Attributable to: Coral Shaw, Chair, Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry

Dilworth School

I have been closely following reports that Dilworth School is considering a redress model including financial compensation for boys abused at the school.

Through our ongoing investigations, the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry has heard from several former Dilworth School students. They courageously shared details of their harrowing experiences and the long lasting impacts the abuse has had on them.

Following several public hearings and rounds of consultation, including wānanga, we at the Royal Commission are currently working on our own redress report and recommendations. The report will look at how to best meet the needs of survivors of abuse in care, to ensure their mana is restored. We will deliver the report to the Government in December this year.

We know Survivors and institutions alike will be closely watching as we deliver our report and eagerly considering our recommendations when they are made public.

French Catholic Church

I also note, with immense sadness, the vast scale of abuse against children by clergy in the French Catholic Church since 1950, which was revealed by an independent inquiry in France.

It is deeply unsettling to hear, yet again, that so many young people were victims of people in positions of power over them, including spiritual power. We are concerned that institutions that are trusted to care for the vulnerable have caused them so much physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual harm by abusing their immense power. 

This is an issue that is very relevant in Aotearoa New Zealand too. Our Royal Commission is currently investigating the abuse and neglect of children and others in the care of the Catholic Church and other faith-based institutions.

Abuse in care in Aotearoa New Zealand

We know the scale of abuse in Aotearoa New Zealand is significant. Through our investigations so far, we have found the extent of this abuse and neglect is greater than first thought when we first started our work in 2019.

Our interim findings reveal that as many as 250,000 children, young people and vulnerable adults were abused in State and faith-based care within our Terms of Reference.  Our interim findings indicate that even on conservative estimates, there has been more abuse in care than previously thought.

Commissioners and I will continue hearing about experiences of survivors through public hearings, wānanga, hui, fono and roundtable meetings.

It is our role to investigate and help hold to account in-scope institutions for any past wrongdoings that we find have occurred.

About the Inquiry

The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry is investigating the abuse of children, young people and vulnerable adults within State and faith-based institutions in Aotearoa New Zealand between 1950-1999.

We can also learn from the experiences of survivors who have been in care after 1999, to make recommendations to help stop abuse happening in the future.