For the past month or so Kiwi newspapers and other media outlets have been slowly publishing stories relating to the growing chorus of voices calling for a Royal Commission into historic child abuse.
The latest trigger seems to have been an open letter calling for the same, although, in our view, a very narrow, much less desirable version of the ‘Royal Commission Into The Institutional Responses to Historic Child Sexual Abuse’ that our Australian PM Julia Gillard was forced to initiate in 2013; which is only now beginning to release various stats and reports on some of the findings and the evidence that has been heard.
Bill English, the halfwit that National decided to replace John Key with, has of course avoided mentioning the apparent success of the Australian commission, noting only that it might come in handy for New Zealand’s state sector when it comes to lessons that might be learned.
English is in fact completely out of touch with reality in almost everything he has said publicly on the subject; going so far as to claim that there is nothing to be gained or learned by New Zealand establishing a similar inquiry.
This is despite the success of the Australian model and the fact that both Ireland and the UK have also conducted national inquiries.
Not only is the National party Government determined NOT to hold such an enquiry, they are also, seemingly, equally determined not to even entertain the notion that the victims of historic child abuse, sexual, physical and emotional deserve an unreserved apology from the crown. They also deserve to see, where at all possible, their abusers convicted and serving prison sentences.
This fact alone should have every right thinking New Zealander appalled. More especially given the likely scale of the criminal offending, if the Australian Royal Commissions findings are anything to go by; there being absolutely no reason to believe that New Zealand’s statistics would be any different to those of Australia.
In fact, if one is to take the figures recently released by the Australian Commission, and then compare them with the suggested 1100 children that the Kiwis say have been sexually abused whilst in care historically, clearly, New Zealand has had a far more significant problem than Australia per capita.
In fact, New Zealand’s problem does not seem to have abated, the country still in the grip of almost daily reports of contemporary offending; the only conclusion being that the problem is not only systemic but there may be continuing cultural or institutional causes for its existence.
Demand grows for inquiry into alleged historic abuse of children in state care
The Prime Minister, Bill English, has virtually ruled out setting up an independent inquiry into claims of abuse of children in state care, despite the growing call for a comprehensive investigation.
He considers it more important to get on with the Government’s changes to child welfare services, which are in part aimed at preventing a repeat of the abuse inflicted in the past on as many as 3.5 per cent of children in care.
The Human Rights Commission is leading an open letter to the Government, published in the Herald today, calling for a comprehensive inquiry and public apology to those who were abused.
Twenty-nine prominent New Zealanders have signed the letter, which underpins the “Never Again” petition to the Government.
Labour’s justice spokeswoman, Jacinda Ardern, urged the Government to heed the “growing chorus of leading opinion” calling for an apology and an independent inquiry
“Labour has long committed to issuing a public apology when we are in government.
We must acknowledge publicly the mistreatment of so many young children in state care. There should be an independent inquiry; their voices need to be heard.
“National’s continuing failure to act on Judge [Carolyn] Henwood’s recommendations is a dark stain on its record in government.
“Bill English as a new prime minister has the opportunity to show that his Government does really care about the wellbeing of all those who have been abused and he should act now.”
The Green Party said it backs the call for an inquiry and formal apology.
“It seems everyone but the Government realises that an inquiry and a formal apology are essential to helping the victims find some sense of closure, and to ensure that children in state care now and in the future are protected from abuse,” said the party’s social development spokeswoman, Jan Logie.
“The Minister for Social Development [Anne Tolley] needs to issue a full universal apology to those abused while in state care, and immediately set up an independent body to resolve historic and current complaints of abuse and neglect.
“Bill English is happy for things to remain unknown and unexamined around the abuse of children in state care.”
English told Radio New Zealand that he hadn’t yet seen the details of the open letter, but he noted much work had been done regarding abuse claims – the confidential listening service headed by Henwood and a process of settling claims with compensation and an apology.
