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> Cabinet papers
> Crown statements
> Research on Māori experience of state care
> Crown funding 
> Providing records to the Royal Commission
> Briefing to incoming Minister
> Shared redaction guidance


Cabinet papers

The Government’s decisions on how the State will support the Royal Commission to succeed are set out in the series of Cabinet papers below.

May 2023

Cabinet agreed to the Terms of Reference for the Design and Advisory Groups preparing high-level proposals for a redress system for survivors of abuse in care.

Cabinet paper - full version with Cabinet minutes (record of decision) [PDF, 2.1 MB]

Alternate format versions of the Cabinet paper are published here as soon as they are available


December 2022

Cabinet agreed to arrangements for the high-level design of a new redress system as part of its response to the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in Care’s redress findings.

Cabinet paper - Redress system design arrangement [PDF, 18 MB]

Easy Read Word version [DOCX, 5.5 MB]

Easy Read PDF version [PDF, 2.4 MB]

NZSL Redress Design Cabinet Paper [MP4, 28 MB]

Large Print Redress Design Cabinet Paper [DOCX, 82 KB]

August 2022

Cabinet paper - full version with Cabinet minutes (record of decision) [PDF, 2 MB]

Cabinet agreed to work on four immediate projects ahead of detailed design of the new independent redress system.

December 2021

Cabinet paper - full version, with Cabinet Committee minute (record of decision) [PDF, 1.5 MB]

Cabinet agreed to develop an independent survivor-focused redress system, informed by the Royal Commission’s findings and recommendations. 

December 2019

Cabinet paper – full version, with Cabinet minutes (records of decision) [PDF, 1.7 MB]

Cabinet agreed to a new Crown Resolution Strategy for resolving historical claims arising from abuse in state care, based on the six principles.

September 2019

Cabinet paper – full version, with Cabinet minutes (records of decision) [PDF, 883 KB]

Cabinet agreed on a process for aligning the Crown’s business with the six principles guiding its response to the Abuse in Care Inquiry.

September 2019

Cabinet paper – full version, with Cabinet minutes (records of decision) [PDF, 4.6 MB]

Cabinet agreed on a process for working with non-government organisations (NGOs) and Crown entities to identify their support needs so they can engage appropriately with the Royal Commission and with survivors of abuse in care.

April 2019

Cabinet paper – full version [PDF, 1 MB]

Cabinet paper – Cabinet minute (record of decision) [PDF, 376 KB] 

Cabinet paper – easy read version [PDF, 1.8 MB]

Cabinet paper – sign language video(external link)

Cabinet agreed the Crown’s strategic approach to its engagement with the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry, based on six principles (manaakitanga, openness, transparency, learning, being joined up and meeting our obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi).


Crown Statements

Crown Statement - State Institutional Response Hearing 2022

The Crown's opening statement at the Royal Commission's State institutional response hearing 

Read by Crown counsel on the opening day of the Royal Commission’s State institutional response hearing, held in August 2022.

Crown Statement - Māori Hearing 2022

The Crown's opening submission at the Royal Commission's hearing into Māori experiences of abuse in care

Read by Crown counsel on the opening day of the Royal Commission’s Māori hearing, held in March 2022.

Crown Statement - State redress hearing 2020

The Crown's closing submission for the Royal Commission State redress hearing

The Crown's management of claims involving abuse in State care, including its responses to concerns raised by claimants, are summarised in its closing statement to phase two of the Royal Commission's State redress hearing, which was held October-November 2020.

Crown Statement - contextual hearing 2019

Crown statement at the Royal Commission's contextual hearing, October 2019

At the Royal Commission’s contextual hearing in November 2019, the Crown counsel made a statement setting out how the Crown intends to engage with and respond to the Commission.


Independent research on Māori experience of State care 1950-99

This study, by Ihi Research, was commissioned by the Crown Response primarily to assist the Royal Commission’s Māori investigation. It is believed to be the most comprehensive research ever done on Māori historical experience of State care, drawing together a vast range of data from State organisations and interviewing people closely involved in the care system during 1950-99. The research was formally presented to the Royal Commission at a whakatau on 26 October 2021.

Summary of key themes from the research 

Full research report [PDF, 15 MB]

A3 summary of the research [PDF, 2.5 MB]

Easy read Word version of the research report [DOCX, 8.2 MB]

Easy read PDF version of the research report [PDF, 4.2 MB]


For document readers, the full research report is also available in chapters:


Hāhā-uri hāhā-tea Part 00 Title Preface Executive summary [DOCX, 74 KB] 

Hāhā-uri hāhā-tea Part 01 Whakapapa [DOCX, 104 KB]

Hāhā-uri hāhā-tea Part 02 Māori over-representation in State care [DOCX, 5.2 MB] 

Hāhā-uri hāhā-tea Part 03 Differential treatment [DOCX, 90 KB]

Hāhā-uri hāhā-tea Part 04 The impact of the system on Māori [DOCX, 416 KB]

Hāhā-uri hāhā-tea Part 05 Te Tiriti o Waitangi [DOCX, 78 KB]

Hāhā-uri hāhā-tea Part 06 Puao te Ata Tū [DOCX, 107 KB] 

