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Ed Sheeran

English resists state care inquiry

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Prime Minister Bill English is resisting a call for an independent inquiry into historic abuse in state care homes.

He says he has not yet read an open letter from prominent New Zealanders including iwi leaders calling for an inquiry into the systemic issues that allowed the abuse to occur and the broader impact on communities.

From the 1950s to the 1990s more than 100,000 children and young people were taken from their families and put into state institutions, the majority of them Maori.

Mr English says there has been a process for a decade for people to come forward and tell their stories, and in some cases get compensation.

He says the system of care is now being radically overhauled.

"If we were going to have an inquiry, it would be going back over the history which I think is fairly well known. No doubt it would turn up a bit more evidence and information but the conclusions would be the same and we are best to get on and focus as our top priority on changing the system because it needs a whole system change to ensure these children really are protected and get a a better start in life," Mr English says.


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