“The question would be, would an inquiry add anything.”
Asked if he didn’t want to know the extent of the historic abuse, English said, “I think the extent of it is pretty well known and pretty well understood.”
The real challenge was to find effective ways for the state to care for children and the Government’s systems of care were going through major changes to make sure the abuse that occurred in the past did not happen again.
He said implementing these changes was a higher priority than holding the kind of large, long-term, complex inquiry the Human Rights Commission seemed to envisage.
Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said: “We absolutely support the commission’s call for those who haven’t been able to share their stories, to do so.
“This Government needs to listen to them and learn from them so that abuse never happens again.”
“I’ve heard the stories from people themselves, who as children were taken from homes that were actually more loving than the ones the state put them in. They are New Zealand’s lost generations.”
The party’s other co-leader, Te Ururoa Flavell, said the country’s “lost generations” issue was more serious than most people thought.
“We’re potentially talking about thousands of children being taken from their families simply for having a disability, being Maori or minor transgressions like skipping school, only to be abused physically, sexually and emotionally by the strangers and institutions that the state placed them with.”
Ken Clearwater, the manager of the Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust, said it first approached then-prime minister Helen Clark in 2004 for a Royal Commission into the institutional abuse of children.
“This was denied as was an approach to John Key and the National Government.
“We have sent several letters over the years and continue to ask Minister Anne Tolley.
“Why an Inquiry? For Government and the public of New Zealand to see the horrendous sexual physical and emotional abuse suffered by vulnerable children at the hands of those who were supposed to care for them.
“This goes not just to state care but also abuse suffered while in church and other institutions. Many victims ended up in the mental health or prison system and many are still in either of these systems or on some kind of benefit.”
“An Inquiry or Royal Commission is important for all those affected to be heard and helped. Systems need to be set up for long time care. The many things the victims missed out on, education, health and mental health, accommodation and help into work.
“Giving someone $12,000, an apology and then sending them on their way is an insult not an answer, and is not right for all.
“Judge Henwood, who was in charge of the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service, has asked for a public inquiry. In her report you will see that many gangs in NZ were formed out of state care.”
The first thing that has to be said is that those who have only just arrived at this cause are only calling for an inquiry into children in State care. This is significantly less than the Australian model which has left absolutely no rock un-turned in its pursuit of perpetrators, cover-ups and the truth.
Now whether these late arrivals have decided to lower the bar in the hope that the New Zealand Govt might just agree to a clearly significantly limited Royal Commission, or whether there are more sinister forces at work for the decision to limit their desired scope is anyone’s guess, after all it is New Zealand, a country where so much has been swept under the carpet that it’s an up hill slog just to cross the floor of Parliament.
The beauty of the Australian model is that it has captured everything, the words “Institutional Response” powerful in who it captured. Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, Religious orders, schools, Teachers; state and private, police, social workers, the scope has been enormous….and rewarding, if the share volume of the Commissions results are anything to go by.
The omission’s in New Zealands most recent call for a Royal Commission are in fact made all the more conspicuous with the absence of the likely worst offenders;
An Open Letter to the New Zealand Prime Minister
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.
We know from their stories that many New Zealanders who were placed in government institutions suffered sexual, physical and psychological abuse inflicted by staff, social workers, caregivers, teachers, clergy, cooks, gardeners, night watchmen and even other children and patients. We suspect that institutional abuse has had a disproportionately negative impact on Māori and disabled people, including those with intellectual/learning disabilities. We are yet to establish this with certainty because of the difficulty obtaining relevant data and information.
It is important to determine the full extent and nature of the abuse that occurred. We must understand what took place and learn how and why vulnerable children, teenagers and adults could be abused within the system that was supposed to care for them. Until we know the full story and until we have the answers to these questions, we are not in a position to learn from what happened and to prevent it from happening again.
Although steps have been taken to provide resolution for some individuals through existing claims processes, these processes do not address the underlying systemic questions and do not help us ensure that events like this are prevented from occurring again in future. The intention is not to relitigate the past or to usurp existing settlements – it is to find the truth and make changes for the benefit of the next generation.
Some New Zealanders who have survived abuse while in State care have told us they want an apology, accountability and, most of all, they want decision makers to learn from the past and to ensure that future generations do not suffer as they did.
What needs to happen?
We want the Government to ensure that:
- The voices of those abused while in State care are heard, and the ongoing impact the events have had on their lives is understood and acknowledged
- There is official acknowledgement of the abuse that occurred
- A general public apology is provided to all those affected, including an apology for any systemic failings of past governments
- The experiences of those who have been affected are recognised and validated
- The full impact on disabled people, including those with intellectual and learning disabilities, is identified and recognised
- The impact on Māori, of both prevalence of placement in State care and incidence of abuse is adequately assessed and considered
- Effective and adequate support is provided for those who have been affected
- Lessons are learned from the past and action is taken, to prevent future abuse so that this never happens again.
What should be considered?
There are many ways to ensure that the above outcomes are realised. One of these is through an independent inquiry which should consider the following matters:
- The treatment of children, young people and vulnerable adults in State care in psychiatric and psychopaedic hospitals and wards, health camps, child welfare care, youth justice facilities and special education homes
- The extent of physical, sexual, psychological abuse and of neglect experienced while in State care
- The impact on individuals and groups of the processes that placed people in State care, including those in foster care and other environments outside State run facilities
- The adequacy of laws, policies and practices of the day in protecting those placed in State care from abuse and any systemic issues arising from this consideration
- Whether, at a systemic level, complaints of abuse have been sufficiently and appropriately dealt with by other official responses, investigations or criminal or civil proceedings.
We, the undersigned, call on the Government to initiate a robust and independent inquiry into the above matters and to take other appropriate steps to ensure that the victims of abuse receive a comprehensive public apology and appropriate redress for what took place. We seek urgent engagement with the Government to discuss the process and methodology in more detail. It is important for all New Zealanders to understand the full extent of what took place and to work together to prevent future abuse of people while in the care of the State. Action is required now.
Paul Gibson Disability Rights Commissioner
Karen Johansen Indigenous Rights Commissioner
Dame Susan Devoy Race Relations Commissioner
Dr Jackie Blue EEO Commissioner
David Rutherford Chief Human Rights Commissioner
Richard Tankersley Human Rights Commissioner
Keith Wiffin Former resident Epuni Boys Home and other homes
Anne Helm Consumer Panel Member, Confidential Forum
Gary Williams Former resident of PukeroaLaura Ferguson Trust Wellington(Ngati Porou)
Naida Glavish Iwi Leaders ForumCo-chair, Whanau Ora Partnership Group
Rahui Papa Iwi Leaders ForumCo-chair, Whanau Ora Partnership Group
David King National Chairperson, People First New Zealand Inc -Ngā Tāngata Tuatahi
Pati Umaga President, Disabled Persons Assembly
Prue Kapua National President, Maori Women’s Welfare League
Vivien Maidaborn Executive Director, UNICEF
Kim Workman Social Justice Advocate, Kim Workman and Associates
Areta Kopu Panelist on the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service Former Human Rights Commissioner
Judi Clements Independent consultant, health and social care; Former Chief Executive, Mental Health Foundation of NZ
Dr Elizabeth Stanley Associate Professor of Criminology, Victoria University of Wellington
Judith Aitken Public Sector Consultants Ltd
Professor Mark Henaghan Dean of Law, Otago University
Dr Brigit Mirfin-Veitch Director, Donald Beasley Institute
Professor Judy McGregor EEO Commissioner (2003 – 2012) CNZM
Rosslyn Noonan Chief Human Rights Commissioner (2001-2011)Director, NZ Centre for Human Rights Law, Policy and Practice
Robyn Hunt Disability Rights Commissioner (2002-2010)
Joris de Bres Race Relations Commissioner (2002-2013)
Materoa Dodd Distinguished Fellow in the Humanities, Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi
Mary O’Hagen Mental Health Commissioner (2000-2007)
Ruth Jones Ngati Porou
There is some anecdotal evidence that the New Zealand police have in fact been one of the primary reasons for the National Party Government, to date, being loathed to even consider a Royal Commission.First and foremost the absence of the religious organisations stands out like balls on a short haired dog. Second, the absence of the New Zealand police.
