Deadline for input into abuse inquiry scope ends tonight

By Talisa Kupenga

The deadline for public input about the Terms of Reference for the inquiry into historic abuse in state care ends midnight.

The draft Terms of Reference covers physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect with a key focus being the impact for Māori.

Royal Commission Chairman Sir Anan Satyanand expects more submissions about the scope of the inquiry.

"The number of submissions we've received it's north of 200, by the end of tonight, I'm thinking we'll be around the 300 mark," says Satyanand.

The four main areas of feedback have been the scope and purpose of the inquiry, the inquiry timelines, what constitutes "state care" and a suitable reference to the Treaty of Waitangi.

"We are really pleased that that sort of feedback has come.  It's from all over the country. It's not just from people in South Auckland or Porirua; it's from people from little places in the country and also in the prisons".

Mindful of the fact majority of people put into care were Māori, Satyanand has met with individuals, iwi organisations, gangs, groups and bodies including the Women’s Welfare League. 

"It's a sad fact that those same people have in many instances gone on to populate the wrong side of the health statistics-  to populate the statistics of those who have died prematurely, of those who have taken their own lives, those who are currently in prison and those who are in gangs.  So it's vital for the commission to reach out to those people," says Satyanand.

A final report is expected mid-2020.