NZ: Catholic Heads Welcome Royal Commission Redress Report

Tabled in Parliament on December 15, 2021

Royal Commission Redress Report

The bishops and congregational leaders of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand will closely study the interim Redress report of the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care and look at how they can implement the recommendations.

The report — He Purapura Ora, he Māra Tipu; from Redress to Puretumu — was tabled in Parliament today and makes recommendations on how survivors of abuse in state and faith-based care should be heard and get redress for the harm suffered.

It has been welcomed by the NZ Catholic Bishops Conference (representing the country’s Catholic bishops), the Congregational Leaders Conference of Aotearoa New Zealand (representing Catholic religious orders and similar entities), and Te Rōpū Tautoko (the group formed to coordinate Catholic engagement with the royal commission).

Sister Margaret Anne Mills, president of the Congregational Leaders Conference, says: “I welcome this report and acknowledge the harm suffered by survivors of abuse and proposed actions to address and provide redress. We see the report as part of the vision to transform what we are doing today and into the future.”

Cardinal John Dew, president of the NZCBC, says: “We have been listening closely to what survivors have been telling the royal commission. We have previously indicated our support for the establishment of an independent redress scheme. This report gives a series of recommendations we can study to help us as we walk alongside survivors of abuse.”

Catherine Fyfe, Chair of Te Rōpū Tautoko, says: “Te Rōpū Tautoko members thank the commissioners for their work in preparing this report and look forward to helping Church leaders along the journey of reviewing and implementing the recommendations.”

The Church has been working proactively while waiting for the commission’s report. Te Rōpū Tautoko has created a roadmap of work that needs doing across all areas of the Church to make improvements in response to reports or disclosures of abuse in the care of the Catholic Church.

“Setting it out in the Roadmap makes it clear to everyone the work that is needed and the progress being made,” says Catherine Fyfe. “This provides a sense of transparency and accountability.”

The Roadmap is here.

The Royal Commission report is here.