About the Royal Commission

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care was established by the Government on 1 February 2018 with Sir Anand Satyanand appointed Chair.

Over the next three years, the Commission will listen to stories about the experiences of people in state care and examine ways to stop further abuse.

Before the process can begin, the Terms of Reference that will define the scope and purpose of the Inquiry need to be set.

A Chair of a Royal Commission consulting on the Terms of Reference is a first for New Zealand.  It reflects the need to build trust and confidence that the Terms of Reference are developed independently of the state agencies under whose care people suffered abuse and neglect.

Sir Anand Satyanand has been meeting with stakeholders and has extended an open invitation to all New Zealanders to comment on the draft Terms of Reference.

The submissions from this public consultation will help the Chair write his report to the Minister of Internal Affairs with recommendations for the final Terms of Reference for the Inquiry.

Cabinet will agree the final Terms of Reference which will be formally notified by the Minister.

Once the final Terms of Reference are agreed upon, all of the members of the Royal Commission will be appointed and the Inquiry will begin.

Comments on the Terms of Reference can be made by phone, email and in writing. Please tell us if you want your submission to remain confidential.

About the Chair

Sir Anand Satyanand is the Chair of New Zealand’s Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care.  Before this role, Anand was Governor-General, a lawyer, a judge, and a parliamentary ombudsman. He also has experience in a wide range of government appointments, such as leading the Confidential Forum for Former In-Patients of Psychiatric Hospitals. He has maintained many community connections in sporting and cultural fields.

Most recently, Anand led the Commonwealth Group, which observed the 2017 national elections in Papua New Guinea. Before that, he completed two terms as Chair of the Commonwealth Foundation, the counterpart of the Commonwealth Secretariat. He has also been involved in developing education programmes, worked as a Prison Board Chairman and as a member of the National Parole Board.

Anand’s ability to impartially assess evidence, weigh arguments and articulate issues has been recognised throughout his varied career.

Further Information

●     Read or download Questions and Answers about the Royal Commission (PDF, 303KB)

●     Read the Prime Minister's media release: Inquiry into abuse in state care 1 February 2018 (beehive website)

●      Read related material considered by Ministers on the establishment of the Inquiry:

○       Cabinet paper 1 (.pdf, 154KB)

○       Scoping document 1 (.pdf, 554KB)

○       Supplementary advice to Scoping document 1 (.pdf, 322KB)

○       Scoping document 2 (.pdf, 479KB)

○       Cabinet paper 2 (.pdf, 801KB)

○       Appointment Cabinet paper 2 (.pdf, 877KB)

To protect the privacy of individuals some information in these documents has been withheld.