The Royal Commission does not comment on individual cases

The Royal Commission does not comment on individual cases to protect the privacy of all concerned.

All staff at the Royal Commission, including Commissioners, receive on-going supervision and advice on communicating with survivors of abuse. In addition, all have had trauma-informed training, and this is ongoing.

In February and March 2019, Commissioners held 32 separate meetings - in both Auckland and Wellington - involving more than 50 individuals and organisations who had a strong interest in the work of the Royal Commission.  The aim of the meetings was to listen to survivors and others and hear their expectations of Commissioners and the Inquiry itself.  They were also to seek comments and input into the proposed work plan the Commissioners were developing.

The Commission acknowledges that engaging and sharing experiences will often be traumatic and stressful. The Commission has apologised for the distress one meeting caused.  The Royal Commission is on a continuous journey to improve the way it works with survivors and their advocates.

A conflict of interest policy was drafted last year, and sent to the Minister of Internal Affairs. The policy was re-affirmed in March by Commissioners once initial meetings with interested parties and survivors had been completed.  The conflict of interest policy is now on the Royal Commission website. The policy is about making sure the Commission has a way of identifying and managing real and perceived conflicts of interest for the duration of the Inquiry.

From February to May 2018 Sir Anand was tasked with consulting on the draft Terms of Reference.  Sir Anand had one meeting with Bishops from the Catholic and Anglican churches, where they sought to be included in the Inquiry.  This was reported in the media.

Background: The majority of submissions on the draft Terms of Reference sought the inclusion of faith-based institutions in the Inquiry.  Sir Anand’s recommendation to the Government was that the Inquiry be widened to include abuse in faith-based care.  This was accepted by the Government in November 2018 when the Terms of Reference were announced.

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