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Acord archives to cast light on abuse in care

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A former member of the Auckland Committee on Racism and Discrimination says the Royal commission on Historical Abuse in Care vindicates the challenges to the system raised by activists in the 1970s.

Oliver Sutherland says Acord along with Ngā Tamatoa, the Polynesian Panthers and the Auckland District Māori Council protested the treatment of children in social welfare homes and psychiatric hospitals, but their allegations were denied or they were fobbed off by the authorities.

He will make a submission to the Royal Commission next week, drawing on Acord’s archives of letters and papers which have been lodged in the Auckland Library.

"I can go back to actual testimony that children gave me at the time and I can refer to that and say the evidence is right there, it’s in the archives, and there’s no doubt about the terrible situation some of these children faced in Social Welfare homes back in those times," Dr Sutherland says.

He'd like to see some of those activists who stood alongside him come along when he makes his submission in Auckland next Tuesday.

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