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Trauma-Responsive New Zealand

Abuse in Care: Survivors experiences 'abhorrent' – Oranga Tamariki

An article from Katie Doyle

Abuse survivors faced “unacceptable and abhorrent” experiences in state care, the chief executive of Oranga Tamariki says.

Te Hapimana Te Kani (Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Tūhoe, Ngāti Maniapoto, Rongowhakaata), also known as Chappie Te Kani, took the stand today as part of the Royal Commission’s Abuse in Care inquiry – Institutional Response Hearing.

The scope of the hearings include the years between 1950 and 1999.

Te Kani was the first of several witnesses from Oranga Tamariki set to appear before the commission this week.

He was joined by the chief social worker Peter Whitcombe and the director of Transformation, Te Oranga o te Whānau at Oranga Tamariki, Frana Chase (Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Tūwharetoa).

Te Kani said the care and protection system had not always kept rangatahi safe and had failed to stop abuse and other forms of harm between 1950 and 1999.

“Many of the experiences we have heard from survivors are unacceptable and abhorrent by any objective standard in place at the time the events occurred, as well as by present day standards,” he said.

Te Kani acknowledged Pacific children in care did not always have adequate access to their language, culture, identity and community.

He said the care and protection system did not meet the needs of disabled children and those with mental health needs.

Abuse in care survivors experiences abhorrent Oranga Tamariki

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