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Reactions to New Zealand inquiry into historic abuse of children

(Reuters) - Here are some reactions from church figures, NGOs and political leaders to New Zealand’s Royal Commission of Inquiry report on historic abuse of children in state and faith-based institutions that estimated that up to quarter of a million people were abused between 1950 and 2019.

NEW ZEALAND CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE COMMISSION RESPONSE CHAIR CATHERINE FYFE:

“These reports will contain much important information and guidance that follow on from what survivors have told the Commissioners about their experiences.”

ARCHBISHOP OF WELLINGTON, CARDINAL JOHN DEW:

“We want the events of the past to be examined transparently and openly. We are deeply sorry for the harm caused to so many by the abuse they suffered, and we continue to express our profound sorrow.”

SURVIVORS OF ABUSE NZ:

“These figures ignore 60% of Catholics abused in day schools and other scenes of ‘pastoral care’.”

NEW ZEALAND MINISTER OF STATE SERVICES CHRIS HIPKINS:

“The Crown has spent a disproportionate amount of its energy defending unacceptable behaviour rather than take a victim-centric approach. That’s a strategy that we have already changed and we are continuing to work on that, to look at how we can have a more victim-centric approach when it comes to dealing with these types of historic issues.”

ACT NEW ZEALAND (POLITICAL PARTY):

“The role of the current and future governments must be to learn from the experiences detailed in this report and respond to build a better system. Agencies in charge of securing care for children must be held to the highest standards, and it is not clear at this stage that they are currently achieving those standards.”

Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan

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