Witnesses for Faith-based institutions will give evidence before the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry at this hearing on their processes for resolving historic and current abuse claims.
This follows on from Phase 1 of the Faith-based Redress hearing held in Nov/Dec 2020, which focussed on the experience of survivors in seeking redress (such as compensation, counselling, an apology etc) for abuse and/or neglect in the care of faith-based institutions. (Note: Witness evidence for the Faith-based Redress Phase One hearing can still be accessed below).
The Faith-based institution witnesses - which include representatives from the highest level at New Zealand’s Salvation Army, and Anglican and Catholic Churches will be responding to survivors’ evidence and outlining past and current Redress policies and processes.
If you have experienced abuse in faith-based institutions such as a church or religious school between 1950-1999 or have information that may help the investigation please call us 0800 222 727 or email email@example.com
Your information will help us to build a picture of what happened to those who made allegations or complaints or took civil proceedings relating to having been abused in Faith-based care.
Submissions on behalf of Network for Survivors of Abuse in Faith-Based Institutions by Dr Murray Heasley and Liz Tonks.
Opening submissions by Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission - Hanne Janes
Opening submissions by Counsel Assisting the Salvation Army - Jenny Stevens
Colonel Gerry Walker is the Chief Secretary of The Salvation Army in New Zealand. He has been in full time ministry with The Salvation Army since 2002 in a variety of roles. In 2018, he was appointed to The Salvation Army’s Royal Commission Working Group. In his evidence, Colonel Walker apologises to survivors of abuse in a Salvation Army care context. He outlines the redress process, which is primarily led by Murray Houston, provides an overview of the constitutional structure of The Salvation Army and explains The Salvation Army’s policies for dealing with abuse allegations.
Murray Houston is the Commercial Manager for The Salvation Army and the Manager of the Royal Commission Response. Mr Houston has been employed by The Salvation Army since 1999. He is a “lay” or “civilian” employee, and is not affiliated with The Salvation Army congregation. Since 2000, Mr Houston has had primary responsibility within The Salvation Army for dealing with claims and the redress process. In his evidence, he provides a summary of claims made to The Salvation Army and an overview to the approach of these claims prior to, and post 2003, when there was an increase in claims. His evidence explains the process in place for responding to claims since 2003. In his supplementary statement, Mr Houston responds to some of the evidence given by survivors in Phase 1 of the Faith-based hearing.
Opening statement by Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission – Katherine Anderson
Opening statement by Counsel Assisting the Anglican Church – Fiona Guy-Kidd
The Rt Reverend Ross Bay has been the Bishop of Auckland since 2010 having been ordained as a priest in 1989. In his evidence Bishop Ross apologises to survivors. His evidence sets out the history of the Diocese of Auckland, the processes for dealing with complaints and claims of abuse and the relationship between the Diocese and various schools and trust boards. Bishop Ross also addresses estimated claims and outcomes from Church processes.
The Rt Reverend Peter Carrell has been the Bishop of Christchurch since 2019 having been ordained as a priest in 1987. In his evidence Bishop Peter provides an apology to survivors, gives some of the history of the Diocese of Christchurch, explains the relationship between the Diocese and various schools and trust boards and gives detail of the procedures for dealing with complaints and claims of abuse as well as how the Church attempts to educate clergy on issues of safety.
The Most Reverend Philip Richardson has been a bishop since 1999 and since 2008 has been a Bishop of the Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki. Since 2013 he has been the Archbishop of New Zealand and one of the primates of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia/Te Hahi Mihinare ki Aotearoa ki Niu Tireni, ki Nga Moutere o Te Moana Nui a Kiwa. In his evidence Archbishop Philip outlines the history and unique three-tikanga structure of the Anglican Church. He discusses in detail the disciplinary processes of the Church over time, some of the issues the Church confronts when it comes to redress and the nature of ordination and liability. He also discusses some of the individual cases.
The Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia/Te Hahi Mihinare ki Aotearoa ki Niu Tireni, ki Nga Moutere o Te Moana Nui a Kiwa has a joint primacy shared between the three tikanga of the Church (Māori, Pasifika and Pakeha). In this statement, the Primates offer an apology from the Church to those abused while in the care of the Church and its affiliated institutions, provide an update on recent changes to disciplinary canons, provide a contribution on matters of tikanga and recommit to assist the Commission in its work.
Opening statements from Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission, Katherine Anderson
Opening statement from SNAP (Sonja Cooper with Christopher Longhurst, John O’Malley)
Opening statement from Counsel Assisting the Catholic Church, Sally McKechnie
Dr Doyle is an ordained Catholic priest, canon lawyer and addictions therapist. Since 1982, he has been involved in the issue of clergy sexual abuse, beginning with his work as the staff canon lawyer at the Vatican Embassy in Washington D.C. His involvement includes: pastoral care of victims and their families, canonical defence advocate for accused clerics, consultant to dioceses and religious communities and as an expert witness and consultant in civil and criminal cases throughout the United States and other countries. In 2006, he co-authored the book Sex, Priests and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000-Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse. He served as a consultant and expert in several of the investigatory commissions in Ireland and, in 2017, as an expert witness before the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Dr Doyle’s Submission firstly sets out the scope and recent history of clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, how canon law applies and how the Catholic Church has responded. He sets this in context by explaining the governance and structure of the Catholic Church and the nature of Catholic priesthood. The second part of Dr Doyle’s Submission explores how the Catholic Church’s institutional system enables abuse. He also describes the ‘trauma bond’ and spiritual damage experienced by survivors of Catholic clergy abuse. Dr Doyle’s Submission ends with an analysis of why the Catholic Church has failed to adequately respond to the issue of clergy sexual abuse.
Br Horide is a religious brother in the Marist Brothers. He has been the Professional Standards Delegate for the Marist Brothers since 2018 and is responsible for responding to complaints of abuse made to the Marist Brothers and engaging in any redress processes. Brother Horide’s evidence concerns the history and status of the Marist Brothers in New Zealand, and how the Marist Brothers have responded to complaints of abuse.
Virginia Noonan is the Director of the National Office for Professional Standards (NOPS). NOPS responds to complaints of sexual abuse involving clergy and members of religious congregations and oversees the Catholic Church’s safeguarding policies and practices in New Zealand. Virginia was appointed Director in 2018 and between May 2017 and January 2018 was appointed by the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch as their Safeguarding Coordinator. Her evidence outlines how NOPS operationalises the safeguarding and harm-prevention programmes and offers reflections on the survivor evidence given at the Faith-based Redress Hearing.
Fr Timothy Duckworth is the Provincial of the New Zealand province of the Society of Mary (often known as the Marist Fathers and Brothers) and has been in the role since the 1st of February 2020. He has been a priest for 38 years and has served in a variety of ministries and apostolates including teaching. His evidence outlines the Society of Mary’s approach to redress, in particular the Society’s Sexual Abuse Protocol Committee and their current approach to redress under A Path to Healing.
Cardinal John Dew is the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Wellington and Metropolitan of New Zealand. He is also the president of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference. Cardinal Dew’s evidence concerns the diocesan approach to redress, the Catholic Church’s national approach to redress, and developments in redress from the Vatican.
Counsel Assisting the Salvation Army Jenny Stevens
Counsel Assisting the Anglican Church Fiona Guy-Kidd QC and Jeremy Johnson
Counsel Assisting the Catholic Church Sally McKechnie
Closing on behalf of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) Sonja Cooper and Christopher Longhurst
Closing on behalf of Cooper Legal clients Sonja Cooper
Closing of behalf of Network for Survivors of Abuse in Faith-based Institutions Murray Heasley and Liz Tonks
Opening submissions by Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission - Ms Anderson
Opening submissions on behalf of the Bishops and Congregational Leaders of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand by Ms McKechnie
Submissions on behalf of Network for Survivors of Abuse in Faith-Based Institutions by Dr Murray Heasley and Liz Tonks.
Frances will give evidence about the sexual and emotional abuse she experienced in the early 1970s when she was a primary school student. The abuser was a Marist Brother who taught at the nearby Marist Brothers intermediate school in Ponsonby, Auckland. As a survivor of Pacific descent, Frances will address the cultural and other barriers she experienced in disclosing the abuse, and how the abuse has affected her. She will discuss the Catholic Church’s redress process, which has involved earlier communications with the Marist Brothers, and more recent contact with the Church’s National Office for Professional Standards and the Marist Brothers. She will present her views about how the Catholic Church might prevent abuse including recommendations from the Australian Royal Commission of Inquiry about reforming the Catholic Church’s canon law.
