The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry Lake Alice Child and Adolescent Unit public hearing continues today in Auckland.

Commissioners will hear from four witnesses. Witness evidence summaries are outlined below.

After a witness speaks, their full evidence, along with footage of them speaking, will be available for download.

The hearing is being live-streamed on the Abuse in Care website

Hearing location: Level 2, 414 Khyber Pass Road, Newmarket, Auckland 1023.

15 June


Please note there is a change to this morning's schedule.

10am approx.

Tyrone Marks Survivor witness

This survivor witness is 60 years old and is of English and Māori descent (Ngāti Raukawa). He was taken into care at the age of 8, and experienced serious physical, sexual and psychological abuse in multiple care settings. He spent around six months in Lake Alice over two admissions between 1972 and 1974. During this time, he encountered both modified and unmodified electroconvulsive therapy, paraldehyde injections, solitary confinement, and sexual abuse from fellow patients. The survivor will give evidence of the impacts of abuse, including his inability to pursue meaningful vocations due to his lack of education and admissions to Lake Alice. He will also speak about his experience in the Lake Alice redress process with Grant Cameron.

11.45am approx


He is 59 years old and of Māori Irish, Scottish and German descent. He was taken into care at the age of six, and was put into 13 foster homes within 12 months. During this time he was raped, sodomised and tortured. He was then sent to Owairaka Boys Home, and then Holdsworth School. He was raped and sodomised by two staff members at Holdsworth. He spent seven months in Lake Alice, in 1972 and 1973. While he was there he was raped, sodomised and tortured by both patients and staff members. At Lake Alice he received regular unmodified electro-convulsive therapy as well as paraldehyde administered to his buttocks, as well as when he was a resident at Holdsworth School. Following Lake Alice, he went through several more institutions before the State discharged him from its care. He will give evidence on his abuse, how it led him to repeated criminal offending, and the severe impacts it has had on his life. He also participated in the Grant Cameron redress process.

2.15pm approx.

John Watson

Mr Watson worked as a Housemaster at Holdsworth Boys’ Home from late 1972 until mid-1975. His evidence will discuss the relationship between Holdsworth and Lake Alice Child and Adolescent Unit, as well the process of referring boys to Lake Alice. Mr Watson will give evidence of complaints made by numerous boys about the use of electric shocks, unmodified electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) and paraldehyde injections at Lake Alice. Mr Watson will discuss his own complaint to the Department of Social Welfare head office and his impressions of the process and resulting action from that complaint.

3.45pm approx.

Michael Doolan

Mr Doolan was Principal of Holdsworth School from 1973. He will give evidence about the relationship between Holdsworth and the Lake Alice Child and Adolescent Unit – including the referral process, consent requirements, Department of Social Welfare oversite of State wards, reporting requirements, complaints of the unit in the 1970s, the cessation of referrals to the unit and other matters.

Media enquiries: 027 298 2094;

About the Abuse in Care Inquiry

The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry is investigating the abuse and neglect that happened to children, young people and vulnerable adults in care from 1950 and 1999.