web analytics

Why no inquiry into abuse in state care?

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, July 7th, 2017 - 14 comments
Categories: Ethics, human rights, national, uncategorized - Tags: , , , ,

This is long overdue and good to finally see:

Parliament apologises for homosexual convictions

Parliament has formally apologised to men convicted under old laws that criminalised homosexuality.

The rare apology from the House – rather than the Government itself – was moved by Justice Minister Amy Adams during the first reading of her bill to expunge these convictions.

Bravo!

But there are other historical wrongs that need righting.

Emotional rally fails to shift Govt position on state abuse inquiry and apology

The Government is unmoved on its position to not hold an inquiry into the abuse of children in state care following a petition and emotional rally on Parliament’s steps this afternoon.

A group of victims joined with the Human Rights Commission to deliver the 5300-signature petition at the Beehive today, urging the Government to reverse its position on a full public apology and an independent inquiry.

Between the 1950s and 1990s more than 100,000 children and vulnerable adults were taken from their families and placed in either children’s homes or mental health institutions.

While there, some suffered sexual, physical, and psychological abuse. It’s currently impossible to estimate the extent of the abuse, because it has never been subject to a full public investigation.

Some survivors agreed to speak out anonymously.

One said they still felt shame about what happened to them, and that the Government hadn’t tried to put things right.

“Bill English, you say that you don’t want the cost of a public inquiry like it cost Australia,” they said.

“However you and the National Government spend money on a flag change at a cost of $26 million, a display in Dubai cost $53m, a replacement ship Endeavour cost $500m, a fleet of cars cost $6m.

“I could go on. How much value do you place on a child?

“You have to address the past before you have a hope to change the future.”

See also: Former wards of state demand inquiry into state abuse (video).

Why refuse an inquiry? Why refuse to look in to this huge historical wrong, and learn form its mistakes? When some future government does, and tries to make right, today’s government will look as archaic and out of touch as the governments who made homosexuality a crime.

14 comments on “Why no inquiry into abuse in state care? ”

  1. Philj 1

    Government position? No comment… Moving forward from here…. Top marks to Dame Susan Devonport for supporting an apology and independent inquiry into state/government neglect and worse.

  2. Keith 2

    The apology for criminalising homosexuality was easy, nothing National had to do but look all progressive and magnanimous, take the credit, no risk.

    Typically when it comes to the hard yards this spineless embarrasment of a government do nothing.

  3. Cinny 3

    My father is adopted, last month he discovered he had a half brother and went to meet him. It turns out dad and uncle had very very different upbringings, uncle was in state care the abuse he suffered as a result ruined at least a decade of his young life. Two amazing men, with such different upbringings as a result of where they were placed in the first years of their lives. Cried my eyes out when I heard of uncles suffering as a child

    I’d like to apologise to all of those people who suffered due to the neglect and abuse from being placed in state care, I’d also like to apologise for the lack empathy from the outgoing government.

    I’m sorry that you have suffered, it should not have happened and it should never happen again to any child or person. May an acknowledgement and solutions be found to ease your pain.

    • Johan 3.1

      To Cinny,
      What is the point of these apologies? Is this merely an exercise in trying to be politically correct in 2017, or a vote getting exercise. We seem to have very few independent inquiries these days. Too often we have the perpetrators of crime, our politicians, acting as their own investigators or police investigating their own misconducts. How fair a process is that?
      When does the compensation factor kick in, for years of abuse and loss of opportunities?

      • Cinny 3.1.1

        Johan,
        Nothing can take back what has been taken away, nothing.

        Yes there needs to be an inquiry, and very thorough one, the abusers need to be held accountable, not just the state, but the actual individuals who carried out the abuse.
        If there is not an inquiry, how can the government reassure that it won’t happen to others?
        They can’t, because it indicates if it does happen again, that they won’t do anything except offer money and empty apologies.

        Having been severely abused myself, I do understand, and I’m sorry it has happened to people, just like people who had no control over what happened to me have said they are sorry it happened to me.

        Sometimes it’s comforting to others to know they are not alone, and that others genuinely care and want action for the pain others have inflicted upon them.

        As for the politicians who are preventing the inquiry and instead are offering words and money to make up for the enormous suffering and abuse my uncle and others have been through in state care and are still going through, it would be illegal to state what I would like to do to them.

  4. jcuknz 4

    When I heard of this I thought ‘good’ but then ‘why does everybody want an inquiry?’
    Is it a genuine search for truth or simply kicking the can down the road or a stick to beat the government with?
    What with apologies for being a man and all the numerous apologies which come to us almost daily makes me wonder why?
    I say sorry at the time i realize I have done something wrong but years later?