John Key, and now Bill English, have no doubt been made acutely aware that the New Zealand police are no strangers to historic allegations of rape and child sexual and physical abuse, including teen pregnancies, thats why absolutely everything of any importance, stemming from Margaret Bazley’s Inquiry into New Zealand Police Conduct, was keep absolutely secret.
In fact, it is the abject failure of the Bazley inquiry, and the failure of the New Zealand Police to learn anything whatsoever from it, that frame Bill English’s latest claims in a light of extraordinary improbability.
Does Bill English seriously believe that New Zealand Govt agencies, including the country’s systemically corrupt police force will learn anything from the published results of the Australian Royal Commission? Does any New Zealand politician seriously believe that for one minute? If they do then they should be pointed in the direction of a clinical psychologist for evaluation and treatment.
Of course English doesn’t believe it, not for one minute. If English’s latest bullshit premiss was in anyway likely, then it follows that the New Zealand police force would have learned and acted on invaluable lessons from Australias two largest Royal Commissions into Police Corruption, Queensland’s Fitzgerald Inquiry and the Wood Royal Commission in New South Wales; which anyone with an ounce of inside knowledge will tell you, New Zealand Police clearly didn’t.
For both the New Zealand police and the country’s government it’s always been about harm minimisation, not for the unfortunate victims you understand, but rather for themselves.
Until recently, Police Association president for life, Greg O’Connor, was living breathing evidence that the New Zealand police force had gained absolutely nothing from either of the two Australian State crackdowns on police corruption. In fact, many of the gang rapes committed by New Zealand police remained concealed for years after both of those inquiries, some that we are aware of, indeed probably many more, remaining outside the publics knowledge, the Police Commissioner and Prime Ministers dirty little secret.
Also of concern in New Zealand are so-called charitable groups, the likes of the Lions Club and Rotary, both of which should be on any Royal Commisions hit list given the many links to both police and child welfare institutions over the years.
Of interest to the Australian authorities, also very much related to the ongoing deportation of New Zealanders who have served prison sentences, would be the culpability of the New Zealand government for these lives of crime. Of interest to Australian Authorities, undoubtedly, would be how many Kiwi’s, now Australians, were subjected to child abuse.
Just how many of these men and woman suffered serious abuse at the hands of paedophiles and psychopaths working for New Zealand Govt agencies, including it’s police force? Of course those in the later category are very likely now suffering with significant disabilities, including but not limited to conditions such as PTSD and subsequently receiving Australian Govt support, which in fact the New Zealand Govt should be contributing to if there is any culpability.
The reality is that Bill English already has the answers to many of the questions that a Royal Commission would be asking, those answers are in our view of single importance in Bill English’s continuing refusal to hold any sort of Royal Commission.
Whilst the New Zealand police may not have been up to the job of learning the lessons successive Australian Royal Commissions have supplied, Bill English and his National party have.
English and his National party mates know that even if they were to allow an inquiry, even a Royal Commission with vastly reduced scope and powers, as has recently been proposed, once the genie is out of the bottle it would be impossible to put it back, public opinion would ultimately decimate his political party at the polls should they even try.
English has himself taken a few lessons away from the Australian inquiry. English knows that the Australian Royal Commission went back to Canberra on numerous occasions requesting additional scope, powers, funding and time; on each occasion the Government granting those demands, in a political climate of what the commission had already successfully exposed, undoubtedly fearful of the backlash should they fail to do so.
