22 Oct 2022

Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care: Public hearings finish with warning to institutions

8:47 am on 22 October 2022
Keith Wiffin.

Keith Wiffin says scrutiny and accountability of carers will continue until they got it right. Photo: RNZ / Andrew McRae

A survivor of abuse in care has warned organisations, which housed abusers in the past, times have changed and it will not be allowed to happen again.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care has ended its run of public hearings that started in 2019.

In that time, it has held 14 hearings and carried out numerous interviews with abuse survivors.

It will hand-down its final report in June next year.

Keith Wiffin told the inquiry state and faith-based care would never be the same.

"I say to all those organisations you cannot now continue and operate as you have in the past, without the levels of impunity you have had. The landscape has changed."

Scrutiny and accountability of carers would continue until they got it right, Wiffin said.

There were connections between state and faith-based groups and the abuse that occurred, he said.

"The state enabled those churches and faith-based organisations to exist. They set them up. They failed to monitor them and then they denied the abuse. There is a very strong link."

Another survivor of abuse, Frances Tagaloa said it was important an independent body, which the commission had recommended, was established to deal with redress claims for survivors of state and faith-based abuse.

"Ít just astounds me that a survivor is expected to go back to the very institution that perpetuated the abuse, to seek redress."

For survivors, an independent redress body was non-negotiable, Tagaloa said.

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