Purposes of system
Our first recommendation proposes the establishment of a puretumu torowhānui system to address tūkino, or abuse, harm and trauma. The system should have three primary purposes: to apologise for the tūkino suffered by survivors, to heal or restore the mana, tapu and mauri of people, and to take steps towards preventing abuse.
1. The Crown should establish a puretumu torowhānui system to respond to abuse in State care, indirect State care and faith-based care that:
- acknowledges and apologises for tūkino, or abuse, harm and trauma, done to, and experienced by, survivors, their whānau, hapū, iwi, and hapori or communities
- aims to heal and restore individuals’ mana, tapu and mauri
- takes decisive and effective steps to prevent further abuse.
Giving effect to te Tiriti o Waitangi
There should be an explicit requirement that the puretumu torowhānui system itself, and those designing and operating it, give effect to te Tiriti o Waitangi and its principles. We consider this strongly worded obligation is appropriate given the disproportionate number of Māori in State care and affected by abuse. Our work has uncovered the many ways in which the obligations of te Tiriti have been ignored or not fulfilled by those responsible for the care of children, young people and vulnerable adults. The general requirement to give effect to te Tiriti in addressing matters relating to abuse in care should be specifically included in legislation and policy including the legislation establishing the puretumu torowhānui scheme.
2. The puretumu torowhānui system, and those designing and operating it, should give effect to te Tiriti o Waitangi and its principles and, in particular, to the right to tino rangatiratanga, or self-determination and authority, which includes the right to organise and live as Māori and to make decisions to advance the oranga of survivors through the provision of care to whānau, hapū and iwi by whānau, hapū and iwi. The requirement to give effect to te Tiriti should be expressly stated in any legislation and policy relating to abuse in care.
Consistency with international law
The puretumu torowhānui system should be consistent with the commitments Aotearoa New Zealand has under international human rights law. These commitments are summarised in part 1.4. They include that effective redress must be available for human rights violations, and that this may include compensation, rehabilitation, public apologies, memorials, law and policy changes as appropriate, and accountability for perpetrators.
3. The puretumu torowhānui system should be consistent with the commitments Aotearoa New Zealand has under international human rights law, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Founding principles, values and concepts
We consider the following principles, values and concepts should guide the design and functioning of the new puretumu torowhānui system. We have been primarily guided by tikanga Māori concepts because we see such an approach as necessary to give effect to te Tiriti o Waitangi and because Māori have been disproportionately affected by abuse in care. In addition, we consider these principles, values and concepts capture ideas that we have heard from many survivors and will resonate with more broadly. The Pacific principle of teu le vā / tauhi vā has been included too. Pacific peoples are also disproportionately affected by abuse in care, and achieving utua kia ea, or restoration and balance, needs to be done in culturally appropriate ways and this unique concept was not quite captured in the other tikanga Māori concepts. We have also given particular consideration to the importance of valuing diversity and challenging ableism, principles that we think are captured in the phrase “he mana tō tēnā, tō tēnā, ahakoa ko wai”. These principles should be given prominence in the design and operation of the new system.
4. The puretumu torowhānui system should be founded on the following principles, values and concepts:
- Tūkino: is, in this context, abuse, harm and trauma. It includes past, present or future abuse, whether physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, cultural or racial abuse; or neglect, which may also include medical, spiritual or educational neglect, experienced by individuals and their whānau, hapū, iwi and hapori or communities in the care of State and faith-based institutions.
- Purapura ora: in this context, refers to survivors and their potential to heal and regenerate in spite of the tūkino they experienced.
- Te mana tāngata: is, in this context, the restoration of and respect for the inherent mana (power, dignity and standing) of people affected by tūkino.
- Utua kia ea: is a process that must be undertaken to account for tūkino and restore mana to achieve a state of restoration and balance. In this context, pathways of utua kia ea should include scope for survivors, both as individuals and collectively, to chart their own unique course.
- Manaakitia kia tipu: is, in this context, the nurturing of the oranga or wellbeing of survivors and their whānau so that they can prosper and grow. This includes treating survivors and their whānau with atawhai, humanity, compassion, fairness, respect and generosity in a manner that upholds their mana (this includes being survivor-focused and trauma-informed) and nurtures all dimensions of oranga including physical, spiritual, mental, cultural, social, economic and whānau, in ways that are tailored to, culturally safe for, and attuned to, survivors.
- Mahia kia tika: is to be fair, equitable, honest, impartial and transparent. In this context it includes a puretumu torowhānui scheme that has clear, publicly available rules and other information about how it works, and regular reviews of its performance.
- Whakaahuru: in this context, refers to processes to protect and safeguard people including actively seeking out, empowering and protecting those who have been, or are being, abused in care as well as implementing systemic changes to stop and safeguard against abuse in care.
- Whanaungatanga: refers to the whakapapa, or kinship, connections that exist between people. In this context, it reflects that the impact of tūkino can be intergenerational and can also go beyond the individual and affect whānau, hapū, iwi and hapori or communities. Therefore, puretumu torowhānui should facilitate individual and collective oranga and mana, connection or reconnection to whakapapa, and cultural restoration.
- Teu le vā / tauhi vā: is the tending to and nurturing of vā, or interconnected relationships between people and places, to maintain individual and societal oranga. Where there has been abuse, harm or trauma steps must be taken to heal or re-build the vā and re-establish connection and reciprocity.
- He mana tō tēnā, tō tēnā – ahakoa ko wai: refers to each and every person having their own mana and associated rights, no matter who they are. In this context, it means that a new puretumu torowhānui system and scheme, and their underlying processes must value disabled people and diversity, accept difference, and strive for equality and equity. This includes challenging ableism – the assumptions and omissions that can make disabled people, the tūkino and neglect they experience and their needs for restoration of mana and oranga, invisible.
Next: System Design and Delivery