr Mulvihill’s written and video evidence here:


Foster Care public hearing 13-17 June

The public hearing on abuse of tamariki in foster care will take place from 13-17 June 2022.

Foster care includes foster and family home placements, where the State assumed responsibility, directly or indirectly, and includes foster care provided by private entities and service providers.

Thank you, all the survivors, who we had the privilege of having private sessions and interviews with to date.  We will keep in touch with you directly as our mahi for the hearing progresses and may seek your help to share your experiences and give evidence at the hearing.

The extent to which the State has honoured the principles of te Tiriti o Waitangi in respect to tamariki placed in its care is fundamental to the Royal Commission’s inquiry.

The Foster Care public hearing is part of the wider Social Welfare investigation, which will report to the Governor-General with findings and recommendations in December 2022.


February Panui for web

Word Document, 2.6 MB