After admitting there was systemic abuse of children in State care the Government must do the right thing and launch an independent inquiry, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern.
“Previously, Minister Tolley dismissed an inquiry saying there’s no evidence that it was a systemic problem
“But today in the House, when asked if there was systemic abuse in State Care, National’s Deputy Leader Paula Bennett, on behalf of the Prime Minister, said ‘there has been systemic abuse in State Care.’
“I wrote to the Prime Minister urging him to instigate and inquiry. We share the view of the Human Rights Commission that there are still lessons to be learnt from the past and that such an inquiry could form the basis of best practice policies for children living in state care.
“The State has already acknowledged liability on a case by case basis, via the Historic Claims Process, but individual apologies just aren’t good enough.
“Today, I heard heart felt pleas from many survivors of abuse while in State care stand on the forecourt of Parliament and plead for an inquiry.
“Recent accounts from those who have been abused while in State care further demonstrate that this issue is a blight on New Zealand’s history and we will continue to overshadow the reform of the care and protection system until we acknowledge the wrongs of the past.
“The response from the Prime Minister’s correspondence manager was ‘the comments in your letter have been noted.’
“Child safety is paramount and a Labour-led Government will make sure the voices of the survivors of State abuse are heard through a proper inquiry that shows the State truly cares about Kiwi kids,” says Jacinda Ardern.