    • BLiP 4.1

      Apologies are a good starting point. For them to be meaningful, however, a change in behaviour may be required in order to prevent the need for future apologies for the same thing. This is why genuine inquiries carried out with sufficient authority to ensure change, if required, are important. An inquiry helps examine the circumstances leading up to the regretful situation. Inquiries can identify procedures, policies, laws, behaviours and/or individuals who might require remedial action and/or removal. They can establish the extent of the harm caused and bolster the need to provide adequate compensation to ameliorate any harm and injustice suffered. Inquiries provide the space required for victims to tell the whole story rather than just those bits and pieces the MSM and authorities allow to be told. The list goes on. The fact that it may be “years later” before any action is taken and/or an apology delivered only exacerbates harm and delays prevention.

    • North 4.2

      You have no soul JugheadNZ. Which is lucky, had you been so randomly ill-fortuned as to be one of those kids. No soul to ravage. You can always trust a right wing pig to shit all over decency ! Another thing……it’s not all about YOU….. shithead !

  5. Rae 5

    Are we not talking about crimes here? Actual crimes. There have been many historical cases, some involving famous people (Rolf Harris) some involving people in positions of much trust (priests) and these have had their times in court. Surely, surely if there is the possibility or more likely, probability, of crimes having been committed, there is no choice in this matter. The police should be making a case now, it should have nothing to do with whether Ms Bennett or Ms Tolley want it to happen or not. Or maybe the police will be implicated somewhere in all of this.
    The government knows this as well as I do, as well as you do, they must not be allowed to sweep it under the rug. However, agonizing it might be to deal with this is the proper fashion it must be done.

  6. taiping 6

    It will not be done as it is simply not historical enough, not long ago enough for those in power now, the ones who did the abuse
    and also those who colluded to cover it up to keep their jobs are still alive and remember their own actions very well..

    so no inquiry will be done as the current institutions in NZ would be liable… and in a nation as small as NZ, everyone is involved. It involves people who you know as decent people now, nearly everyone

  7. Macro 7

    After beginning a career in computing and research I realized that I would much prefer to work with people, and so in the late 60’s early 70’s I began a career in social work.
    My first appointment was as a Social Work Trainee, working in the Wellington office of what was then the Child Welfare Division of the Education Department. NZ had then a piece of legislation that was regarded as world leading with respect to the care of children. In many ways it decriminalised acts by children up to the age of 17 years – which was at that time revolutionary.
    The problem – as with any piece of legislation was not in the Act so much as in the implementation (or lack of provision) by the State.
    As a wet behind the ears 22 year old, I was given the task of supervision of up to 110 boys. Around 50 of these boys were wards of the state, in the “care” of the then Porirua Hospital and “accommodated” alongside grown men in the infamous M8 – a locked ward from which they never saw the light of day. As they were “patients” of the mental hospital I effectively had no say in their day to day care nor of their future – that was up to the hospital and the treating psychiatrist, who at that time was under the impression that a good dose of shock treatment and sedation was all that was required. I was allocated 1 day per week to visit these boys and whilst I did what I could with regards the provision of small items – they had nowhere they could call their own private space – the weekly visit was one I came to dread, as I felt so powerless.
    Eventually after 3 years of rushing from one crisis to the next I came to the conclusion that I could no longer work in this field and changed to my eventual career of education.
    The intention of the legislation was good and in many instances young people were helped. However the state, as per usual with social services, provided far too little support. The situation is much the same today. The government does not want a form investigation because a formal investigation would reveal too much. Not only of the wrongs of the past, but also of the wrongs of today as well.

  8. jcuknz 8

    One can only feel sorry for ‘the government’ … left or right versions … faced with the expense of an inquiry certain to produce expensive solutions when the voters want more cake and circus and budget surpluses not defs.
    Everybody calling for more money but no more tax …. impossible irresponsibilty.
    I have never bothered about what tax I have to pay as being one of the fortunate ones, IMO, it is my duty to help those less fortunate …. but then I have always paid by PAYE so never saw it go … a brilliant move by Robert Muldoon way way back I gather. Around about the time when I started to earn enough to pay tax

