The public hearing by the Royal Commission on Abuse in Care focussing on the issue of redress, initially scheduled for March, has now been rescheduled for split state and faith-based hearings in September and November.
According to a page on the royal commission website, the faith-based redress public hearing will take place in Auckland from November 23 to December 11.
“The royal commission will investigate the adequacy of the redress process of the Catholic Church, Anglican Church and the Salvation Army, and what needs to be done to support people who have been abused or neglected in faith-based institutions,” the page stated.
The royal commission stated that it was “appealing for information from survivors who reported the abuse they suffered while in faith-based care and sought redress, either directly from the Church or other faith-based Institution, or by filing civil proceedings in Court or the Human Rights Review Tribunal”.
“It would like to hear about their experiences of seeking and receiving redress in the form of financial settlement or non-monetary processes (such as an apology, counselling, etc.), and any suggestions for how claims processes could be improved or made more effective.”
The royal commission stated it is also “keen to hear from anyone who may have knowledge of a claim of abuse in faith-based care, or claims related to abuse in the Catholic Church, Anglican Church or Salvation Army, whether as family or whānau of a survivor, a legal representative, a professional, or defendant in any claim”.
Catholic Church abuse survivor Mike Ledingham said on the page that he encourages other abuse survivors to come forward and speak with the royal commission so that they can collectively “hold the Catholic Church and other faith-based institutions to account”.
A redress hearing was initially going to start in Wellington on March 23 and was expected to run for two weeks.
On June 8, the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference stated on facebook that Te Rōpū Tautoko – the group coordinating Catholic engagement with the Royal Commission on Abuse in Care – has been asked to distribute information from the inquiry.
“The Church supports survivors of abuse in the care of the Church sharing their stories with the royal commission,” the post stated.
“The bishops and congregational leaders of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand participate in the processes of the inquiry, through Te Rōpū Tautoko, acknowledging those who have been wounded in their care.”
A link to a page on the royal commission website was given “If you or someone you know wishes to share your story”.
The royal commission’s website is www.abuseincare.org.nz
The royal commission was scheduled to deliver an interim report to the Governor General this year and its final report in 2023.
N According to a June newsletter from Te Rōpū Tautoko, an investigation team leading the inquiry of the commission into the Catholic Church has been formed.
“It is likely that a number of case studies will be developed and specific Investigations and/or hearings will be held,” the newsletter stated.
Other investigations that the commission are undertaking include, state residential homes, psychiatric care, the Anglican Church, Māori, Pacific peoples and people with disabilities.
NZ Catholic understands questionnaires have been sent out from the royal commission to dioceses and religious orders in New Zealand.