Discussion paper

The potential purpose and scope of an Inquiry into Abuse in State Care: discussion paper one

Child abuse Child sexual abuse Sexual abuse victims Royal Commissions Child protection New Zealand

Executive summary

The Government has committed to setting up an inquiry into the abuse of children in state care as part of its 100-day plan (the Inquiry).

Establishing an inquiry of this nature is complex, and there is a range of issues that will need to be considered. The purposes and scope of the Inquiry will signal the Government’s intent as to what it should address and seek to achieve, and could have a range of operational, financial and legal implications

This paper provides the Working Group with the first of two tranches of information on these matters. We seek your feedback on options around:

• the purposes and related outputs for the Inquiry

• the potential scope of the Inquiry, including:

− how care should be defined for the purposes of the Inquiry

− how abuse should be defined for the purposes of the Inquiry

− whether the Inquiry should cover children and young people only, or also include vulnerable and disabled adults

− whether the Inquiry should consider an historic period only (eg abuse in care before the early 1990s), or include consideration of more recent periods.

In this paper we have sought to reflect the range of possible options and their implications, as well as stakeholders’ views, rather than offer recommendations.

Oranga Tamariki has begun targeted engagement on these matters with a range of stakeholders, including signatories to the Never Again/E Kore Anō campaign, individuals who have made public statements, and key Māori and Pacific stakeholders.

We invite you to indicate matters in this paper on which you would like further information or a more detailed summary of stakeholders’ views.

On 18 December 2017, the Working Group will meet to discuss a second paper covering other establishment questions, including the type of inquiry, reporting, appointments, structure and funding. 

We will seek to provide a draft Terms of Reference reflecting Working Group feedback for consideration as soon as practicable.

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