Human Rights Commission calls for an inquiry – English says no

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, February 15th, 2017 - 10 comments
Categories: bill english, child abuse, child welfare, crime - Tags: , , , ,

The Human Rights Commission is calling for an inquiry into one of our most shameful secrets:

Demand an inquiry into the abuse of NZers held in state care

The Human Rights Commission has asked New Zealanders to join their call for a comprehensive inquiry into the abuse of thousands of people, many of them children, while they were under the care of the Government.

“This is a chapter in our nation’s living history where the human rights of thousands of people were abused by their own Government. More than 100,000 New Zealanders were taken from their families and put into state institutions from the 1950s to the 1990s where many suffered serious physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect over several years,” said Disability Rights Commissioner, Paul Gibson

“The extent of the abuse is unknown. We believe this painful and shocking chapter of New Zealand history is one that needs to be opened: if we do not openly talk about the mistakes we made, then we cannot ensure they are never repeated. Never Again. E Kore Ano.”

An open letter signed by iwi leaders, child advocates and disability sector representatives was released today with a call for New Zealanders to sign a public petition urging Government to take action.

“Our message is simple: we must never let this abuse happen again. We need to start by hearing the stories of those people whose childhoods and lives were forever scarred by their own Government,” said Mr Gibson.

“Once we understand the full extent of what went on then we can ensure our policies in 2017 reflect our shared past: at the moment this is not the case. New Zealanders deserve to know more about their history and learn from it.”

The open letter is on the same page, and also here, where you can add your own name in support:

We, the undersigned, call on the New Zealand Government to

• Initiate an independent inquiry into the abuse of people held in State care in order to identify the systemic issues that permitted this to occur and the broader impact of these events on our communities;

• Publicly apologise to those who were affected, including those who were abused, their families and whanau.

• take other appropriate steps to acknowledge the harm that has been caused to the victims and to provide them with appropriate redress and rehabilitation; and

• Take action to ensure this never happens again. …

Bill English refuses because an inquiry would be a ‘significant distraction’. A distraction from what? What kind of excuse is that?

10 comments on “Human Rights Commission calls for an inquiry – English says no”

  1. Tamati Tautuhi 1

    These guys are like ostrichs with their heads in stuck in the sand, sunlight is great for cleansing and healing as is transparency?

  2. mac1 2

    A “significant distraction” from his portrayal of his government as being competent and caring? Yeah, he’s right.

    Emmerson’s cartoon reminds us that there’s a huge amount of imagery based on beached whales that could be applied to this government.

    The most vivid image for me is of a bloated whale exploding under pressures from gases produced by internal corruption.

  3. Barfly 3

    Justice and fairness be damned it’s not a vote winner.

  4. Tamati Tautuhi 4

    Human rights abuses have been going on for a long time in this country especially under the Tory regimes.

  5. Treetop 5

    The government need to acknowledge that as a guardian of children that sexual, physical and psychological abuse occurred under their watch. The government cannot go back and alter a person’s life course when affected while in their care. The government can show that they regret their failings by having an inquiry.

    There are some cases out there of children who may of not been taken from the family, but left in a family after involvement with social welfare. Often children in this position had attachment issues with the adults responsible for their safety and care, which led to the child being offended against psychologically, sexually and physically in homes, neighbourhoods and communities.

    An inquiry would give these children a voice. Every child harmed by social welfare and MSD has the right to know why they were or were not removed and how long and why the family were involved with social welfare or MSD?

    The government should not be able to choose for children who for decades as adults want to find and have some peace from childhood trauma.

    How ignorant of the government to think that they know it all.

  6. Tamati Tautuhi 6

    Unfortunately in NZ and other countries in the world politicans do not actually care, and would prefer to sanitise things, why do you think New Zealand History is not taught in our schools?

  7. Treetop 7

    And yet again on RNZ this morning a preventable death of a toodler while the family was being managed by CYF.

    Time and time again the coroners recommendations are not being followed, the child’s other parent and his family are not being informed, an unrealistic care plan is set up without checks and balances.

    The child needs to be put first.

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