Work on new redress system for survivors to continue as fast as possible
Work on the new, independent redress system for survivors of abuse in care will not be affected by the deferral of the Royal Commission’s final report, Crown Response Unit director Isaac Carlson says.
“The Minister for the Public Service, Hon Andrew Little, recently confirmed to Radio NZ that the redress design work remains a priority for Government,” Mr Carlson says. “This commitment is not affected by the decision to defer the Royal Commission’s final report date. The redress work can continue regardless, at the same pace.”
Today, Minister Little announced(external link) that Dr Annabel Ahuriri-Driscoll (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Kahungunu) and Ruth Jones QSM (Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata) have been appointed as co-Chairs of the survivor-led redress design group. They will provide leadership and direction for the design group and an advisory group to support it. The design group will develop the key features of the new system for decision by Ministers.
The Redress system design work results from the recommendations made in the Royal Commission’s redress report. The Crown committed to delivering on those recommendations when the report was delivered, and that commitment remains firm.
“We know that many survivors want to see progress – we can assure you that progress is being made,” Mr Carlson says.
“Work has continued on projects to assist survivors before the new system is ready. One of these - rapid payments under current claims systems - was started late last year by the Ministry of Social Development, prioritising people who are ill or elderly and those who have been waiting the longest to have their claim resolved.
The rapid payments option for claimants has attracted good interest. The continued roll-out of rapid payments won’t be affected by the deferral of the Royal Commission’s report.
“Work is also progressing on two other projects – an interim listening service to provide continuity of service for survivors between the conclusion of the Royal Commission and the launch of the new redress system, and work to improve survivors’ access to their records of their time in care. These projects are not affected by the deferral.
“The only project affected by the deferral is the timing of a public apology to survivors for the abuse they suffered in care. Work towards an apology will now be based on this happening in 2024, as an apology cannot be made before the Royal Commission delivers its final report,” Mr Carlson says.
Media inquiries: Tamsin Vuetilovoni 027 217 4907