Government sets out how it will respond to historical state abuse inquiry

Minister for State Services Chris Hipkins said he would lead the Crown’s response to the inquiry.

Setting out the principles was an important step in rebuilding trust between the government and those abused while in state care, he said.

“This is an incredibly important matter. The government is determined to take action in a transparent, coordinated and timely way to ensure such wide scale abuse over such a long period can never be allowed to happen again.”

Published in Better Blokes

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Call for Sir Anand to resign from commission

A survivor abused as an altar boy by a Catholic priest in Dunedin is adding his voice to fresh calls for the chairman of the royal commission into historic abuse to resign.

It emerged over the weekend Sir Anand Satyanand – a former governor-general and the chairman of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions set up on February 1, 2018 – had offered to step down after disclosing his Catholic faith.

Sir Anand had written to Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin on September 1 to inform her he was a practising Catholic, involved in the Catholic community and had known Bishops in “church and social settings”.

Published in Otago Daily Times

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Concerns about abuse inquiry boss ‘shut down’ – survivor

The government’s historical abuse inquiry is being accused of shutting down questions about the Commissioners’ potential conflicts of interest over their religious affiliations. Christopher Longhurst who was abused at a Catholic school also says the inquiry is unsafe for victims and he wants nothing more to do with it. Late last month the commission posted on its website a process for handling conflicts of interest though it’s been meeting abuse survivors for months. Ann Marie May reports.

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By Morning Report
Published in Radio New Zealand
8 April 2019

Minister refuses state abuse inquiry chair’s resignation amid conflict criticism

Sir Anand Satyanand offered to withdraw as head of the country’s largest ever state inquiry amid worries about a perceived conflict of interest because of his Catholic faith.

Documents obtained by Stuff show Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin rejected the former Governor General’s offer, instead asking him for a plan to combat any risk to the integrity of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and Care in Faith-Based Institutions.

Child abuse survivors are calling for Satyanand’s resignation offer to be accepted. They say his position risks tainting the inquiry’s credibility – already mired in setbacks.

Published in Stuff

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Abuse inquiry’s scope wider

New Zealand’s pending royal commission into historical abuse will include the actions of predator priests who targeted children in family homes, on day trips and in other out-of-church settings, it has been confirmed.

The outcome, announced yesterday, has been praised by survivors advocate Liz Tonks and the Catholic Bishop of Dunedin, the Most Rev Michael Dooley.

Ms Tonks, a spokeswoman for the Network of Survivors of Abuse in Faith-based Institutions and their Supporters, told ODT Insight she was delighted by the news.

Published in Otago Daily Times

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Child sexual abuse inquiry scope clarified

Priests who abused children in their own homes will be included in a Royal Commission into historical sexual abuse.

The move is being described as a change-in-scope by advocates but the Royal Commission says it is only a clarification of the exiting scope.

After the Government bowed to pressure and added abuse in faith-based institutions to the Royal Commission, victims and survivors were concerned the scope was too narrow, because it only looked at abuse in bricks-and-mortar institutions.

Published in Stuff

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Abuse expert: Catholic bishops risk losing all credibility

The Catholic Church has set up a new body to liaise with the Royal Commission’s abuse inquiry, but its make-up has raised questions over its capacity to deliver truth.

A leading world expert on clerical child sex abuse told RNZ that if Te Rōpū Tautoko remained top-heavy with Church officials it would “only do the bidding of the bishops” and would have no credibility.

Published in Radio New Zealand

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Data breach and delay: survivors lose faith in New Zealand’s landmark child abuse inquiry

A year after it was announced – and more than a month after it was scheduled to begin – there has been little action.

Abuse survivors are beginning to lose faith in New Zealand’s nascent royal commission after months of poor communication, delay, at least one privacy breach and one survivor’s details being lost twice.

In February 2018 the New Zealand government announced it would hold a royal commission or judicial inquiry into abuse in state care, which it said would begin in January 2019.

Published in The Guardian

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Move to expand Government abuse inquiry to include religious institutions welcomed

The inclusion of religious institutions into a state abuse inquiry has been welcomed by those who work with male survivors of sexual abuse.

A Royal Commission into the historical abuse of children in state care, from 1950-1999, has been in a preliminary process since February. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Children’s Minister Tracey Martin announced on Monday that Cabinet had agreed to expand the commission’s remit to investigate abuse in church institutions after months of resistance.

Male Survivors Aotearoa chairman Phillip Chapman was one of those who made an submission that the inquiry be widened to include other organisations like churches, schools and sports clubs. While it could have gone further, he said the inclusion of churches and faith-based organisations was “good news”.

But he did hold concerns about how the inquiry would be managed, as there were few support services for male survivors.

Published in Stuff

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Abuse inquiry change will help Māori voices – Murray Heasley

A spokesperson for survivors of abuse in faith-based institutions says extending the inquiry scope will strengthen voices not diminish them. Some Māori abused in state care say they will be silenced in the government inquiry now it’s including abuse by the churches. Survivors say expanding the inquiry will water it down, and those abused by the state should be dealt with on their own. Doctor Murray Heasley of Ngāti Raukawa, is the spokesperson for a network of survivors of abuse in faith based institutions.

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Published in Radio New Zealand
14 November 2018

Bishop considering public ‘full disclosure’

The Catholic bishop of Dunedin says he may not wait for a royal commission before lifting the lid on the sexual abuse of children by men of the cloth within the diocese.

Bishop Michael Dooley told ODT Insight he was considering a public “full disclosure” based on diocesan records of complaints alleging clergy abuse of children.

That would include naming alleged offenders and revealing the numbers of victims involved and payouts made within the Dunedin diocese, where complaints were deemed “credible” and church records existed.

Published in Otago Daily Times

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Apology needed for people abused in state and church care: sex abuse survivors support group

An apology is needed for people who have been abused in state and church care, according to a group that supports survivors of sexual abuse.

Leo McIntyre, spokesman for The Road Forward Trust, which offers peer support to male survivors of sexual abuse, welcomed the Government’s decision to expand the terms of reference of an inquiry into the abuse of children in state care to include faith-based organisations.

That includes religious schools such as Catholic schools and communities such as the Gloriavale Christian community on the West Coast. Under the Inquiries Act they could be compelled to appear at hearings.

“I think this will be of benefit to people who thought they were going to be excluded previously,” McIntyre told the Herald.

Published in New Zealand Herald

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