WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Te Rōpū Tautoko

WelCom July 2019:

Catholic Support Group for the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care

Message of Support for the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care from Te Rōpū Tautoko on behalf of the Catholic Bishops and Religious Congregational Leaders

Catherine Fyfe
Chair, Te Rōpū Tautoko
28 June 2019

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions held a preliminary hearing on Tuesday June 25, 2019.

The Catholic Bishops and Religious Congregational Leaders of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand offer their full support to the principles and aims of the Commission outlined in the Hearing. The Church’s leaders will actively co-operate with the Commission having supported the need for the Inquiry and advocated for the inclusion of faith-based institutions.

The Inquiry is a chance for the Church’s leadership to accept there have been failures to put victims first. It is a chance to recommit to care, to apologise, and to do better.

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.

As part of the ongoing Inquiry process, the Commissioners strongly encouraged survivors of abuse, who feel that they are able, to come forward and engage with the Royal Commission. Survivors can engage with the Inquiry by registering on the website: www.abuseinstatecare.royalcommission.govt.nz

Tautoko fully supports and encourages survivors to engage with the Commissioners.

We acknowledge 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: www.police.govt.nz/advice/victims
  • 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 prof.standards@nzcbc.org.nz (www.catholic.org.nz/find-us/confronting-abuse/)
  • People can contact any bishop or religious congregation directly to discuss issues, make complaints, and or share their experiences.

Te Rōpū Tautoko recognises the way to learn lessons for today and the future is to examine, understand and address what has occurred. The Church will take the opportunity to listen to the survivor voice of the Inquiry process, to learn, and grow from the process. We must all, collectively, work towards healing and transformation.