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Pause on Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales extended
    The pause on Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand will continue for a further 12 days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says.  There are now 36 recent community cases of COVID-19 in New South Wales – including four not yet linked to the existing outbreak that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Address to the INZBC 7th International Summit 2021
    Day 2, India New Zealand Business Council 7th International Summit, Auckland (speech delivered virtually) Tēnā koutou katoa, Namaste, Sat sri akal, Assalamualaikum  Good morning and good evening to you all, Thank you for this opportunity to be with you virtually today. The India New Zealand Business Council has put together ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Government commits $4 million additional support for flood-affected Canterbury farmers
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today announced the Government is injecting a further $4 million into relief funding to support flood-affected Canterbury farmers who are recovering from the damage of a historic one in 200 year flood. An additional $100,000 will also be provided to the Mayoral Relief Fund to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Appointment of Queen’s Counsel
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointments of 10 Queen’s Counsel.   The newly appointed Silks are:   Auckland – Lynda Kearns, Stephen McCarthy, Ronald Mansfield, Alan (Fletcher) Pilditch, Davey Salmon, Laura O’Gorman  Wellington – Greg Arthur, Michael Colson, Victoria Heine  Christchurch – Kerryn Beaton   “The criteria for appointment recognise that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates victorious Black Caps
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated Kane Williamson and the Black Caps for their victory over India in the final of the inaugural Cricket World Test Championship. “The Black Caps have made New Zealand proud. This was a masterful performance from a team at the top of their game and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Further action to tackle cervical cancer
    Parliament has taken another step to help reduce the number of women who develop cervical cancer, with the Health (National Cervical Screening Programme) Amendment Bill passing its third reading. “I am very pleased by the robust consideration this Bill has received. It will ensure technology allows healthcare providers to directly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • $500 million seized from gangs and criminals
    A significant Government milestone has been reached with $500 million in cash and assets seized from gangs and criminals by Police over the past four years, Police Minister Poto Williams announced today. “During our last term in office, this target was set for 2021 with Police as part of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Congratulations to the Black Caps – World Champions
    Minister of Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson has congratulated the Black Caps as the deserved winners of the inaugural World Test Cricket Championship. “The Black Caps have pulled off a remarkable and deserved win in the World Test Championship final against India.  The final is the culmination of two years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Alert Level 2 in Wellington, Wairarapa and Kāpiti Coast
    Alert Level 2 measures are now in place for Wellington, Wairarapa and Kāpiti Coast to the north of Ōtaki, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. These measures are precautionary, following the potential exposure of New Zealanders to a COVID-19 case from Sydney. The person visited a range of locations in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the India New Zealand Business Council Summit
    5pm, Wednesday 23 June 2021 [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Tuia te Rangi e tū nei Tuia te Papa e takoto nei Tuia te here tangata Ka rongo te pō, ka rongo te Ao Tihei Mauri Ora   Introduction Namaskar, tēnā koe and good evening. Thank you for your kind invitation to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Financial support for caregivers widened
    Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis has welcomed changes that will make it easier for caregivers looking after children outside of the state care system to access much-needed financial assistance. The Social Security (Financial Assistance for Caregivers) Amendment Bill will also allow these caregivers to access further benefits previously unavailable to them. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Agencies to have powers to secure maritime domain
    A Bill introduced to Parliament today aims to prevent serious criminal offending at sea, including transnational offending and organised crime, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced. “Aotearoa New Zealand will be better placed to keep our maritime environment secure against threats like drugs trafficking, wildlife trafficking and human trafficking with the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Critical support for New Zealand’s budding researchers
    Fellowships to attract and retain talented researchers in the early stages of their career, have been awarded to 30 New Zealanders, Associate Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “I am pleased to congratulate these researchers, who will be receiving funding through the MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to stop taxpayers having to fund oil field decommissions
    The Government is preventing taxpayers picking up the bill for the decommissioning of oil fields, says Energy and Resource Minister Dr Megan Woods.  “After the Crown had to take responsibility for decommissioning the Tui oil field, it became clear to me that the current requirements around decommissioning are inadequate and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand to pause
    New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand will be paused while the source of infection of new cases announced in Sydney is investigated, says COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. There are 10 new community cases of COVID-19 today in New South Wales, taking the Australian ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Milestone reached for Iwi Affiliation Population Counts
    Iwi affiliation data released today provides updated population counts for all iwi and addresses gaps in Māori data originating from the 2018 Census, says Associate Minister of Statistics Meka Whaitiri. “The release of the 2018 Iwi Affiliation Estimated Counts is a really important step, and I acknowledge the hard work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ngāti Rangitihi Claims Settlement Bill passes first reading
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little welcomed Ngāti Rangitihi to Parliament today to witness the first reading of The Ngāti Rangitihi Claims Settlement Bill. “I know it took a lot of hard work, time and patience by all parties involved to reach this significant milestone. I am honoured to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Sustainable Healthcare and Climate Health Conference Aotearoa
    Mihi Tēnā tātou katoa Kei ngā pou o te whare hauora ki Aotearoa, kei te mihi. Tēnā koutou i tā koutou pōwhiri mai i ahau. E mihi ana ki ngā taura tangata e hono ana i a tātou katoa, ko te kaupapa o te rā tērā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Infrastructure Acceleration Fund opening for business
    Criteria to access at least $1 billion of the $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund (HAF), announced in March, is now available, and an invitation for expressions of interest will be released on 30 June, Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced.  “This is a key milestone in our plan to accelerate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bringing back the health of Hauraki Gulf