In short, Bill English knows that once the scale of historic sexual physical and emotional harm to Kiwi children is known to the public the government will no longer be in control of the inquiry. Growing public anger will inevitably ensure that any Royal Commission gets what it needs, whether initially proposed and sanctioned or not, to aid in the job of ascertaining the enormous scale of the problem in New Zealand.
What must also be of concern for English is the fact that, according to blogger Cameron Slater, at least five sitting Parliamentarians either have convictions or were currently before the courts for sexual offending at the time of Slater’s report.
The proclivity of the National party for concealing their members criminal behaviour is legendary, a well know fact; ex Prime Minister, John Key, particularly practised in the dark political art of cover-up.
Then there is the small matter of the Peter Ellis case, and others, which in the event of any proper and full inquiry must also be looked at, as the political skulduggery and Crown law abuses are at the very centre of what has driven decades of cover-up by both the government its agencies and police.
Evidence of these police and Government cover-ups is to be found here on Lauda Finem, it’s also to be found in a variety other places, libraries and online.
The work of Kiwi investigative journo Ian Wishart, in particular a special investigation Wishart conducted over a two year period, culminating in his 2007 accusations of New Zealand Police involvement in organised child sexual exploitation rings in both Chistchurch and Dunedin. Accusations that were never properly investigated by police or the IPCA for quite obvious reasons.
Police behaviour that was at the time of the offending known to John Jamieson, then Christchurch District Commander and subsequently, as Commissioner of police (1984 – 1994), a man who the Catholic Church, following Jamieson’s brief and unremarkable political career, hired with the obvious intention of insuring that all accusations of historic child sexual abuse were mustered smoothly out the back door, much to the Arch Bishops benefit.
Prior to joining the Catholic Church John Jamieson, as Commissioner of Police, himself assisted in concealing, from the media and the public, allegations of rape, violence and corruption against serving police officers, one of whom escaped to South Africa with the aid of at least nine other serving Gisborne police officers.
In short, Bill English, without a shadow of a doubt, is fully cognisant of the scale of the historic problem in New Zealand, in particular the police involvement. He also likely knows that the scale of Historic child abuse in New Zealand is far greater than what has historically occurred in Australia, if only on a per capita basis.
- National Party nutjob Paula Bennett reckoned New Zealand didnt have a problem with historic child abuse, were not like Australia she said. Hey she was right! Turns out New Zealand’s historic child abuse is very likely substantially worse than Australia’s, whats more, local political party, ‘The Nationals’ don’t want the world knowing just how bad it really was for the thousands of victims of Historic Institutional Child abuse in New Zealand.
If then, the above is accurate, one can quickly deduce that the current New Zealand Government will never sanction the sort of Royal Commission Australia has held, the in-depth no limits investigation that’s undoubtedly required in New Zealand if the truth is to be established beyond any doubt and for the benefit of all.
The only way forward, that we can see, is for the now vindicated Australian victims, their support groups and the various other campaigners involved to call for an economic boycott of all New Zealand products and CER until such time as the New Zealand Government see’s the error of it’s ways and orders a Royal Commission and the apology that thousands of New Zealanders, abused as children, while government ignored their suffering, not only deserve, but have an inalienable right to, in their long pursuit of justice.
New Zealand police have in the past used all sorts of skullduggery in efforts to thwart official inquiries into their unlawful practices and conduct, iuncluding sexual and physical abuses.
- Two dirty cops: ex New Zealand police commissioners John Jamieson (L) and Howard Broad (R) Jamieson was certainly, without a shred of doubt, a master of the dark art of police corruption and cover-up
During the Margaret Bazley RC senior police management covertly operated counter attack “schemes” through a network of ex-cops; the preferred method, as it greatly diminishes the risk of senior serving officers being caught acting politically and unlawfully.
