Quick Exit

Farewell to Commissioner Ali'imuamua Sandra Alofivae

Commissioner Sandra Alofivae finished her role with the Royal Commission last month and starts a new journey as a District Court Judge.
In June, the Attorney-General Hon David Parker announced that Sandra had been appointed as a District Court Judge with a general jurisdiction, to be based in Manukau.
At a small farewell in Wellington, Chair Coral Shaw thanked Sandra for her enormous contribution to the Commission’s work. Sandra will be greatly missed by her colleagues and all those who worked with her.
Judge Alofivae was sworn in on 4 September 2023. We wish her well in her new role.

Stolen Lives, Marked Souls report

It is now a month since the Royal Commission released our report, Stolen Lives, Marked Souls. There has been significant coverage of the report’s findings, in the New Zealand and overseas media. Here are two recent stories survivors you may wish to read, or listen to.

The Spinoff – The misery of Marylands 

The final article in The Spinoff abuse in care series focuses on the misery of Marylands School. The article follows the release of the Royal Commission report Stolen Lives, Marked Souls and describes the school through the eyes of survivor Eddie Marriott, as well as the impact of the abuse he suffered. You can read it here.

Radio New Zealand – Lifting the lid on Catholic clergy abuse

It’s 20 years since the Boston Globe exposed the child abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church. The former editor of the Boston Globe, Martin Baron, read the Royal Commission’s Stolen Lives, Marked Souls report and in this interview discusses the importance of investigative journalism in abuse cases, which has “shattered the protection the Catholic Church had enjoyed”. He said he was shocked by what he read about abuse at Marylands School but was not surprised. You can listen to the interview here.
We know the Stolen Lives, Marked Souls report and its findings may be distressing. Remember, we are here for you. If you need support, contact us during weekday hours at 0800 222 727, free text 8155 or email us at contact@abuseincare.org.nz

Update on the renaming of former Marylands locations

Christchurch City Council is proposing to change the names of Marylands Reserve and Marylands Place in Middleton. This is in response to our recommendation in He Purapura Ora, he Māra Tipu - From Redress to Puretumu Torowhānui to remove any memorials to perpetrators of abuse.
The Council has asked mana whenua to suggest new names for Marylands Reserve and Marylands Place. Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga is working through that process now.
There have been some unexpected delays and the Council now expects to have the renaming complete before the end of 2023. The Council apologises for this delay.
Please contact Tessa Zant, Manager Engagement, Christchurch City Council on (03) 941 8935 or Tessa.Zant@ccc.govt.nz if you have any questions.

Update to the Terms of Reference

The Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference have been updated to help clarify the Government’s expectations in regard to pastoral care.
The key changes:
  • confirm that “in the care of faith-based institutions” includes pastoral care as outlined in Minute 16 (31 January 2022)
  • affirms the Inquiry’s processes and how it has received evidence from survivors in relation to abuse in the care of faith-based institutions
  • supports the Inquiry to work in a way that focuses on survivors as required by clause 19(b) of the Terms of Reference.
You can read the Amendment Order here.

All efforts focused on our final report
Drafting of the final report is progressing well. Part of developing the final report involves a natural justice process. The Commission is bound by the principle of natural justice and the requirements of section 14 of the Inquiries Act.
If we intend to make a finding that is adverse to any person or organisation, we must be satisfied that they are aware of the matters on which the proposed finding is based and have had an opportunity, at any time during the course of the Inquiry, to respond.  
Draft recommendations are also on track to be delivered to the Minister of Internal Affairs by 30 November 2023, which is a requirement of our Terms of Reference.
We’ll keep you updated on this work over the coming months.

You Promised… Now Deliver!

Last month, young leaders with lived experience of being in care gathered to discuss the state of State care at a Summit called together by VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai. The Summit, “From Care to Influence: Young Voices Rising”, aimed to create space for young care experienced leaders to begin dreaming and articulating the urgent shift that needs to occur within the care system.
Following the summit, the rangatahi and VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai allies, and community supporters led a Hīkoi to Parliament to deliver their petition on the steps of Parliament. The petition called on Parliament to act urgently to ensure the basic human rights of children and young people in care are upheld.
The summit and the subsequent Hīkoi and petition delivery, are part of VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai’s campaign, “You Promised… Now Deliver!” which calls on political leaders to take seriously the commitment successive governments have made for over three decades through the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international agreements to uphold the rights of children in care.
The Royal Commission has been working in partnership with VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai to make sure the voices of care experienced rangatahi inform the Commission’s recommendations for the future.

How to get in touch with us

Call us in New Zealand on 0800 222 727 between 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday, or text 8185.

Call us from Australia on free phone 1800 875 745.

Write to us at PO Box 10071Wellington 6140.

Visit our website www.abuseincare.org.nz.

Help and support services

  • Alcohol and Drug Helpline 0800 787 797 or online chat for people dealing with an alcohol or other drug problem; 10 am to 10 pm
  • Anxiety phone line 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY)
  • Depression Helpline 0800 111 757 or free text 4202 (to talk to a trained counsellor about how you are feeling or to ask any questions)
  • Family Services 211 Helpline 0800 211 211 for help finding (and direct transfer to) community based health and social support services in your area.
  • HELP 0800 623 1700 preventing sexual abuse and supporting survivors 24/7.
  • Lifeline 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)
  • Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Aotearoa New Zealand Support services for male survivors of sexual abuse. Refer to website for the support organisation nearest to you.
  • Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor
  • OUTline NZ 0800 688 5463 (OUTLINE) provides confidential telephone support for sexuality or gender identity issues; 9 am to 9 pm weekdays, and 6 pm to 8 pm weekends)
  • Rape Crisis 0800 883 300 (for support after rape or sexual assault)
  • Safe to talk (Available 24/7) 0800 044 334, free txt 4334, email support@safetotalk.nz, live webchat on www.safetotalk.nz. Free and confidential information and support from trained counsellors for people affected by sexual harm in any way.
  • Samaritans 0800 726 666.
  • Shine 0508 744 633, free to call from any phone in NZ, and taking calls 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Call for confidential support, information, advice and referrals.
  • Skylight, 0800 299 100 for trauma, loss and grief; 9am–5pm weekdays.
  • SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests Providing peer support for women and men wounded by religious and institutional authorities
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO).
  • Supporting Families in Mental Illness For families and whānau supporting a loved one who has a mental illness. Auckland 0800 732 825. 
  • Victim Support This free service provides emotional and practical support, information, financial assistance, referral to other support services and advocacy for the rights of victims.
  • Wellington HELP 0800 FOR HELP supports anyone and everyone who has been impacted by sexual violence. Call anytime.
  • Youthline 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat