Kia ora everyone

Welcome to this first Pānui from the Crown Response Unit – we are the team that responds to the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry. We plan to issue more pānui next year, as and when we are able to tell you more about progress with the new, independent redress system. Please feel free to pass on this pānui to other survivors of abuse in care.

Thank you very much to everyone who helped us over the last few months with several important kaupapa: arrangements for the high-level design of a new redress system, an interim listening service, easier records access for survivors, and a public apology.

The valuable input, insights and reflections received have helped our thinking and formed our advice to ministers about how the Crown can improve survivors’ current experience of redress – as recommended by the Royal Commission.

Please see below for an update on our work.

Rapid payments

The Government announced on Tuesday 13 December 2022(external link)(external link) 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)(external link).

High-level design of a new redress system

For your background information, we have proactively released the December 2022 Cabinet paper(external link)(external link) that sets out the detailed high-level design process for the new redress system, involving a survivor-focused design group, supported by an advisory group.

In relation to this design work, the nomination period for the design and advisory groups has been extended to 5pm Thursday 22 December 2022.

Nominations forms and information can be found here on the Crown Response Unit website(external link). Thank you to everyone who has already nominated themselves or others.

The names of people appointed to the candidate review panel, design group, advisory group and the Design Group Chair will be published on our website once confirmed.

Listening service, Records and Public Apology

Following our engagements with survivors and stakeholders, we submitted advice to Ministers on each of these projects. We will let you know how this work progresses in the New Year, pending Cabinet approval.

You can find more information about our projects here.(external link)

Lake Alice report

On Thursday 15 December 2022, the Royal Commission’s Lake Alice Child and Adolescent Unit case study report was presented to Parliament. It describes the horrific experiences of children and young people at the Unit during its short existence in the 1970s.

The report details many areas where State agencies failed patients at the Unit. It also discusses a series of investigations into what happened there - many Lake Alice survivors say these have delivered unsatisfactory results for them.

The Government’s statement on the Lake Alice report is here: Royal Commission Lake Alice report | link)(external link)


Happy holidays

Have a wonderful and safe Christmas break.

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