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State care inquiry chance to address prison numbers
UMA Broadcasting Ltd

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Race Relations Conciliator Dame Susan Devoy says the Government can't keep ignoring the serious human rights issues behind the historic abuse of children and young people in state care.

Prime Minister Bill English has rejected the Human Rights Commission's call for an inquiry, but Dame Susan says one is needed to get to grips with not only the known abuse but the institutional racism built into the system of state care.

Any concern it might open up the crown to large compensation claims is offset by the benefits to society.

"I would suggest keeping people out of prisons is going to save the country an awful lot of money and I think we cannot continue to ignore as a country, and I am talking all New Zealanders, the disproportionate number of Maori in prisons and particular in women's prisons and the correlation with what happened to some of these people who were in state care," Dame Susan says.

New Zealand holds up the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process as a standard for truth and reconciliation, but it's not prepared to have truth and reconciliation for more recent events.


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