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.
Royal Commission of Inquiry established.
Sir Anand Satyanand appointed as Chair of the Royal Commission and asked to receive public feedback on the draft Terms of Reference.
Catholic bishops and congregations request inclusion.
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.
Report on draft Terms of Reference submitted to government.
After hearing feedback from over 400 groups and individuals, Sir Anand Satyanand presented a report on the draft Terms of Reference to the government.
Final Terms of Reference announced, and Te Rōpū Tautoko established.
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.
Commission investigation begins.
The Commissioners received their warrants on 3 January 2019, their first formal working day for the Commission.
Preliminary Hearing in Auckland.
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.
Tautoko applies to be at Procedural Hearing.
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's Regional Seminars begin.
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.
Procedural Hearing in Auckland.
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.
Catholic Entity confidentiality waiver is published.
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.
Contextual Hearing takes place in Auckland.
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.
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).
Details of investigations released.
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.
Procedural Hearing for Faith-based Redress.
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.
Faith-based Redress Hearing: Phase One
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.
Interim Report released by Commission.
Faith-based Redress Hearing: Phase Two
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.
Submission made on potential changes to redress schemes
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.
Tulou - Our Pacific Voices: Tatala e Pulonga
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.
Interim Report on Redress released by the Royal Commission
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.
Public Hearing for Case Study on Marylands School
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.
Information Gathering Project data release
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.
Māori Public Hearing
This hearing focused on the lived experiences of whānau Māori who were abused by State and faith-based institutions.
Te Rōpū Tautoko's Roadmap Update
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.
Foster Care Hearing
This hearing focussed on the lived experiences of survivors who experienced abuse and neglect in foster care.
Disability Care Hearing
This hearing focussed on the lived experiences of survivors who are disabled, Deaf or were placed in psychiatric institutions.
Institutional Response Hearing
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.
Beautiful Children Report on Lake Ellis released by the Royal Commission
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.
NZ Catholic Church leaders publish statement of commitments to abuse survivors
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.
Royal Commission timeline extended to March 2024
The Government announced the Commission must deliver its final report and recommendations by 28 March 2024. The previous deadline was 30 June 2023.
Stolen Lives, Marked Souls Report on Maryalnds released by the Royal Commission
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.