Final call for submissions for abuse in state care inquiry

By Jessica Tyson

This is the final week to make public submissions as the Royal Commission of Inquiry into historical abuse in state care gets underway.

The public is being welcomed to submit on the draft terms of reference for the inquiry which will focus on the victims including any systemic bias based on race, gender or sexual orientation.

The abuse of many children under state care is an issue that spans several decades and Te Kāea recently reported that more than 100,000 children were put into state institutions between the 1950s and 1990s.

Paora Crawford Moyle was placed into state care at the age of five and was abused for 14 years. Her experience fueled her fire to fight for other kids within the system and says the inquiry will be a pivotal point of change.

“We need to know that a length and breadth of how many children were systemically abused. It's not individuals, you can’t keep on putting it on the individuals. This is a systemic problem and we do have systemic racism going on and all children who come through the system are made vulnerable.”

Chair of the Royal Commission Sir Anand Satyanand says he's pleased with the number and quality of submissions already received from individuals and groups. 

"I have also met with a number of submitters who have told me that the Inquiry needs to focus on the ongoing care and wellbeing of survivors and help support them through the process." 

Once complete, a final report will be presented to the Minister of Internal Affairs.

Public submissions close at midnight on Monday, April 30.