Abuse survivors call for public apology from State

updated By Ani-Oriwia Adds

New Zealanders who were abused as children while in state care presented an open letter and petition to Parliament today calling for a public inquiry and apology. Over 100,000 children were placed in state care during the 1950s and 1960s where many suffered sexual, physical and psychological abuse. 

New Zealanders who were abused while in state care and their supporters presented their open letters and petition to MPs.

Abuse survivor Karl Tauri says, "I got two words that I actually use. Psychological rape of a boy. I was locked in institutions solitary confinement at the age of nine and age of 11, 23 hours a day 7 days a week."

Survivors say the extent of abuse is unknown as the matter has never been fully or publicly investigated. 

Tauri says, "I want government to acknowledge that that actually happened to these kids because these same kids are still going through the system through the justice system through the prisons where's their children today?"

The petition follows an open letter in February this year where several prominent New Zealanders called for a wide-ranging and public inquiry into state care abuse. 

Tauri says. "Were standing outside parliament building. I don't see no Bill English, I don't see any, I actually see a couple of Members of the Māori Party here but come on. If it was their child they would be the first ones to kick up a stink."

Voyce Whakarongo Mai founding member Tupua Urlich says, "First of all they've done a review of child youth and family that lead to its immediate shutdown and rebuild. Here is a reason why they've made that restructure yet there's still no one here to hear their voice, it's pretty sad, to be honest. 

Survivors and their supporters hope the government will heed their call for a public apology and inquiry.