Holistic redress for state abuse survivors urged

By Tumamao Harawira

For over half a century, successive governments have failed victims of state abuse, and it needs a new approach when dealing with victims of historic abuse.

That's according to a report by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into State Abuse, which has been handed over to the government.

In its report, He Purapura Ora, he Māra Tipu - From Redress to Puretumu Torowhānui, the royal commission urged the government to take urgent action to restore mana to survivors of abuse. 

It is something Public Service Minister Chris Hipkins has admitted needs a new strategy.

"This is a national disgrace that it has taken as long as it has to get to this point."

"I'm not going to put a price tag on it. It'll cost what it'll cost." 

The report recommends the expansion of oranga or wellbeing, services, and support services for survivors and their whānau, increased financial payments for survivors and better monitoring of and reporting to protect children better.

Commissioner Anaru Erueti says the report outlines redress and avenues the government must take to effect change.

"How difficult it is for survivors to go back to the church or the agency that originally abused them. So that's not going to happen anymore."

It's a conversation that Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti says must take place.

"We need to acknowledge this. We need to have those conversations that the royal commission has prompted with this report."