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Ed Sheeran

Tolley blind spot on systemic child abuse
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Maori Women’s Welfare League president Prue Kapua says the Government can't just walk away from the consequences of abuse of children and young people in state care.

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has rejected a recommendation for an independent inquiry into the nature and extent of abuse among the 100,000 children put into state care between the 1950s and 1980s.

She also refuses to make a general apology, because she says there is no evidence abuse was systemic.

She is willing to give a ministerial apology to the 1000 or so people who came forward to the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service, if officials accept their stories.

Ms Kapua says the majority of those placed in care were Maori, and the minister’s response it extending the abuse.

"There shouldn't be in this day and age any issue abotu whether there has been systemic discrimination or racism within these departments. There's been enough information and evidence over the years to say there has been. Our systems have not been good for Maori so we have that aspect but in terms of the system of placement, of course it's a system issue," she says.

Ms Kapua says the Government is behaving as if the people and agencies that abused the children had no connection to the state.

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