‘Clearly been a stress element’, Sir Anand Satyanand explains after stepping down from Abuse in Care Inquiry

Sir Anand Satyanand has played down claims that his resignation as chair of the Abuse in Care Inquiry is a sign something is not working with the inquiry.

Yesterday Sir Anand, a former Governor-General, resigned from the inquiry, effective in November.

Speaking on TVNZ1’s Breakfast today Sir Anand said it was simply time for him to step down. Yesterday he was appointed chancellor of the University of Waikato.

“I heard the radio story this morning that this is a crack and a problem,” Sir Anand told Breakfast.

“It’s none of those things … the build up is completed … I’ve made a judgement call that this is a good time for me to step down.”

Sir Anand went on the acknowledge that there had “clearly been a stress element” when listening to accounts of survivors of abuse, but he had experienced similar stress during his professional life.

In a statement yesterday Sir Anand said: “The Abuse in Care Inquiry is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change how New Zealand cares for children, young people and vulnerable adults.

“I am sure, when implemented by Government, this inquiry’s recommendations will see children and young people supported to thrive in safe environments, not abused or neglected.”

The Government is expected to appoint a new chair of the Abuse in Care Inquiry by November.

Published in One News Now
7 August 2019

Where to from here for abuse inquiry?

Sir Anand Satyanand is stepping down as chair of the Royal Commission into Historic Abuse in state and religious institutional care. The first public hearing is scheduled in seven weeks and the inquiry is due to run until 2023.

Where does Sir Anand’s resignation leave those expecting to he heard? Kathryn speaks with Wellington lawyer Sonja Cooper and Liz Tonks from the Network for Survivors of Abuse in Faith based institutions.

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Alison Mau: State care abuse inquiry’s gang connections the latest hurdle for vulnerable participants

OPINION: Important ideas often stumble on the detail, something the Royal Commission of Inquiry into historical abuse in state care is fast finding out.

A potentially life-changing concept that would hear survivors’ stories without fear nor favour, is finding itself hobbled by the near impossible task of keeping all comers happy and safe.

Published in Stuff

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Lawyer loses confidence in state care abuse inquiry

A lawyer who represents people who were abused while in state care says she has lost confidence in the Royal Commission.

Sonja Cooper says the Commission has been holding ‘mock’ or ‘pilot’ sessions with abuse survivors ahead of the official hearings.

Ms Cooper represents about 1400 complainants. She tells Corin Dann that the mock sessions could be traumatising and she would be cautious about recommending her clients to participate in the Commission.

Listen to the story here

By Morning Report
Published in Radio New Zealand
10 June 2019

Royal Commission’s ‘mock’ sessions with survivors

Survivors of abuse in state care have been blindsided by the Royal Commission investigating their treatment holding ‘mock’ interviews with them about their experiences as a practice run ahead of formal proceedings of the inquiry.

The meetings have involved more than 40 of the survivors and some did not understand that their sensitive contributions were part of a pre-inquiry ‘pilot’ by the commission which will not be included as evidence.

Published in Newsroom

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Otago men to assist commission

Four Otago men who survived sexual abuse or physical violence while in care have been included in a new Survivor Advisory Group to help guide a pending Royal Commission.

The group of 20 men and women making up the new group was unveiled yesterday, representing survivors of abuse in state care and faith-based institutions.

They would help guide the work of the pending Royal Commission into historic abuse, which was expanded last year to include both state and faith-based institutions.

Published in Otago Daily Times

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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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