Timeline of the Royal Commission

The below timeline shows some of the major events of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care, with a particular focus on events or milestones that involve the Catholic Church. You can quickly navigate through the timeline by clicking on the small year headers (eg '2019').

This timeline is not endorsed or managed by the Royal Commission in any way, though some information is drawn from their website. If you see any errors or have questions or suggestions, please contact Te Rōpū Tautoko directly.


February 2018

Royal Commission of Inquiry established.
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Sir Anand Satyanand appointed as Chair of the Royal Commission and asked to receive public feedback on the draft Terms of Reference.

March 2018

Catholic bishops and congregations request inclusion.
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The New Zealand Catholic Bishops and representation from Catholic religious orders write a letter supporting the Royal Commission and seeking inclusion of religious institutions. Read the full letter here.

May 2018

Report on draft Terms of Reference submitted to government.
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After hearing feedback from over 400 groups and individuals, Sir Anand Satyanand presented a report on the draft Terms of Reference to the government.

November 2018

Final Terms of Reference announced, and Te Rōpū Tautoko established.
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The final Terms of Reference are published and include faith-based institutions. The government also confirms the four other Commissioners: Judge Coral Shaw, Andrew Erueti, Ali’imuamua Sandra Alofivae and Paul Gibson.

In response, Te Rōpū Tautoko ("Tautoko") is formed by the bishops and congregational leaders of Aotearoa. This is a group to ensure that the Catholic Church provides a co-ordinated and co-operative response to the Commission from all the many dioceses, congregations, and institutions of the Church in this country. 

Read the Commission's news article here, or click here to read the Catholic Church's media statement welcoming the inclusion of faith-based institutions.


January 2019

Commission investigation begins.
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The Commissioners received their warrants on 3 January 2019, their first formal working day for the Commission.

June 2019

Preliminary Hearing in Auckland.
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At the Preliminary hearing the Commission shared information about why the commission was established, what a Royal Commission is, how they will do their work, detail about private sessions, public hearings and research, and how the public hearings will work.

View recordings and read speeches made on the Commission's website.

July 2019

Tautoko applies to be at Procedural Hearing.
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Te Rōpū Tautoko applies to attend the Procedural Hearing. This Hearing allowed "individuals, groups or organisations the opportunity to let us know that they want to be formally involved in the Inquiry, and are seeking to become a core participant and if so, how to go about that."

Tautoko submitted a number of documents to the Commission, including their memorandum, an explanation of the structure of the Catholic Church, and a Letter of Commitment.

August 2019

Tautoko's Regional Seminars begin.
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Te Rōpū Tautoko begins visiting each diocese to meet with the local church leaders and give them an overview of the work Tautoko will be doing. View the presentation given here.

August 2019

Procedural Hearing in Auckland.
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In preparation for the Contextual Hearing in October, the Royal Commission ran this Procedural Hearing. "A procedural hearing is a meeting to help the Inquiry prepare for a public hearing, to make sure it runs as well as possible."

More information, and a record of what was said, is available on the Royal Commission's website.

September 2019

Catholic Entity confidentiality waiver is published.
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Recognising the importance of survivors having absolute clarity regarding being able to fully tell their story to the Royal Commission, Te Rōpū Tautoko recommended to the Bishops and Congregational Leaders that they establish a process, similar to the Crowns, to enable all survivors to participate fully in the Commission. View the full waiver here.

September 2019

Contextual Hearing takes place in Auckland.
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From the Commission's website: "The Contextual hearing was the first public hearing of the Inquiry. Between 29 October to 8 November 2019, the Inquiry heard from witnesses on topics that provide context to the wide ranging scope of the Inquiry and that the Inquiry will explore in more detail over the next few years."

At this hearing, Tautoko made a statement to the Royal Commission.

Tautoko also produced a thematic review of this hearing to update Catholic leaders who were unable to attend or view online.


March to August 2020

Many thousands of documents provided to the Royal Commission from Catholic dioceses and congregations.
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Dioceses and congregations worked to gather and provide a large number of documents that the Royal Commission requested. It is for the Royal Commission to decide what will be made public.

Te Rōpū Tautoko coordinated this work remotely, since COVID lockdown was in effect in New Zealand (and Australia & England, where some congregation archives are held).

August 2020

Details of investigations released.
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The Royal Commission has announced ten investigations. Those directly involving the Catholic Church include:

  • Redress - State and Faith
  • Abuse in the care of the Catholic Church
  • Case study examining abuse of children at Marylands School (which was governed and managed by the St John of God brothers, a Catholic congregation)

The full list of investigations can be viewed on the Royal Commission's website.

November 2020

Procedural Hearing for Faith-based Redress.
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A Procedural hearing to deal with applications made by faith-based orgnisations in relation to the Faith-based Redress Hearing, starting 30 November. 

Due to the nature of the hearing it was not live streamed. The outcomes from this hearing can be viewed on the Commission's website.

December 2020

Faith-based Redress Hearing: Phase One
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The first phase of this hearing heard from survivors who shared their experiences of abuse and the redress processes of the Catholic Church, Anglican Church, and the Salvation Army.

The witness statements and other information can be viewed on the Commission's website.

December 2020

Interim Report released by Commission.
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The Royal Commission published its interim report, Tāwharautia: Pūrongo o te Wā, and other associated reports on its website.

A media statement was issued on behalf of Te Rōpū Tautoko and the Bishops and Congregational leaders in response to this interim report. Read it online.


March 2021

Faith-based Redress Hearing: Phase Two
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In the second phase of the hearing, witnesses for Faith-based institutions (including the Catholic Church, Anglican Church, and the Salvation Army) gave evidence on their processes for resolving historic and current abuse claims.

