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Ed Sheeran

Minister avoids welfare system abuse
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Former associate social development minister Dame Tariana Turia says the current minister can’t run away from past abuse of children in state care.

Anne Tolley has rejected an inquiry into historic abuse because she says it wasn’t systemic.

She’s prepared to apologise to those individuals who have come forward so far and offer the compensation.

Dame Tariana says the minister seems to be saying the system was not to blame.

"The fact is that those who worked in the system abused those kids. So therefore it becomes an issue for the system. You can't just turn your back on people who work in the system and say, well really it's not about our system. No. It was about the system. Hugely abusive," she says.

Dame Tariana says the debate seems a rerun of the controversy over the former Lake Alice psychiatric hospital, where it took years for the crown to agree to an inquiry into abuse of young people.

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