Historic Claims for abuse or neglect at a Residential Special School

If you believe you were abused at a Residential Special School before 1989, you can make a historic claim.

If you believe you were abused or neglected at a Residential Special School run by the Department of Education before 1989, you can make a ‘historic claim’. The Ministry of Education can work with you to find a resolution.

We will meet you and hear your complaint. Then we will explore options for helping you, which can be wide-ranging.

Grounds for making a claim

You can contact the Ministry if you agree with all these three statements:

  • You believe you were abused, mistreated or neglected when you attended a Residential Special School run by the Department of Education.
  • You believe that treatment has harmed or damaged you in some way.
  • You want the Ministry to do something about the mistreatment.

Our process for historic claims

We will explain how we may be able to help. We will invite you to meet us to discuss your case in more detail. If you seek resolution, and possibly a financial payment, we will investigate your case.

If we were wrong, we’ll apologise to you. We will also look at what other help we can provide.

If you seek a financial payment, we will offer you a fair and reasonable amount if appropriate.

You do not need a lawyer to work with us. However, you can seek legal advice at any stage if you wish.

You may also get legal advice to file a civil claim in the High Court. Your lawyer can advise you whether you might qualify for legal aid.

If your complaint is about criminal conduct, you may also wish to make a complaint with the Police.

Contact us

The Learning Support (was Special Education) Information Line – 0800 622 222, option 4

Historic.Claims@education.govt.nz

Historic Claims
Sector Enablement and Support
Ministry of Education
PO Box 1666
Wellington 6140

Discussing other aspects of your time in care

We are happy to talk with you if you just have questions about your time in care.

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