Survivors of abuse in state and faith-based care will have access to new independent redress process

Internal Affairs Public Service

The Government has today released the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry report and is starting work on developing a new, independent, survivor-focused redress system.

“I want to acknowledge the courage of survivors who told their stories to the Royal Commission, and the work of the Commission in producing its report,” Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti said today.

“This report tells us what happened, now comes the work of addressing many years of avoidable harm.”

A new redress system will be developed to help implement the recommendations made by the Royal Commission, alongside those who have been affected, their representatives and communities.

“The Government has listened to the concerns expressed by survivors and we acknowledge the Royal Commission’s findings that there have been failings in the Crown’s approach to providing redress. We are therefore making an immediate and clear commitment to change,” Public Service Minister Chris Hipkins said.

“The new system will be designed from the ground up in collaboration with Māori, who were heavily over-represented in state and faith-based care. The collaborative design will also be guided by the views of survivors and key communities, including Pacific peoples and disabled people.

“The Government is moving on this now, before the Royal Commission finishes its other investigations, because we want to minimise delays for survivors who are waiting for their claims to be resolved. We are conscious of the age and ill-health of many of the survivors who suffered abuse at a time when care was heavily institutionalised.

“The Royal Commission has flagged areas where urgent action is needed before a new system is in place, such as advance payments for older or terminally ill survivors. They will be prioritised,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Survivors of abuse, and others involved with current redress arrangements, will have many questions about how the new system will work in practice. These will be answered as the detail of the new system is worked out.

“Today it is important to signal this Government’s intention to introduce a new, independent system, so that survivors can have confidence that their concerns expressed to the Royal Commission have been heard and will be acted on.”

Early next year, discussions will begin with key interested parties on options for how the collaborative design process could work, before the detailed design process begins in mid-2022.

The aim is for final decisions about the new system to be made by Cabinet around mid-2023, with the new system to be introduced soon after that.

The full report is available