The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions was established on 12 November 2018 when the Government set the final Terms of Reference for the Inquiry.

Members of the Commission are:
Judge Coral Shaw – Chair
Sandra Alofivae
Dr Andrew Erueti
Paul Gibson
Julia Steenson

Working with the Commission are Counsel Assist, Simon Mount, and Executive Director, Mervin Singham

More information about the Commission members is available on the Commission’s website.

Message for survivors

If you or a member of your family has been harmed in the care of the Catholic Church, there are a number of ways your complaint can be heard:

  • If you wish to engage with the Commission, there is information on the Commission’s website;
  • For more information about Te Houhanga Rongo A Path to Healing, and the Catholic complaints process, please click here.
  • The Bishops and Congregational Leaders of the Catholic Church of Aotearoa New Zealand also encourage any survivors of abuse to approach the New Zealand Police, and will cooperate with any Police investigation.

If you choose to have your complaint considered under A Path to Healing, you can continue, pause, or resume your complaint at any time.

No decisions made by the Church authorities about your complaint will be impacted negatively if you choose to speak with the Royal Commission, or if you choose to pause the consideration of your complaint while you speak with the Royal Commission. This is also the case if your complaint is currently being considered by NOPS or the Church authority and you choose to speak to the Royal Commission in a private session, or to give evidence at a hearing.

Catholic Response to the Royal Commission

The Catholic Bishops and Congregational Leaders of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand sought the inclusion of faith-based institutions in the Commission’s Terms of Reference and have offered their full support for the principles and aims of the Commission.

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Te Rōpū Tautoko (Support Group), referred to as ‘Tautoko’, has been established to co-ordinate and manage co-operation between the Commission and the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand. Through Tautoko, the New Zealand Catholic Bishops and Congregational Leaders will participate in the processes of the Inquiry.

Tautoko encourages survivors of abuse to engage with the Commission, which can be done through the Commission’s website

The Inquiry process may be difficult or may be impossible for some. For those who don’t feel they are able to participate in the Inquiry, there are other ways to share and get support:

There are several survivor support groups around the country that can be located online.

  • The New Zealand Police publish advice for victims of crime on their website:
  • The Church has a specialist team to support those making complaints about abuse in the Church and to investigate instances of abuse or safeguarding concerns. The National Office for Professional Standards (NOPS) can be contacted on 0800 114 622 or email
  • People can contact any bishop or religious congregation directly to discuss issues, make complaints, and or share their experiences.

The Archdiocese’s Response

In the Archdiocese of Wellington the Royal Commission response team is headed by Lesley Hooper. Their work includes locating and organizing archival material that may be required by the Commission, and responding to survivors of abuse who seek assistance, including with Royal Commission processes.

Lesley Hooper 04 496 1756