Attributed to Katherine Anderson, Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission

We acknowledge the sobering data released today by Te Rōpū Tautoko, on behalf of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa, which shows the scale of abuse within the Catholic Church.

Our inquiry has heard horrific experience after horrific experience of abuse inflicted by those within the church — the very people meant to care for them.

We thank all survivors who have come forward to help our inquiry.

The research is startling, and the heart-breaking reality is that helpless and vulnerable children and adults sit behind these facts and figures. 

The research notes the records will not represent all abuse that has happened in the care of the Catholic Church. We know there are significant barriers to survivors reporting abuse.

Next week, abuse within Catholic Church care will be the focus of our public hearing into Christchurch’s Marylands School. Survivors will share their experiences and the impacts of abuse by Catholic leaders, as our inquiry helps to put right the severe harm caused.

We will give survivors a platform to take back the power and regain their mana. The Catholic Church and the State will be questioned about their roles in the abuse that occurred.

The public hearing will focus on abuse by religious brothers of the Hospitaller Order of St John of God in relation to three Christchurch Catholic institutions. It includes Marylands School, Hebron Trust, and St Joseph’s Orphanage (run by a different Catholic institution).

The public hearing is one part of the Royal Commission’s wider investigation into abuse in the care of the Catholic Church.


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.


The Royal Commission is due to deliver its final report in March 2024.