Māori survivors of abuse in care want urgent change to Aotearoa’s care and protection system, which has seen whānau suffer significant racism, torture, slave labour and disconnection from whakapapa, an inquiry has heard.
For the past two weeks, ngā mōrehu (survivors) have been giving evidence as part of a special hearing for Māori in the ongoing Royal Commission of Inquiry into abuse in care, which included kōrero with hundreds of Māori survivors.
Twenty-five of the survivors have shared details about their experiences of not only abuse, but racism, being disconnected from their whakapapa and taken away from their whānau, and the system’s blatant exclusion of tikanga Māori.
Friday was the last day of the hearing at Ōrākei Marae in Auckland where both the Crown, and the Royal Commission, gave their closing statements.
A panel of survivors and experts also responded to what they had heard, urging that any changes to the system needed to be survivor and Māori-led.
In closing, Julia Spelman, counsel assisting the Commission, acknowledged that the pathway forward, particularly for Māori, must be different.