Patrick’s evidence will be read by his daughter Tina, as Patrick passed away earlier this year. His evidence describes the abuse he suffered over four years at the Catholic secondary school, St Patrick’s in Silverstream. In a statement titled ‘Shame’, Patrick explains why it took him so long to share his story. His evidence describes the difficulties he faced when attempting to complain to the Police, and to the Catholic Order the Society of Mary.
Mr G’s evidence outlines the abuse he experienced at Marist Brothers’ School in Whanganui. In late 2019, Mr G made a complaint to the National Office for Professional Standards after seeing an Otago Daily Times article which named his abuser as a serial offender who had been the subject of multiple complaints to the Marist Brothers. Mr G’s complaint to the National Office for Professional Standards has not yet been resolved, but his desired outcomes are a written apology, an acknowledgement of the issue of abuse within the Catholic Church, and an ex-gratia payment.
Mr F will give evidence about the abuse he experienced in his first year at St Patrick’s College, Silverstream in 1953. The abuse, by the Rector, who was a member of the Catholic Society of Mary, led Mr F to abandon school at the age of 14. Mr F’s evidence will set out how he has engaged with the Church, not only to address the effects of the abuse on his life, but his concern that the Catholic Church is still not dealing effectively with the issue of sexual abuse. Mr F considers that children are still at risk of being abused in Church institutions. He will address the need for the Catholic Church to do more to prevent abuse and help survivors.
Anne will give evidence about the abuse she experienced while at the Star of the Sea orphanage, run by the Sisters of Mercy, and the sexual abuse by a Catholic priest who befriended her mother. Anne will outline the major impact this abuse continues to have on her physical and mental health. She describes her attempts to disclose the sexual abuse to members of the Church, leading to her formal complaint. She will outline her experience of seeking redress from the Dominican Order and how other members of her family were involved in this process. Anne continues to engage directly with the Catholic Church and survivors of abuse. Her evidence concludes by setting out her requests for the Church to better address the impacts her abuser has had on other individuals and communities. Anne describes her concern that the Church needs to do more to put survivors first instead of protecting its priests and reputation.
Gloria gives evidence on the Catholic Church’s redress process both as a survivor of abuse and as someone who has worked on one of the Church’s Abuse Protocol Committees. Her statement describes the abuse she suffered while attending primary school at St Mary’s, Northcote, and the vast impact that this abuse has had on her life. Gloria talks about her experiences working for the Church, including in her volunteer role as a Survivor Advocate for the first Protocol Committee of the Auckland Diocese. She draws on her experiences and her work with other survivors to outline and explain the obstacles that exist for those who seek redress.
Ann-Marie’s evidence describes her experience of abuse while in the care of several faith-based institutions. Ann-Marie describes the great impact the abuse has had on her life, and the obstacles and challenges she has experienced while seeking redress. Ann-Marie sought redress both through engaging with the Abuse Protocol Committee of the Archdiocese of Wellington, and through laying a complaint with the Police. Her Police complaint eventually resulted in a conviction and Ann-Marie talks about the court process, what happened at the hearings and how members of the Church were involved.
Mary will give evidence about the process of obtaining redress for abuse she suffered at St Patrick’s Cathedral School and St Dominic’s Catholic College in Auckland. Mary sought legal representation from Cooper Legal to engage in the redress process. Mary’s evidence will describe the re-traumatisation she experienced through the National Office for Professional Standards’ approach to resolving the complaint. Mary received an ex-gratia payment and an apology from the Sisters of Mercy for the abuse suffered at St Patrick’s Cathedral School, but the Dominican Sisters did not uphold her complaint of abuse at St Dominic’s Catholic College.
Marc will give evidence about the abuse he suffered in St Edmund’s Intermediate School and St Paul’s High School, Dunedin, by two Christian Brothers, a priest and a lay teacher. The abuse he suffered was by people who knew of his vulnerability due to his family situation where his brother, father and grandfather passed away within a three-year period. Marc will describe the difficulty of obtaining redress from the Professional Standards Office in Australia, including compensation he received, and the lack of ongoing support provided. Marc has also approached the National Office for Professional Standards in New Zealand and the investigation is ongoing.
John will give evidence about the abuse he experienced during the two years he was at a Catholic intermediate school in the early 1980s, run by the Marist Brothers, and his experiences in trying to get redress from the Catholic Church. The abuser, who sexually groomed then raped John, was Principal of the school. John will outline the effects of the abuse on his opportunities for education and employment, his relationships, and his mental health. He will describe how he has sought redress using the processes provided by the Catholic Church and the frustrations he has experienced. John questions the Marist Brothers’ understanding of how re-traumatising it has been for him to go through the Church’s redress process. He will address the need for better support from the Church and an independent redress process.
