The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry will issue reports, including recommendations for change, throughout its four-year life. The Government intends to start work on those recommendations as they are made.

Stay up to date: If you would like to stay up to date on our work programme, please email: contact@abuseinquiryresponse.govt.nz with 'Pānui' in the email subject line.

Survivor-led design of a redress system 

The Royal Commission interim report on redress identified failings in the Crown’s approach to providing redress, which it says led to many years of avoidable harm for abuse survivors. 

The report called for a new, independent, trauma-informed redress system to be developed for survivors of abuse in care. This would replace existing redress processes run by government agencies. 

Planning for the creation of a new redress system  

The Government announced(external link) it will develop a new independent system. The Crown Response Unit called for nominations for a Redress Design Group or an Advisory group to develop proposals for a new independent system, puretumu torowhānui focused on healing from trauma and abuse.

Nominations have now closed and a candidate review panel has been appointed to review the nominations.

Read the High-Level Design for a new redress system Cabinet paper [PDF, 18 MB] [December 2022]

Improving support for survivors of abuse in care

The government is improving its support for survivors of abuse in care while a new independent redress system is being designed. 

On 9 August 2022 Public Services Minister Hon Chris Hipkins announced(external link) that work was under way on three immediate projects:

  1. rapid payments for claimants
  2. a listening service
  3. easier records access for survivors

Work is now underway on preparing a national apology to abuse in care survivors. 

Read the Immediate Projects Cabinet Paper [PDF, 2 MB]

This work is being coordinated by the Crown Response Unit and guided by previous engagement with survivors, including the views of hundreds of survivors that informed the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry’s interim report on redress(external link), released in December 2021.  Additional advice and guidance from survivors, experts and others will also be sought. 

 

1. Rapid payments

The Government announced(external link) on Tuesday 13 December 2022 rapid payments for historical abuse claimants. Rapid payments are not part of the new, independent redress system – they are being run by existing claims agencies. The first set of rapid payments are being made by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), which has about 3000 historic claims – more than 90% of all the current historical claims being processed by four government agencies. The Ministry is prioritising rapid payments for survivors who are seriously ill or unwell, aged over 70, or have waited the longest to get their claims considered.

To find out more please contact the Ministry of Social Development: 0800 631 127 or visit its website.(external link)

 

2. Listening service 

Currently, survivors of abuse in care can contact the Royal Commission to share their experiences of harm in care and the impact of that harm. But the Royal Commission will close down in mid-2023, before the new independent redress system is established. 

Therefore, a new listening service has been recommended. The service would provide safe, supportive, confidential place to share their care experiences. The design will use targeted consultation with survivor groups. It will draw on the experience of the Royal Commission process and the previous Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS) for survivors, which ran from 2008 to 2015. 

3. Easier records access for survivors 

The Government is also considering how to improve survivors’ access to records of their time in care, following concerns raised during the Inquiry. 

The Royal Commission found that many survivors had difficulty getting their records quickly and fully. The problems included lengthy delays, or getting incomplete or heavily redacted information. 

The Government recognises there are many issues around the creation of, and access to, survivor records. As a first step, officials will work with survivors and experts on some immediate improvements to how survivors access their records.

4. Preparing for a national apology 

The Royal Commission recommended the Crown and relevant faith-based organisations should publicly acknowledge and apologise for the tūkino, or abuse, inflicted and suffered after it has delivered its final report in June 2023. It also recommended some groups, including Māori who were over-represented in State care, should also receive specific apologies.  

The Crown Response Unit has started working on Crown apologies and is involving:  

  • survivor groups
  • tikanga experts
  • representatives from other communities impacted by abuse in care. 

Further recommendations relating to apologies may be made by the Royal Commission, and these will all be carefully considered. 

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