Today (17 December 2020) the Government is releasing Tāwharautia: Pūrongo o te Wā – the Interim report of the Abuse in Care Royal Commission. We are pleased to provide you with a pdf version of the report in advance of the 3pm public release, at which time it will be published on our website, in various formats including an html version. The report is authored by the Commissioners, and its presentation to the Government by (or before) 28 December 2020 is a requirement of the terms of reference of the Royal Commission. Download Volume 1 (PDF) Download Volume 2 (PDF)

We acknowledge your courage and that of others who have come forward to share their experiences with us. Without your contribution, the Interim report and the insight it presents would not be possible.

We appreciate the release of the Interim report today may be confronting. If you need support, please call our Contact Centre on 0800 222 727 (weekdays 8am-6pm NZT) who can answer questions and direct people to appropriate support if needed, such as dedicated wellbeing support.

The Interim report publication is a significant milestone on the journey of the Royal Commission and for the survivors who have registered with us. However, our mahi continues as we head into 2021 with many more survivors and witnesses to hear from through private sessions, public hearings and written accounts.

The report is a substantive summary of the Inquiry’s work to date and comprises two volumes:

    • Volume One outlines our work to date and how we have approached it by analysing the key themes and common issues from the experiences shared with us by survivors and witnesses;
    • Volume Two is devoted to the voices of survivors. It shares survivor stories about their experiences of abuse in care.

Some key findings from the report are:

  • The nature of abuse in care is significant; it is estimated that the number of people who have been abused could be up to 250,000 out of a total of 655,000. Even on conservative estimates that is more people than previously thought.
  • The range of people who have been abused is wide and includes those from many backgrounds and situations. It is known that many of the people came from disadvantaged sectors of the society – children, young people and vulnerable adults in the Māori and Pacific communities and children from impoverished backgrounds, disabled people and women and girls.
  • Other findings include:
    • A wide and disturbing range of abuse and physical, emotional, psychological, medical, educational, spiritual and cultural neglect has occurred.
    • Common factors in abuse cases including a lack of training and vetting and poor complaints and response processes and at the worst further abuse, harassment or punishment for reporting abuse.
    • Discrimination and racism played a role from authorities and the public.
    • Economic cost: Our Economic Cost of Abuse report estimates the cost of abuse in care to individuals and society – between 1950 and 2019 is up to $217 billion.

There are some other related documents being published today including the Cohort Study (and associated peer review), Economic Cost of Abuse and Research Report. These will also be available on our website from 17 December 2020.

A media release from the Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister for the Public Service is also provided here.

We encourage you to tell others about the work of the Inquiry and suggest they get in touch with the Inquiry on 0800 222 727 or email

By Abuse in Care
17 Dec 2020