Jacinda will talk about abuse suffered as a parishioner of the Nativity Anglican Church in Blenheim in the 2000’s, by the parish priest. Jacinda will give evidence of trying to obtain redress through the Anglican Church, Police, civil proceedings, Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Review Tribunal.
Mr Harding discusses the abuse suffered while attending Dilworth School in the 1970’s by staff at the School. Mr Harding will also discuss failed redress approaches to the Police in the 1990’s and interactions with the Dilworth Trust Board as well as future recommendations to the School and Anglican Church.
Mr Goodwin will discuss the environment at Christ’s College, including abuse from senior students and the difficulty seeking redress after being educated within a “don’t tell” culture, as well as the subsequent impact of these experiences.
Ms M discusses her home life and circumstances that led to being placed in the care of Anglican Social Services, and the abuse suffered in various home placements, which were made by Anglican Social Services and the State. Ms M will also describe her experiences of redress in relation to the abuse including court proceedings, later reporting of abuse to Police and through the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service, ACC and MSD. Ms M will also discuss the impact these experiences have had on her.
Mr Oakly will give evidence about the abuse he suffered by an Archdeacon of the Brightwater Church of the Nelson Anglican Diocese, who was also Scout Commissioner for the Nelson region, as well as the impact of the abuse. Mr Oakly will also describe his attempts to obtain recognition, an apology and compensation from the Anglican Church for the sexual abuse suffered.
Ms C will give evidence of the abuse of a Vicar within a Church and Youth Group setting. Ms C will also explain the Church grievance process and mediation she went through to try to ensure that the Vicar was not able to reoffend again. Ms C also discusses her experience of approaching the Police regarding the abuse.
Louise Deans will give evidence about abuse experience while training to become an ordained Minister in the Anglican Church and the attempts to obtain redress. Louise Deans is the author of the book Whistle Blower: Abuse of Power in the Church – a New Zealand Story.
Margaret Wilkinson’s evidence will describe the abuse she experienced at ‘St Mary’s Home for Unwed Mothers’ and her attempts to get Redress from ‘the Anglican Trust for Women and Children’. In 1964 at the age of 19 years old, Margaret was sent to St Mary’s for six months. Her baby daughter was taken from her by the Matron of the institution without her consent and concealed from Margaret who was forced to give the baby up for adoption. Margaret will give her evidence not only for herself but also on behalf of her support group ‘New Zealand Mothers of Loss to Adoption for Justice’ and she will highlight the political avenues she has taken in an attempt to reform the New Zealand Adoption Act 1955’
Mrs D gives evidence of her treatment (and the treatment of her children) within St Mary’s Home for unwed mothers, including the forced adoption of two of her children. She also talks about her attempts for redress and the personal impact of both her treatment within the Anglican home and the subsequent interactions with the Church.
Mr A (via AVL) - will not be live-streamed.
Mr A was placed in care at the Salvation Army’s Bramwell Booth Home in Temuka in the 1980’s. Mr A gives evidence of approaching Cooper Legal and taking a claim against the Salvation Army to obtain redress.
Ms Lowe will give evidence of her time at Hillsbrook Children’s Home, the Salvation Army’s Whatman Children’s Home and foster care. She will outline the impact of the abuse suffered in these placements, and the effort made on behalf of herself and others to obtain redress from The Salvation Army. Ms Lowe also makes recommendations for changes to the redress process.
Mr Timpson identifies as Moriori. Mr Timpson gives evidence of his experiences of abuse within the Salvation Army’s Bramwell Booth Home in Temuka where he was placed for 11 years from 1971 onwards. Mr Timpson will also discuss the significant impact this has had on his life, and his experience going through the Salvation Army redress process in the 2000’s.
Ms White gives evidence of her experience at the Salvation Army homes The Nest and The Grange, and the abuse and neglect she suffered during this time. She will also outline the redress process she undertook with the Salvation Army in the 2000’s.
Mr Takiaho identifies as Maori. Mr Takiaho will give evidence of his experiences in Owairaka Boys Home and Hodderville, as well as foster care homes. He will also talk about the redress process he went through with the Salvation Army and the significant impact that both the care settings and the redress process had on him.
