March 29, 2021
Apologies meaningless without reparations
An advisor to the Royal Commission into Abuse in the Care of State and Faith-Based Institutions wants to see more support for whānau, hapū and iwi to look after their own.
Neville Baker was involved in the preparation of the 1988 Pūao Te Ata Tu report, which was shelved after it offered comprehensive recommendations on how to fix systemic racism in the Department of Social Welfare.
He says between 1960 and 1999 the state took 100,000 children from their families, 80 per cent of them Māori, and many of those people were lost in the system.
That should not have been allowed to happen.
"You cannot trust other people to look after your children and your family and the real job is that you've got to look after them yourselves and I think there needs to be more support to enable us to do that and part of the outcome of the inquiry should be whanau and hapu and iwi have a look at ways we can do that now and I think that's a possibility," Mr Baker says.
He says apologies aren’t enough and there needs to be reparations and support given to help victims of abuse with their health, education, employment and housing so they can live a better life.
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