Satyanand suggests churches launch own historical abuse inquiry

historical abuse

The head of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into historical abuse in state care has suggested churches could launch their own internal investigation.

In an interview with Mike  Wesley-Smith on The Nation, Sir Anand Satyanand said he discussed the matter with the country’s senior Anglican and Catholic bishops meeting together recently in Wellington.

“I raised with them the prospect that the churches could use their combined resources to mount a commission of their own and deal with issues in a tailor-made fashion so far as the churches are concerned.”

Satyanand said there are obvious crossovers, and the two investigations could assist each other while maintaining confidentiality around specific cases.

“There could be capacity for exchange of not necessarily information, of course, because that would be confidential and we will have a big store on confidentiality.

“But there could be processes, there could be headings, there could be issues which the two commissions might share.”

When asked if the Churches expressed any willingness to do this Satyanand said: “The churches have expressed a willingness to be engaged with, so there’s a little time yet for all of this to work itself out.

“But in the end, I also have to stress, I think, that the decision about what this Royal Commission will do, whatever I recommend, at the other end, it will be a political decision made by the Cabinet, based on the information available to it.”


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