WelCom May 2022
The Royal Commission of Inquiry into abuse in care is extending the scope of its Anglican investigation to include several Protestant churches and closed faith communities.
As well as adding the Presbyterian and Methodist and the Salvation Army churches, the Gloriavale, the Exclusive Brethren and Jehovah’s Witness communities are now included.
The Royal Commission will now be known as the Protestant and Other Faiths Investigation.
The Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian and Salvation Army faiths engaged in care provision throughout the Royal Commission’s 1950–1999 period of inquiry.
The Commission is exploring how people in care were abused by the institutions meant to protect them. This included physical, sexual, psychological and racist abuse. Māori, Pacific people, Deaf and disabled and LGBTQIA+ were disproportionately affected by care systems that failed them.
The Protestant and Other Faiths Investigation will be reported on in the Royal Commission’s Faith Interim Report, to be presented to the Governor General before June 2023.
In March the Commission held a public hearing online that focussed on the lived experience of whānau Māori who were abused by State and faith-based institutions.
In February the Commission held a case-study investigation into abuse in the care of the Catholic Church and Hospitaller Order of St John of God religious brothers that occurred at Marylands School in Christchurch and two other institutions in Christchurch – St Joseph’s Orphanage and the Hebron Trust. Marylands School was a residential facility for boys, including many with disabilities, run by the St John of God brothers from the 1950s to 1984.
The Commission is encouraging any survivors who have not already spoken to them to call the Commission on 0800 222 727 or register on its website (abuseincare.org.nz).
Te Rōpū Tautoko, which coordinates the Catholic Church’s engagement with the Royal Commission, encourages anyone who has suffered abuse in the care of the Catholic Church to approach the Police, the Royal Commission, the National Office for Professional Standards (NOPS), or one of the many support groups and networks for survivors. Contact NOPS on 0800 114 622, firstname.lastname@example.org or safeguarding.catholic.org.nz