Bringing justice for tamariki abuse victims in institutional care is why the Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox stood in the House today to call on Minister for Children Anne Tolley for a Royal Commission of Inquiry.
“This has got to be dealt with, it is a systemic issue and we as Māori must rise up and say not one more, never again,” says Ms Fox
“The only way to bring this about is by calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into tamariki placed in institutional care between the 1950s and 1990s,” she says.
“A Royal Commission of Inquiry is independent from the Government and reports to the Governor General. The Government cannot interfere in the direction taken by an inquiry or influence the findings. A Royal Commission can inquire into any matters it sees fit in order to determine the cause of the issues,” Ms Fox says.
“By not allowing an inquiry like this robs the victims of the chance to see justice served. Bring it out into the light.”
Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says there is a need to acknowledge that horrific and widespread sexual and physical abuse occurred.
“No child deserves to suffer the way these tamariki did, least of all from the institution which had been entrusted with their care.
“There is a need to acknowledge that horrific and widespread sexual and physical abuse occurred,” says Mr Flavell.
“We will probably never know how widespread this abuse was and I suspect there are still some out there who are too traumatised to publicly acknowledge it.
“It’s this lack of information that makes it imperative that we have this inquiry into the abuse of tamariki in institutional care,” Mr Flavell says.
Ms Fox says; “We have heard the harrowing stories of tamariki taken into institutional care completely vulnerable to the violent inhumane treatment by adults they were placed with.
“These people suffered institutional abuse and racism by successive governments that abandoned hundreds of thousands of our tamariki,” she says.
“We have heard our people who have said this is our stolen generation and the Crown have breached all principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi by severing Māori from their whānau, hapū and iwi, connections to whakapapa, reo, tikanga and turangawaewae,” Ms Fox says.
“This is why we are calling on Minister Tolley to take action today,” says Ms Fox.
“I believe having an independent inquiry will help begin the healing and reconciliation process much needed for these victims and Aotearoa as a whole.”
The Māori Party acknowledges The Mana Party which is also calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry.