Government confirms schools will be included in the abuse in care inquiry

The Prime Minister and the Minister of Internal Affairs have announced the full establishment of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-Based Institutions, following final decisions agreed by Cabinet.

The announcement was made at a press conference attended by the Chair of the Royal Commission, Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand. The announcement included naming the other four members of the Royal Commission.

The Royal Commission’s terms of reference have been expanded to include care in faith-based institutions and educational settings, including schools and early childhood education facilities.

Alongside concerns about faith-based institutions, the issue of educational settings featured strongly in the public consultation process.

The inquiry can start to hear evidence from January 2019.

The inquiry will undertake two key strands of work:

  • Strand 1 - Looking Back: map the extent of abuse in State care and in the care of faith-based institutions, the impact of that abuse, and the factors which caused or contributed to the abuse.
  • Strand 2 - Looking Forward: review the current systems for preventing and responding to abuse, to test whether these are fit-for-purpose and identify what changes need to be made as a result.

The final terms of reference are available on the NZ Legislation website.

Royal Commission of Inquiry — NZ Legislation website

The Ministry of Education is working with other key agencies to coordinate and align efforts across the state sector to make sure agencies support the inquiry’s work in an integrated, open, constructive and transparent way.

The Royal Commission’s work does not affect the Ministry’s existing processes for resolving claims where the Ministry is the correct respondent. This process will continue to be available while the inquiry is underway, or people can wait until the inquiry is completed.

Questions about the work of the Royal Commission, including how individuals can take part in proceedings, should be directed to the Commission.

Historical Abuse in State Care Royal Commission website

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