The Royal Commission into Abuse in Care's Marylands School public hearing.
The hearing began on 9 February and will conclude on 17 February. The full name of the Hearing’s associated investigation is “A case study investigation into abuse in the care of the Catholic Church and Hospitaller Order of St John of God”.
Many of the witnesses will be giving evidence by audio visual link. Attendance in the Hearing rooms has been restricted by the Commission due to the red setting of the COVID-19 protection framework. The Church will be represented at the hearing venue by a small number of people to bear witness to the Hearing proceedings today and for the reminder of the Hearing.
The schedule for the hearing is available here.
With the restricted attendance at the Hearing, we strongly encourage everyone to watch the proceedings via the Royal Commission’s website. The live stream will be available on the link below.
The opening address on behalf of the bishops and congregational leaders of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand was given today by Sally McKechnie of Simpson Grierson. View by downloading the following PDF version.
Read the Opening Statement of Church leaders for the Hearing
View the hearing information on the Royal Commissions website
Read the Closing Submissions of Church leaders for the Hearing
St John of God Brothers (Marylands) Case Study
As part of the investigation into abuse in the care of the Catholic Church the Inquiry is running a case study on abuse by the Hospitaller Order of the Brothers of Saint John of God. In particular the Commission will focus on events that occurred at Marylands School in Halswell, Christchurch. Marylands was a residential school for boys, many with disabilities. It originally opened in Middleton, Christchurch in the 1950s and then moved to Halswell, until closing in 1984.
This Public Hearing is also looking into any abuse by the St John of God brothers at Hebron Trust, an organisation in Christchurch for at-risk youth operated by one of the brothers of St John of God from 1986-1992.
The Commission will also hear from witnesses who were resident at St Joseph's Orphanage, also in Halswell near Marylands, run by the Sisters of Nazareth.
What is being investigated
The Royal Commission will investigate the nature and extent of abuse that occurred at Marylands, why it happened, and the impacts of abuse that may have occurred at the hands of priests, religious or lay employees of the Church. It will investigate whether there are any systemic, structural or other factors which contributed to the abuse occurring and the adequacy of the response by the Catholic Church to allegations of abuse.
These accounts, combined with those of many other victims and survivors of abuse in the care of the Catholic Church, at Marylands or elsewhere, will help the Royal Commission to make findings about what happened and why, and any appropriate recommendations for change.
Public Hearing Updates
The Royal Commission into Abuse in Care began its Marylands School public hearing on Wednesday 9 February 2022.
Attendance in the Hearing rooms has been restricted by the Commission due to the red setting of the COVID-19 protection framework. The Church will be represented at the hearing venue by a small number of people to bear witness to the Hearing proceedings today and for the remainder of the Hearing.
With the restricted attendance at the Hearing, we strongly encourage everyone to watch the proceedings via the Royal Commission’s website. The live stream will be available here.
Show Hearing Updates
Some of the evidence shared in the Hearing will not be available on the Commission's livestream immediately due to the various privacy rules the Commission has in place. Overnight, the Commission will upload edited versions so you can go back and watch those.
Many of the witnesses will be giving evidence by audio visual link. Many survivors will, understandably, be giving evidence anonymously and their names will be published as pseudonym such as “Mr HY”. The written statement of each witness in time transcripts and video of their testimony is available (when made live) via the Commission's site by clicking on the witness' name below.
On Wednesday February 9 the Commission heard from:
Mr Donald Ku, survivor witness
Mr Steven Long, survivor witness
Ms DN, Family member of survivor
In addition to witnesses a number of parties gave opening statements. These can be viewed on the Commission's site.
The opening address on behalf of the bishops and congregational leaders of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand was given today by Sally McKechnie of Simpson Grierson. View by downloading the PDF version.
On Thursday February 10, the Commission heard evidence from:
Mr AU, survivor witness – pre-recorded
Mr DG, survivor witness
Mr Darryl Smith, survivor witness
Mr Eddie Marriott, survivor witness
Friday February 11, the following witnesses gave evidence:
Mr James Tasker, survivor witness
Mr Hanz Freller, survivor witness
Mr Alan Nixon, survivor witness
Mr Danny Akula, survivor witness
Ms AM – pre-recorded audio, former Marylands staff member
On Monday February 14, the schedule included:
Mr AL, survivor witness - pre-recorded
Mr Ken Clearwater, survivor advocate
Ms Sonja Cooper and Mr Sam Benton , lawyers
Mr Daniel Tindall, survivor witness – pre-recorded
On Tuesday February 15, witnesses appearing were:
Mr AQ, survivor witness – pre-recorded
Wednesday February 16 included evidence from:
Mr DA, survivor witness – pre-recorded audio
Archbishop Paul Martin, Apostolic Administrator Diocese of Christchurch
Detective Superintendent Peter Read, NZ Police
Peter Galvin, Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Children
Mr DL, survivor witness – pre-recorded audio
On the last day of the Hearing, Thursday February 17, included:
Mr CB, survivor witness – pre-recorded audio
Mr CZ, survivor witness – pre-recorded audio
Mr Wayne Gowland, survivor witness – pre-recorded audio
Presentation of a documentary
Crown Secretariat represented by Ms Rachael Schmidt-McCleave
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) Aotearoa-New Zealand represented by Dr Christopher Longhurst
The Network of Survivors of Abuse in Faith-based Institutions and their Supporters represented by Dr Murray Heasley and Ms Liz Tonks
Dr Michelle Mulvihill
Closing by Chair Coral Shaw