Dame Devoy asks UN to tell NZ Govt to inquire into state abuse

By Heeni Brown
Susan Devoy - Photo / File

The Race Relations Commissioner has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand Government to have an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions.

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy says, "The refusal by successive governments to investigate is not only wrong, it is immoral. This is not my New Zealand and I urged the UN to tell our government to do the right thing."

Last month, survivors who were abused in state care as children were at the steps of Parliament sharing their experiences.

A petition was also presented on their behalf, calling for a public apology and an inquiry into the matter. 

According to Dame Devoy, the overwhelming majority of children who were taken were Māori and that various children's homes had more than 80% and sometimes 100%.

She also says, these state homes were the beginning of the mass incarceration of Māori New Zealanders in state institutions.