Lauda Finem have in the past written extensively on the existence of these practices and a secret police network, comprising ex police, some turned corrupt private investigators and others turned corrupt politicians, from local bodies right up to New Zealand’s Parliament.
This same Odessa styled network was in fact more than likely behind the attempt to smear Commissioner Dame Margaret Bazley and others during the Royal Commission into New Zealand Police Conduct, an unsuccessful and unlawful attempt to derail the process:
Private detective checked out Dame Margaret Bazley
Saturday April 14, 2007
Dame Margaret Bazley has accused the men at the centre of the police rape trials of using a private investigator in an attempt to discredit her position on the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct.
Shortly after the inquiry began in 2004, Dame Margaret became aware that a private investigator had obtained information about the criminal activities of her former husband, whom she divorced nearly 30 years ago.
Her lawyer, John Tizard, says the investigator was acting for suspended Assistant Commissioner Clint Rickards and co-accused Brad Shipton and Bob Schollum in an attempt to discredit the commission.
It is understood that a distressed Dame Margaret took her concerns directly to Prime Minister Helen Clark, believing it was inappropriate to go to the police given that the commission was investigating them.
The information uncovered by the investigator related to Stephen Bazley – whom Dame Margaret divorced in 1978 – and his connections to the “Mr Asia” drug syndicate in the 1970s and 1980s.
Helen Clark retained her faith in Dame Margaret to head the commission, given her record as a top-level public servant in the years since.
The information about Mr Bazley has continued to be circulated, and this week Mr Tizard told the Herald “this material was originally sourced by a private investigator retained on behalf of Messrs Rickard[s], Shipton and Schollum in an attempt to discredit the commission as long ago as 2004”.
Dame Margaret could not be contacted this week to answer further questions about the investigator.
Helen Clark said through a spokeswoman that no action needed to be taken because Dame Margaret was “held in the highest regard for her work at the most senior levels of the public service”.
“Unfortunately nothing can be done to stop people hiring private investigators to dig into the lives of public figures, as the Prime Minister herself has experienced,” the spokeswoman said.
Mr Rickards’ lawyer, John Haigh, QC, said he completely denied Dame Margaret’s claims and had no idea of her husband’s name until told by the Weekend Herald yesterday.
Lawyers for the other two men also denied the allegation.
Mr Rickards was cleared of all criminal charges but remains suspended on full pay, understood to be about $150,000 to $159,000, because of undisclosed employment issues.
Police Commissioner Howard Broad would not comment yesterday, but a spokesman said a private investigator handed over “historic media articles” relating to Mr Bazley in 2004.
Dame Margaret issued her damning report this month, extracting an unprecedented public apology from Mr Broad about historic police behaviour.
Dame Margaret was appointed to head the commission after Louise Nicholas went public in early 2004 with claims she was raped by police officers in Rotorua in the 1980s and the investigation was mishandled.
Dame Margaret became the sole commissioner in 2005 when Justice Bruce Robertson asked to be discharged because of time pressures when the scope of inquiry was altered so it could continue without prejudicing criminal proceedings such as that involving Mr Rickards, Brad Shipton and Bob Schollum.
It is understood that Justice Robertson is unaware of any attempts to discredit him in a similar way, although he presumes it is likely his background was also subject to scrutiny.
- Dame Margaret Bazley, also the intended victim of New Zealand police corruption and abuse
Stephen Bazley and Margaret Hope were married in Waihi in November 1965, when he was 29 and she was 27. The marriage was dissolved 12 years later in June 1978. Mr Bazley was named as an associate of infamous “Mr Asia” figure Terry Clark by the Australian Royal Commission of Inquiry into Drug Trafficking report published in 1983.
It said Mr Bazley was a business associate of Clark and known to other notorious New Zealand criminals from that time such as Peter Fulcher and Marty Johnstone.