    New marine protection areas and restrictions on fishing are among a raft of changes being put in place to protect the Hauraki Gulf for future generations. The new strategy, Revitalising the Gulf – Government action on the Sea Change Plan, released today, draws on input from mana whenua, local communities, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to AI Forum – Autonomous Weapons Systems
    AI Forum New Zealand, Auckland Good evening and thank you so much for joining me this evening. I’d like to start with a thank you to the AI Forum Executive for getting this event off the ground and for all their work and support to date. The prospect of autonomous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand boosts support to Fiji for COVID-19 impact
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing additional support to Fiji to mitigate the effects of the current COVID-19 outbreak on vulnerable households, Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “Recognising the increasingly challenging situation in Fiji, Aotearoa will provide an additional package of assistance to support the Government of Fiji and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Round 2 of successful energy education fund now open
    $1.65 million available in Support for Energy Education in Communities funding round two Insights from SEEC to inform future energy hardship programmes Community organisations that can deliver energy education to households in need are being invited to apply for the second funding round of the Support for Energy Education in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Ngarimu scholarships to target vocational training
    Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis today announced three new scholarships for students in vocational education and training (VET) are to be added to the suite of prestigious Ngarimu scholarships. “VET learners have less access to study support than university students and this is a way to tautoko their learning dreams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Recognising the volunteers who support our health system
    Nominations have opened today for the 2021 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards, as part of National Volunteer Week. “We know that New Zealanders donate at least 159 million hours of volunteer labour every year,” Minister of Health Andrew Little said in launching this year’s awards in Wellington. “These people play ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Drug Free Sport supported to deal with new doping challenges
    Drug Free Sport New Zealand will receive a funding boost to respond to some of the emerging doping challenges across international sport. The additional $4.3 million over three years comes from the Sport Recovery Fund announced last year. It will help DFSNZ improve athletes’ understanding of the risks of doping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government support for South Auckland community hit by tornado
    The Government is contributing $100,000 to a Mayoral Relief Fund to support Auckland communities impacted by the Papatoetoe tornado, Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says. “My heart goes out to the family and friends who have lost a loved one, and to those who have been injured. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Celebrating World Refugee Day
    World Refugee Day today is an opportunity to celebrate the proud record New Zealanders have supporting and protecting refugees and acknowledge the contribution these new New Zealanders make to our country, the Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi said. “World Refugee Day is also a chance to think about the journey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Face to face meeting delivers significant progress on NZ-UK FTA
    New Zealand and the UK have committed to accelerating their free trade agreement negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle this August, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor announced. “We’ve held constructive and productive discussions towards the conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive FTA that will support sustainable and inclusive trade, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government taking action to protect albatross
    New population figures for the critically endangered Antipodean albatross showing a 5 percent decline per year highlights the importance of reducing all threats to these very special birds, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall says. The latest population modelling, carried out by Dragonfly Data Science, shows the Antipodean albatross ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Adoption laws under review
    New Zealand’s 66-year-old adoption laws are being reviewed, with public engagement beginning today.  Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said the Government is seeking views on options for change to our adoption laws and system. “The Adoption Act has remained largely the same since 1955. We need our adoption laws to reflect ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Wider roll-out of cameras on boats to support sustainability and protect marine life
    Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations.  Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker today announced the funding is now in place for the wider roll out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Plan for vaccine rollout for general population announced
    New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans
    New Zealand has imposed travel bans on selected individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime, following ongoing concerns about election fraud and human rights abuses after the 2020 Belarus elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced. The ban covers more than fifty individuals, including the President and key members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy grows driven by households, construction and business investment
    The Government’s efforts to secure the recovery have been reflected in the robust rebound of GDP figures released today which show the economy remains resilient despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant Robertson said. GDP increased 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021. The Treasury had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Milestone 250th tower continues to improve rural connectivity
    The Government has welcomed the completion of the 250th 4G mobile tower, as part of its push for better rural connectivity. Waikato’s Wiltsdown, which is roughly 80 kilometres south of Hamilton, is home to the new tower, deployed by the Rural Connectivity Group to enable improved service to 70 homes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria to lift on Tuesday
    Following a further public health assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria has been extended to 11.59pm on Tuesday 22 June, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister mourns passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is mourning the passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall, New Zealand’s first Children’s Commissioner and lifelong champion for children and children’s health. As a paediatrician Sir Ian contributed to a major world-first cot death study that has been directly credited with reducing cot deaths in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • APEC structural reform meeting a success
    APEC ministers have agreed working together will be crucial to ensure economies recover from the impact of COVID-19. Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, chaired the virtual APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting today which revolved around the overarching theme of promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
    A new website has been launched at Fieldays to support the forestry sector find the information it needs to plant, grow and manage trees, and to encourage investment across the wider industry. Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the new Canopy website is tailored for farmers, iwi and other forestry interests, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago