Many survivors expressed deep dissatisfaction at the way State agencies and faith-based institutions dealt with their redress claims. Experiences varied, but in many cases, survivors found organisations to be self-interested, culturally insensitive, bureaucratic, legalistic, or all-powerful, providing a limited form of redress on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. They were given little information about a redress process but asked to provide information about themselves and all the intimate details of their abuse, sometimes repeatedly. Many were made to wait years for decisions and kept in the dark while they waited. Many survivors had to face processes with only limited whānau support, due to damaged family relationships.
Survivors felt that State and faith-based organisations profoundly misunderstood the abuse they had experienced, and how deeply that abuse had altered the course of their lives. The redress offered through State and faith-based processes provided little support for them to recover or rebuild their lives or restore their mana and oranga, or wellbeing. Little if anything was offered in the way of support with housing, or employment and the provision of counselling has generally been limited to the period after the investigation process and for a limited time. Rather, survivors were offered payments that many saw as inadequate, and apologies that many regarded as meaningless. Most accepted these offers because they felt they had no other option.
Māori survivors who sought redress experienced no recognition of their mana or the mana of Māori in decision-making; there was no support to connect and reconnect with whānau, whakapapa and culture, or to rediscover lost values. For them, the processes reflected Pākehā values. Pacific people, Deaf and disabled people faced their own additional hurdles, too. In this section, survivors describe their difficulties in seeking redress – difficulties that were largely the same in State and faith-based redress processes.
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