Current redress processes are unquestionably failing to produce fair, consistent or adequate outcomes for survivors and their whānau affected by tūkino, or abuse, harm or trauma in care. They are not designed in conjunction with survivors and affected communities or guided by any consistently applied principles, they fail to meet the needs of survivors, and they do nothing to prevent further abuse.
In this final part of the report, we outline a series of recommendations that, if implemented, will establish what will eventually be a new scheme to provide puretumu torowhānui, or holistic redress for survivors of abuse in the care of State agencies, agencies providing care on the State’s behalf (which we refer to as indirect State care), and faith-based institutions. This puretumu torowhānui scheme will aim to restore the power, dignity and standing of those affected by abuse in care, without them having to go to court, as well as take effective steps to prevent abuse. It will fit within what we refer to as the “puretumu torowhānui system”, which is the wider system of services, organisations (including the courts), laws, and policies that have a role in providing different types of puretumu torowhānui and preventing or responding to tūkino in care.
The changes we recommend to bring about the puretumu torowhānui system and puretumu torowhānui scheme can be summarised as:
- expansion of oranga, or wellbeing, services and support services for survivors and their whānau
- increased financial payments for survivors
- training for those working with survivors
- establishment of a listening service
- development of processes for referring allegations of abuse to other agencies
- better monitoring of, and reporting on, abuse and systemic issues
- memorials and other projects to honour survivors and remember abuse
- enactment of a right to be free from abuse in care, as well as a duty to protect this right
- an exception to accident compensation legislation
- changes to laws relating to civil litigation
- a review of legal aid rates
- a model litigant policy for the Crown
- improvements to the handling of survivors’ requests for records, including as few redactions of survivors’ records as possible
- a review of record-creation and record-keeping practices.
Importantly, we also recommend that there be public acknowledgement of, and apologies for, the tūkino, or abuse, harm and trauma, that occurred and the impact it had.
The puretumu torowhānui system, including the scheme, will be based on a series of te ao Māori, Pacific and human rights principles, values and concepts, and will underpin and co-ordinate the work of various agencies and provide a range of services to survivors, their whānau and others. This system will put the needs of survivors and their whānau first and foremost.
We first set out below the main purposes of the puretumu torowhānui system we propose and key requirements for its design and operation: that it give effect to te Tiriti o Waitangi, is consistent with international law, and that it is underpinned by a set of principles, values and concepts that we outline. We also set out the ways we propose Māori, survivors, the Crown, and faith-based institutions will build on our work and create the puretumu torowhānui system and the puretumu torowhānui scheme. We then focus on our recommendations for the substance of the puretumu torowhānui system and scheme, starting with public apologies, and then setting out the principal characteristics of the scheme, how the scheme will operate, and what it will offer survivors. Following that, we make recommendations on wider aspects of the system, including on memorials, civil litigation, monitoring and records. In later reports we will expand on these recommendations and consider other aspects of the system.