Chair of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care, Sir Anand Satyanand. Image: Marty Melville/Getty

The Royal Commission into state care abuse: how to make a public submission

From today, the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care is welcoming submissions from the public on the draft Terms of Reference.

Chair of the Royal Commission Sir Anand Satyanand gave his first interview to Waatea News breakfast host Dale Husband this morning.

“We very much appreciate that he has chosen Māori radio to do that, bearing in mind that so many that were caught up in this kaupapa during the ’60s and ’70s were our own people,” said Husband.

Growing up in New Zealand in the 1950s and ’60s, Sir Anand said he was aware of children going off to “health camp” or going into state care.

“All these years later… there has been pressure building up from individuals, from the Human Rights Commission, from the United Nations committee saying this is something the government needs to address.”

“I have the task of consulting about the terms of reference. They’ve been drafted by the government and usually in the past the terms of reference as drafted by the government would be what the Royal Commission works with. This new procedure involves me speaking with people in government [and] people in the community about whether the terms of reference as drafted are fit for purpose.”

“There will be further publicity in the little newspapers, there will be messages in the community that will enable people to learn about the fact that they can have their say. Myself and the people with me will be responding to those expressions of opinion.”

Sir Anand said the government hopes the Royal Commission will have finished reporting its findings by mid-2020, “well before the general election”.

According to a press release, after the submission period Sir Anand will present the minister of internal affairs with a report on the results of the consultation along with any advice. It will be for cabinet to agree the terms of reference, which will be formally notified by the minister.

“Once the Terms of Reference are gazetted, the Royal Commission will begin the process of hearing evidence, addressing the needs and concerns of survivors and investigating ways to prevent further abuse.”

The draft Terms of Reference can be found here.

Submissions can be made by:


Post: PO Box 10071, The Terrace, Wellington 6143

Free phone 0800 222 727, available from 8.30am Tuesday 3rd April.

Submitters should state if they want their submissions to be confidential.

Submissions close on Monday 30th April 2018.

For further information visit

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