Hāhā-uri hāhā-tea Part 07 Māori staff working in State Care [DOCX, 449 KB]

Hāhā-uri hāhā-tea Part 08 Resistance response and critical junctures of change [DOCX, 565 KB]

Hāhā-uri hāhā-tea Part 09 Methodology [DOCX, 156 KB]

Hāhā-uri hāhā-tea Part 10 Appendices [DOCX, 73 KB] 

Crown response funding

Summary of funding for the Crown’s response to the Royal Commission, listing amounts by Budget appropriation (Vote)

2019-20 Crown Response funding

2020-21 Crown Response funding

2021-22 Crown Response funding

2022-23 Crown Response funding

2023-24 Crown Response funding


Providing records to the Royal Commission

The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry has two primary information sources:

  1. the testimony of survivors and others involved in State and faith-based care
  2. records held by the Crown, churches and other organisations.

The Crown is legally required to provide information formally requested by the Royal Commission – under Section 20 of the Inquiries Act 2013.The Royal Commission makes requests of the Crown for historical records that it needs for the different investigations it has under way. The requests vary widely in scale, from a few documents held by a single agency to thousands of documents across many organisations.

The Crown also provides other information to the Royal Commission that may assist its work.

For example, the Crown Response Unit compiled a State care Timeline(external link) for the Royal Commission, which summarises the main institutional and legislative care changes since early last century.


Locating records

The Crown’s records on state care go back to the colonial era and comprise many thousands of documents in hard-copy and electronic form. They include information on policies and procedures, reports, Cabinet papers, data, institutional records and personal case files.

Records are held in numerous locations by:

  • Archives New Zealand
  • government agencies
  • Crown entities such as schools and district health boards
  • non-government organisations that provided care on behalf of the Crown.

Many of the relevant records are now very old, and there were variable and sometimes inadequate record-keeping and archiving practices among the many organisations that hold (or held) them. There were also different legislative requirements for archiving and destroying records. Agencies are now required under the Public Records Act 2005 to create, maintain and dispose of records in ways that meet the Act’s provisions.

The older hard-copy documents are usually converted into digital form, generally by Archives New Zealand – the digital versions are direct duplicates produced with specialist software and guaranteed authenticity, rather than simple scans. The digitised documents are then provided to the Royal Commission in a secure electronic storage format.

This short video explains how Archives New Zealand provides the Royal Commission with the information it requests from agencies: 

Responses to the Royal Commission's information requests are coordinated by the Crown Response Unit. The Unit helps ensure that government agencies provide information in a consistent way, and on time, and it helps agencies compile their responses. It also helps identify information that the Royal Commission might need, and helps the Royal Commission find the agency holding the information they seek.

A high-level picture of agency records relevant to the Abuse in Care Royal Commission - Overview of agencies' records


Privacy of the individual

Some documents include personal details. To protect the privacy of the personal information it receives, the Royal Commission has issued a general order under Section 15 of the Inquiries Act that prevents publication of personal or identifying information that it holds without the Royal Commission’s permission. The Royal Commission shares the Crown’s commitment to protecting people’s privacy throughout its proceedings. For more on this, go to this link(external link)(external link) on the Royal Commission website (see document “Redress hearing information and FAQs”).

A person can retain the right to see their personal information held by government agencies, including personal information provided to the Royal Commission.

A request for personal information would be assessed in the usual way under the Privacy Act and the Official Information Act, if relevant. This page(external link)(external link) on the Privacy Commission website advises how to request personal information. Agencies can also be contacted directly(external link) to request your personal information.


State care timeline

“State care” covers situations where the State has assumed responsibility, either directly or indirectly, for the care of an individual.

State care settings may be residential or non-residential, and voluntary or non-voluntary. Examples include social welfare and youth justice residences, psychiatric hospitals, schools, and Police or Court cells.

The Royal Commission’s terms of reference(external link) (clause 17.3) sets out full details of situations where “state care” applies, or does not apply, for the purposes of the Inquiry.

To help the Royal Commission understand the many changes to state care over the years, government agencies jointly prepared a timeline that sets out reports, changes to legislation and institutions across the welfare, justice, education and health sectors

State care timeline

Briefing to Incoming Minister

Briefings to Incoming Ministers (BIMs) are briefings received by incoming Ministers following the formation of a new Government or changes to Cabinet.

Following changes to Cabinet in January 2023, the new Minister for the Public Service was provided a BIM and this has been released on the Beehive website:

 Briefing to the Incoming Minister for the Public Service - Crown Response(external link) 

Following the formation of a new Government in November 2020, the Minister for the Public Service was provided with a BIM and this has been released on the Beehive website:

Briefing to the Incoming Minister for the Public Service - Crown Response(external link)


Crown Response Unit Publications

Shared Redaction Guidance

This document provides guidance to agencies for releasing personal information requested by individuals who have been in care and arises from work done to engage with and respond to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historic Abuse in Care.

Shared Redaction Guidance [DOCX, 189 KB]

Shared Redaction Guidance [PDF, 206 KB]

Guidance for people wanting access to records made about their time in care is published here.


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