The report said Mr Bazley had an extensive criminal history dating back to 1956 “and has convictions which led to the New Zealand police describing him as a thief, burglar, car converter, abortionist, sex offender and false pretender”.
It said police “suspected Bazley of being involved in cannabis dealing on a large scale from as early as 1974”.
Dame Margaret, then a nurse, was matron of Sunnyside Hospital in Christchurch in 1965 and moved on to jobs in Auckland and Hamilton before the marriage was dissolved.
By 1978, she was director of nursing at the Department of Health before shifting into public service management as a State Services Commissioner in 1984.
In the 20 years through to being appointed to the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct she held a number of high-powered positions and now, aged 69, is the chairwoman of the Fire Service.
Mr Bazley, who lives in Invercargill, refused to comment when approached this week. It is understood he and Dame Margaret have had little or no contact in the past 30 years and that he has been upset by the attempts over the past three years to link her to his past crimes.
He lived in Australia for a time after the marriage was dissolved and had a media profile in the mid-1980s when an inquiry was set up into corruption in the New South Wales Police after he made claims on an ABC Four Corners programme called “An Informer’s Tale”.
Now 71, he works for the Southland Beneficiaries and Community Rights Centre.
This is of course not the only occasion New Zealand Police have employed the dark arts in their efforts to undermine Parliament and or judicial process, the list of such occasions is in fact extremely long.
We would also recommend that readers check out Ian Wisharts article “To Serve and Protect”, also published in 2007, its an eye opener and gives readers some idea of what could be investigated had the New Zealand Government followed an identical path to that of the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Like ex Commissioner Jamieson, Police Commissioner Howard Broad was implicated by Wishart in sordid events which had been exposed by ex Christchurch cop turned whistle-blower and author Tom Lewis.
Then the Government, despite obvious concerns, turned around and appointed the retired Broad to an inquiry investigating the department of Child and Youth Services; yet another classic example of the systemic corruption at the core of New Zealand Government and it’s civil service. Many complained but absolutely nothing was done.
There is also the recent case of Kiwi ex High Court Judge, Lowell Goddard and her stranger than fiction foray into the United Kindom’s Royal Commission. Lauda Finem at the time of her appointment wrote a post which in fact preempted the subsequent outcome;
It is our honest held opinion that Goddard was hired by the British establishment as a “fixer”, but failed when her incompetence and woefully incomplete knowledge of the law became more than apparent, along with the more experienced British legal teams smelling of the Rat, catching the rodent and stomping on it.
- Kiwi Judge Lowell Goddard, sent packing from UK Child Abuse Royal Commission under suspicious circumstances, a very dark cloud shes not at all inclined to talk to journos about.
Our opinion is of course supported by Goddard’s own all to rapid departure from the UK and her subsequent refusal to return; arguably fearing having to face a parliamentary inquiry into the her conduct and that of the Commission under her stewardship. In a nutshell we suspect Goddard was caught between having to commit perjury on the one hand, or in the alternative, risk contempt of parliament by refusing to answer questions; lest she incriminate herself in the process.
This however was not the only time Goddard has faced criticism around allegations of serious child abuse, Goddard having overseen, in her capacity as chair of New Zealand’s Police Conduct Authority (NZPCA), a seriously flawed investigation of alleged police cover-up of serious Child sexual abuse complaints in New Zealand’s Wairarapa District.
Goddards investigation and her subsequent report was in our view, and that of others, nothing more than the whitewashing of appalling and, at best, criminally negligent police conduct, and that is the absolute best spin we could put on it.
Press Release – Clan NZ
The New Zealand branch of Care Leavers Australasia Network ( www.CLAN.org.au ) fully endorses and supports the recent Human Rights Commission open letter sent to Prime Minister Bill English calling for a comprehensive, independent and public inquiry …
Those who refuse to look at the past are doomed to repeat it
Comment by CLAN NZ (a branch of Care Leavers Australasia Network)
The New Zealand branch of Care Leavers Australasia Network (www.CLAN.org.au) fully endorses and supports the recent Human Rights Commission open letter sent to Prime Minister Bill English calling for a comprehensive, independent and public inquiry into historic abuse in State care from the 1950s to the 1990s.
CLAN NZ considers the Government needs to offer a full universal apology to those abused whilst in State care, as recommended in 2015 by the report of the listening service chaired by Judge Carolyn Henwood.
However, despite the multiparty support for an inquiry by Labour, Maori and the Green Party – Bill English still maintains that New Zealand alone does not need one, despite admitting to not even having read the open letter yet!
It seems that everyone but the Government realises that an inquiry and a formal apology are essential to helping the victims find some sense of closure, and to ensure that children in State care now, and in the future, are protected from abuse. Bill English is quoted as saying, “It would be a lessor priority to put all our energy into going over history again. The harm in my view is well understood.”
What is beyond dispute now is that many innocent New Zealand children suffered serious sexual, physical and psychological abuse in a range of institutions and foster homes, from children’s homes to mental health institutions – serious physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect over many years.
CLAN NZ spokesperson Netta Christian, 79, a former foster child, says, “Some were there because of minor offences, such as stealing a pencil, playing truant or breaking a window. Other children ended up in homes after family problems such as unemployment, illness or a parent dying. Thousands of children were taken from their families simply for being Māori.”
Many were taken from homes that were actually more loving than the ones the State put them in – where they were abused physically, sexually and emotionally by their ‘carers’.
Netta explains, “The extent of this abuse is unknown. We believe that only an independent inquiry can reveal the full extent of this abuse. We can learn from places such as the Australian Royal Commission, now into its fourth and final year – the establishment of which followed damming revelations that child abusers had been moved from place to place, instead of their crimes being reported. There were also revelations that organisations, including the Police Force, failed to try to stop further acts of child abuse. Australia had bipartisan support for their Royal Commission, from both Labor and the Liberal Party. So without an inquiry in New Zealand, how does Bill English propose to investigate and uncover such things here?”
Netta suspects there could be anything up to 50,000 abuse cases in New Zealand, given the number of children who had been in care and given the systems and culture of abuse in the institutions involved. More than 100,000 children were placed in State care between the 1950s to the 1980s. In 1992 institutional care was largely abandoned.
The Confidential Listening and Assistance Service heard from more than 1,100 people abused in State care between the 1950s and 1980s. The CLAS ended in June 2016 and recommended that an independent inquiry be set up to discover the extent of abuse suffered, so that this would never happen again.
The Children’s Commissioner told us in 2015 that there was no evidence that children in State care now were any safer than they were in the families that they were removed from. Obviously nothing has changed.
New Zealand is disgracefully the only Commonwealth country to never have had an independent investigation into historical institutional child abuse. Consequently, most of the NZ public remains blissfully unaware of the extent of horrendous child abuse that has occurred since the 1950s.
Surely when the Chief Human Rights Commissioner, plus several previous commissioners and many other prominent New Zealanders, join together in a call for an independent inquiry into the abuse of children in State care – they deserve to be taken seriously by the Prime Minister. They are a force that cannot be ignored.
“It is essential that lessons are learned from what occurred in the past. Ignoring this issue is just protecting the abusers and continuing the harm. We urgently need an inquiry to first identify patterns of behaviour, in order to find solutions for today,“ said Ms Christian.
CLAN NZ is proud to support the “E KORE ANŌ – NEVER AGAIN!” campaign and is encouraging signatures and support for the “Never Again” petition http://www.neveragain.co.nz
Read the HRC open letter here https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3460432-10-02-17-3pm-FINAL-Never-Again-E-Kore-Ano-Open.html#document/p1
CLAN New Zealand works for justice and redress for all New Zealanders who grew up in orphanages, institutions or children’s homes, as a State ward, home child or in foster care. Email firstname.lastname@example.org