Full summaries of statements can be found on the Royal Commission's website. View our summary of the Catholic section on our Faith-based Redress landing page.

June 2021

Submission made on potential changes to redress schemes
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In May, the Royal Commission invited submissions on potential changes to redress schemes in Aotearoa New Zealand for survivors of abuse in care.

Te Rōpū Tautoko made a submission on behalf of the NZCBC and CLCANZ.

July 2021

Tulou - Our Pacific Voices: Tatala e Pulonga
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This public hearing for the Pacific Investigation was held at Fale o Samoa in Māngere. It heard from over 20 witnesses and included two 'talanoa panels'.

Two witnesses spoke about abuse in Catholic settings.

Read full summaries of statements on the Royal Commission's website.

December 2021

Interim Report on Redress released by the Royal Commission
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The report — He Purapura Ora, he Māra Tipu; From Redress to Puretumu Torowhānui — makes recommendations on how survivors of abuse in state and faith-based care should be heard and get redress for the harm suffered.

The Church has been working proactively while waiting for the commission’s report. Te Rōpū Tautoko has created a roadmap of work that needs doing across all areas of the Church to make improvements in response to reports or disclosures of abuse in the care of the Catholic Church.

View the full report on the Royal Commission's website >


February 2022

Public Hearing for Case Study on Marylands School
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As part of the investigation into abuse in the care of the Catholic Church, the Inquiry continue to investigate events that occurred at Marylands School in Christchurch.

A Public Hearing for this case study was held in February 2022. More information is be shared on our Marylands Case Study page and on the Royal Commission's website.

February 2022

Information Gathering Project data release
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The scale of reported alleged abuse within the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand has been outlined for the first time after extensive research undertaken by the Church at the request of the Royal Commission on Abuse in Care.

As part of the process of its Information Gathering Project and data requests from the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care, Te Rōpū Tautoko has consolidated the information provided by Catholic entities into this fact sheet.

See the IGP Data Release here.


March 2022

Māori Public Hearing
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This hearing focused on the lived experiences of whānau Māori who were abused by State and faith-based institutions.

See more about the Māori Hearing here.

April 2022

Te Rōpū Tautoko's Roadmap Update
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With the release of the Commission’s interim Redress Report and the completion of the Marylands Hearing, Te Rōpū Tautoko have solidified its roadmap into a series of actions that church leaders have agreed.

View the Roadmap here.

June 2022

Foster Care Hearing
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This hearing focussed on the lived experiences of survivors who experienced abuse and neglect in foster care.

See more about the Foster Care Hearing here.

July 2022

Disability Care Hearing
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This hearing focussed on the lived experiences of survivors who are disabled, Deaf or were placed in psychiatric institutions.

See more about the Disability Care Hearing here.

October 2022

Institutional Response Hearing
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The Royal Commission of Inquiry examined the responses of State agencies to the abuse and neglect of children, young people and vulnerable adults in an upcoming public hearing.

See more about the Institutional Response Hearing here.

December 2022

Beautiful Children Report on Lake Ellis released by the Royal Commission
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Beautiful Children makes findings about the systemic abuse and neglect of tamariki and rangatahi at the Lake Alice Child and Adolescent Unit in the 1970s and why it happened. It also reveals the failures of those responsible for the care of these children and many government agencies to properly investigate what happened.

Read the report on the Royal Commission's website.


January 2023

NZ Catholic Church leaders publish statement of commitments to abuse survivors
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Following the final public hearing of the inquiry, church leaders have published a statement of commitments adopted in response to the continuing work of the Royal Commission on Abuse in Care.

View the statement of church leaders on the NZCBC website.

April 2023

Royal Commission timeline extended to March 2024
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The Government announced the Commission must deliver its final report and recommendations by 28 March 2024. The previous deadline was 30 June 2023.

Read the press release on the Royal Commission's website.

July 2023

Stolen Lives, Marked Souls Report on Maryalnds released by the Royal Commission
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The Royal Commission released the Stolen Lives, Marked Souls Report, on the Order of the Brothers of St John of God at Marylands School and Hebron Trust.

This report comes after a case study inquiry into abuse in the care of the Hospitaller Order of the Brothers of Saint John of God.

Learn more on the Tautoko page about the case study and report.


April 2024

Expected Release of the Inquiry's Final Report
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The Commission is due to present its Final Report to the Governor-General by 28 March 2024. Recent media reports suggest that the Inquiry may seek a further extension, however we do not know if this will be accepted by the Government.

Therefore, we do not have confirmation on the exact date the report will be published and made public. When the report date is finalised, the report is presented to the Governor General. The Governor General then releases it to the Government and the responsible Minister decides on when to table it in Parliament. Only when this occurs does the report become public and the Inquiry can publish it on their website,

If an extension is not granted, it is most likely to be available to the public in early to mid-April.

As soon as the report is made available to the public we will add it to the Tautoko website.

May/June 2024

Conclusion of Te Rōpū Tautoko
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Te Rōpū Tautoko intends to conclude its work in late May or early June 2024. At this stage the Final Report of the Inquiry will, hopefully, be public, the Assessment will be concluded and Tautoko will finalise its Roadmap and handover to other entities.

The work of responding to the Inquiry will be an ongoing activity for all parts of the Church, other Churches, and the Government – indeed all of Aotearoa. Te Rōpū Tautoko’s part in the process will come to an end and the most important work carries on.

Tautoko will summarise its work and reflect on the past six years in a formal way. The Tautoko website will remain online for some time and be a resource for those who wish to access material published by Te Rōpū Tautoko over the course of the Inquiry.

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