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Ed Sheeran

Atonement and action in abuse inquiry

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The chair of the Royal Commission into historical abuse in state care says it's possible there could be criminal prosecutions as a result of the inquiry.

Sir Anand Satyanand is considering submissions on the scope of the inquiry and waiting for the Government to appoint the remaining members.

More than 100 submissions have come in already, as people consider issues such as how important the Treaty of Waitangi should be to the deliberations, whether a separate stream is needed for Pacific people, and whether the 50-year date spread for the inquiry is sufficient.

He says the task of the inquiry is to listen to people's stories and report on what happened and what should be done so it does not happen again.

It will also start a process of atonement to make things right, but it will not make decisions on compensation nor will it take action against abusers.

"If the Royal Commission learns of criminal actions that deserve investigation and prosecution we will have a pathway to the police to enable that or those investigations to be commenced," Sir Anand Satyanad says.

The commission will need to work with the Privacy Commissioner if people need access to their files, and with Accident Compensation in case counselling is needed for people who give testimony.


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