In the first phase the Inquiry will hear evidence from survivors of abuse in care about civil claims made against the State. It will also hear from survivors about civil litigation in the courts and before the Human Rights Tribunal. Hearing from people who experienced abuse and neglect in institutions 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 State-based care.
In the second phase of the State Redress Hearing, witnesses for the Crown will give evidence.
The public hearings will take place at Level 2, 414 Khyber Pass Road, Newmarket, Auckland 1023.
The hearings will also be livestreamed on our website.
The State-based Redress hearing was conducted under Level 2 restrictions. This situation required the Royal Commission to abide by government mandated Covid-19 requirements and ensure the safety of staff and attendees through specific protocols.
Witnesses for the State Redress Hearing- Witnesses for the Crown will be added once confirmed.
Witnesses for the State Redress Hearing - Evidence from Survivors of Abuse can be found below. We will be adding witness statements, transcripts and film of their testimony as and when it is available for publication.
To watch the evidence being given by individual survivors, please click on the survivor’s name below.
James Packer is Ngāti Maniapoto. James is Deaf and has Aspergers syndrome. On his behalf, his mother, Cheryl Munro, gave evidence of the many attempts by him, and his family, to get the Ministry of Education to engage with his claims of abuse in a special Deaf school. He also gave evidence of his claim against the Crown Health Financing Agency for abuse he suffered while admitted as a patient in a psychiatric hospital.
Keith Wiffin will gave evidence of his experience of making a claim against the Ministry of Social Development in relation to abuse he suffered while at Epuni Boys’ Home and in family homes. He will discuss how the process of making a claim and the response from MSD affected him and make recommendations as to how claims processes could be improved.
Joan Bellingham gave evidence on her experience as a trainee nurse at Burwood Hospital, and then as a patient at Princess Margaret Hospital periodically from 1970 until 1982. Joan shared the difficulties she experienced in seeking redress through the courts, the Crown Health Financing Agency claims process and accessing rehabilitation through ACC.
Chassy Duncan is Ngāti Kahungunu. He gave evidence about the ongoing process of resolving claims of abuse against the Ministry of Social Development in relation to his time in Child Youth and Family care and the Ministry of Education in respect of his time at a residential special school. He described the challenges of dealing with two different claims processes and the difficulty with raising further information in the process. Chassy also shared his experience of attending meetings with claims assessors, the sharing of information between organisations and the disclosure of his personal information to the Police and other organisations.
Patrick Stevens’ evidence will be read, as sadly he passed away during Covid-19 lockdown. His evidence outlines his experience of going through the historic claims process with the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Health. Patrick’s claim against the Ministry of Social Development related to social work practice failures while he was in child welfare and social welfare care. His claims against the Ministry of Health related to abuse suffered while admitted to the Manawaroa Unit at Palmerston North Hospital and while informally admitted to the Child and Adolescent Unit at Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital. His evidence explains the different approaches to his claims of abuse and the different settlement outcomes.
Earl White gives evidence of the abuse he experienced at Epuni Boys Home and Hokio Beach School, and the process of taking a civil claim in the High Court against the Ministry of Social Development. He describes barriers and challenges experienced in the process of pursuing that claim, what happened at his High Court hearing, and the fact it took almost 12 years for the matter to conclude. Earl also describes the effect the abuse and the process has had, and continues to have, on his life.
Leoni McInroe has provided a statement giving evidence about her experiences in seeking justice and compensation for the abuse she suffered in the Child and Adolescent Unit at Lake Alice Hospital, and her desire to see Dr Leeks held accountable, which she feels has still not happened in the 26 years since she filed her civil proceedings. Leonie recounts the process of taking her civil claim over a 9-year period, and how she felt about that process and the eventual outcome.
Tanya and Georgina Sammons gave evidence of their experiences of the Ministry of Social Development’s historic claims process in their attempts to address the abuse they suffered while in foster care. They gave evidence of the different approaches taken to each of their claims, and to their claim on behalf of their sister, who is now deceased.
Dr Fiona Inkpen will give evidence on behalf of Stand Children’s Services Tū Māia Whānau (Stand Tū Māia), describing the historic abuse claims received by Stand Tū Māia in relation to Health Camps, and the trauma-competent, bi-cultural approach that Stand Tū Māia has developed for responding to these claims. She will draw on those experiences to make recommendations for how these types of claims should be addressed by all agencies going forward.
Kerry Johnson was assessed at a young age as having an intellectual disability. He will give evidence about the historic claims process as it relates to his time at a faith-based boarding school, at a special residential school, in social welfare care and as a patient at various psychiatric hospitals. Kerry will talk about the challenges with legal aid funding and dealing with multiple claims against the Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, and other care providers.
Trish Grant is the Director of Advocacy at IHC. IHC is a non-governmental organisation that advocates for the rights, inclusion and welfare of all people with intellectual disabilities in New Zealand and supports them to lead to satisfying lives in the community. Ms Grant’s evidence outlines a proceeding taken by the IHC in the Human Rights Review Tribunal. The case alleges that the government unlawfully discriminated against 84,000-106,000 children in state schools who have disabilities and need accommodations to learn. The merits of IHC’s case (i.e. whether or not the government has unlawfully discriminated against children with disabilities) are yet to be heard. In her evidence, Ms Grant will give IHC’s view of this situation and its effects on children with disabilities. She will also describe the challenges people with disabilities face when making claims for abuse against the State, using an anonymised case study where IHC helped a person resolve their claim.
Gay Rowe will give evidence as the sister of, and guardian for, Paul Beale. Paul was born with an intellectual disability and was placed into Kimberley Hospital and, later, Parklands. The latter was a residence funded by the Ministry of Health. Gay will describe the abuse suffered by Paul at both facilities and the claims process with the Ministry of Health in relation to Parklands.
Sonja Cooper and Amanda Hill will expand on the evidence relating to redress that they provided to the Inquiry at the Contextual Hearing in October/November 2019. Their evidence will draw on the experience of the thousands of claimants they have represented over many years. Topics covered will include legal and other barriers to successfully seeking redress in the court system; the redress processes of the Crown agencies (Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health, and their predecessors); barriers to settlement experienced by their clients and Cooper Legal under these processes; issues relating to funding of claims for historic abuse in care and levels of compensation claimants receive; and the role of human rights instruments in these processes. Their evidence also suggests proposed solutions for the Inquiry to consider.