Ms B’s evidence includes testimony of her experience in care of The Salvation Army at The Grange in the 1950’s and the long-lasting impact of her abuse in care. Ms B will also give evidence of her redress process and recommendations for change.
The following witness statements from four witnesses are part of the evidence from the Faith-based Redress Hearing. These witnesses did not give oral evidence during the hearing but their statements are published here.
Ms K’s evidence is about the abuse she suffered by two Marist Brothers in her family home. Ms K made a complaint to the Professional Standards Resource Group in Australia. At the time the Marist Brothers were investigating the complaint, both men were no longer Marist Brothers. They denied the allegations and the Order felt they could do no more. Ms K engaged a lawyer to challenge this response, but the Marist Brothers said she could no longer make a claim due to the Limitations Act. Ms K made a Police statement and criminal proceedings were successful against her abusers. The Marist Brothers have since contacted Ms K with an offer of a $5,000 ex gratia payment, which she declined. Ms K also outlines her experience with the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) and the difficulty she went through in ACC’s impairment assessments to get compensation for the injuries she suffered as a result of sexual abuse.
Ms I’s evidence outlines the abuse she experienced by nuns at school in Hamilton East, and the impact this has had on her life. Ms I details the lack of response by the Catholic Church when she disclosed her abuse to the Catholic Church Counselling Service, and later to a priest in Auckland.
Mr J describes his experience of abuse in the Catholic Church revolving around the predatory sexual behaviour of a Gisborne Parish priest in the 1950s. Mr J wishes to put the record straight regarding the priest’s behaviour and hopes that he may motivate others to come forward. Mr J made a complaint to the Catholic Church in March 2020. His evidence includes recommendations as to how the Church’s A Path to Healing redress process can be improved, as well as a chronology of his contact with this Royal Commission and the Catholic Church.
Robert Donaldson will give evidence about the sexual abuse he experienced while in the pastoral care of Father Magnus “Max” Murray (Father Murray). The abuse occurred between 1955 and 1965, starting when Robert was seven years old and Father Murray was the assistant priest at St Bernadette’s Church, Dunedin. The abuse has affected Robert’s entire life, including his family relationships and his ability to work fulltime due to anxiety and depression. Robert’s initial approaches to members of the Catholic Church provided some support, including arranging an ACC claim for regular counselling. Robert was later approached by Police to provide a statement against Magnus Murray, who was convicted in 2003 for sexual offending against four boys, including Robert. Despite attending a restorative justice meeting with Magnus Murray, Robert has found this did not result in closure or healing. Robert considers it a disgrace that Magnus Murray was defrocked only in 2019, 16 years after his convictions. He also considers that celibacy in the Catholic Church is a problem, along with secrecy, minimisation and cover-up.
Mrs N was groomed and sexually abused by a teacher at St Margaret’s College, Christchurch, an Anglican high school. In her evidence she discusses her experiences making a complaint to the School and of giving evidence at the Teaching Council.
Mr L, was a staff member at St Margaret’s College, Christchurch, an Anglican high school. In his evidence he discusses supporting a student who was groomed and sexually abused by a teacher at that School. His evidence details the School’s response to the student’s complaint and supporting the student to give evidence at the Teaching Council.
Vincent’s evidence is about the abuse he suffered by former priest, Magnus Murray, at a Christian Brothers High School. In 2003, Murray was convicted of 10 charges involving four complainants for offending that occurred between 1958 and 1972. Murray’s conviction reawakened Vincent’s repressed memories of the abuse. In 2006, Vincent disclosed his abuse to a Parish Priest who arranged for counselling on the condition that Vincent would not sue the Church. Vincent was not advised of the A Path to Healing process nor the National Office for Professional Standards. In 2008, the Auckland Catholic Sexual Abuse Committee contacted Vincent to ask how much longer he needed to continue with counselling. Vincent’s statement also suggests improvements to the Catholic Church’s redress process, including listening to survivors, providing counselling and taking responsibility for abuse that occurred by the Church.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in Aotearoa New Zealand is the national chapter of SNAP, a worldwide peer-support network of adult survivors of child sexual abuse by members of the clergy, in faith-based organisations and in other institutions. SNAP’s members come from a number of different faith traditions, including but not limited to the Salvation Army, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian and Methodist churches and the Catholic Church. In this statement SNAP outlines problems faced by its members when engaging with the redress processes of faith-based institutions in New Zealand and identifies areas where change is required.