League Urges Progress on State Care Inquiry
All three Government parties supported the call for an inquiry into abuse of children in State care and it is time now for that support to turn into action.
“The Inquiry features in Labour’s 100 day plan but to date there has been no indication of how this commitment is to be carried out”, according to Prue Kapua, President of the Maori Women’s Welfare League.
The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, in its report on New Zealand in September 2017, expressed alarm at the reports of abuse of children in foster care and State care, noting that the majority were Māori. The UN Committee recommended the immediate establishment of an independent Commission of Inquiry.
“Māori children are still being placed in State care at a higher rate than any other group” Ms Kapua says. “And that has always been the case. Systemic changes are vital to ensure abuse does not happen in the future. And we need to provide proper support for those who today live with the trauma of what they suffered while the State was supposed to be looking after them.”
Ms Kapua has emphasised that the terms of reference for the Inquiry and the Inquiry membership is fundamental to ensuring effective outcomes.
“I trust that the Government ministers charged with progressing this Inquiry will ensure victims and bodies and organisations that have had a long involvement in this issue are consulted so that we get it right and we can work towards a State care system that does not provide the opportunity for such abuse in the future”, Ms Kapua stated.