Church abuse victims resigned to being left out of inquiry

Stock News Caller

May 25, 2018

Church abuse survivors have resigned themselves to being excluded from the upcoming Royal Commission of Inquiry.

The public consultation period about how the inquiry should run wrapped up a week ago and its chair Sir Anand Satyanand has begun going through the 300 submissions.

“At this stage I have not formed any final views or recommendations,” he said in a statement last night.

However, Liz Tonks of the Network of Survivors of Faith-based Institutional Abuse said she got a very different impression from meeting with Sir Anand.

“I asked him who he had received submissions from when he suggested there wasn‘t anyone else except us asking for all survivors to be included,” she said.

“I asked him had they been proactive in the inquiry and approached other churches, had they considered approaching sportsclubs. His response to that was that he didn‘t see it as his job, that the inquiry was public and people knew they could make submissions.”

The commission launched a major public awareness campaign at the start of April, two months into the three-month public consultation period on the inquiry‘s terms of reference which closed last week.

Ms Tonks said her group had trouble getting to see Sir Anand, but he said he had met a wide range of people and groups and canvassed many issues.

“The issues have involved things like clarity of expression, appropriate placement of the Treaty of Waitangi, coverage of Pacific people as well as Māori, and as well the matter of a parallel inquiry financed by the Churches,” he said.

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