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Improving the historic abuse claims resolution process

Being more responsive to claimants

With an ever increasing number of claims being received by the Ministry and the time consuming nature of investigations, a backlog of claims has built up over time.

A claim is taking close to four years to process. We need to do better for claimants.

As part of this we have been working with independent advisors to review the existing system. We have also consulted with past and present claimants, many of whom are Māori, and with the professionals involved in the process to understand what works and what doesn’t.

And we have listened to them. We have used the information we gathered to develop an improved process we can be confident meets the needs of our claimants.

The first changes were introduced on 1 November 2018. Other changes will be phased in over the next four years.

Meeting face to face with people to hear their accounts of the experience they had while in care and how they have been affected remains at the core of the claims process.

The new process

What will be different straight away?

  • Streamlining the assessment process so where possible we assess claims without investigating fully each of the claimant’s concerns.
  • Being more aware of a claimant’s cultural and personal needs.
  • Improved communication from the Ministry.
  • Resources delivered through various channels that provide clear information about the claims process. These will be prepared with input from claimants.

What will be different over the next few years?

  • Claimants having more choice about how they engage with us, and who they engage with.
  • Improved assistance to claimants when reading and understanding their personal records and why some information may be blocked out.
  • Significant increase in the numbers of Ministry staff working on claims.
  • Improvements around how the Ministry provides information to Oranga Tamariki to help prevent the same mistakes happening today, and sharing this with claimants.

Make a claim of abuse or neglect.

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Feedback from Māori consultation

Report from engagement with claimants

Consultation with claimants – MSD response

Cabinet paper: Resolving Historic Claims of Abuse - Proposal to Bring Funding Forward

Report: Resolving Historic Claims of Abuse - Proposal to Bring Funding Forward

Nov 2014

Report: Historic Claims of Abuse - Completion Strategy and Funding Implications

Feb 2014

Report: Timely Resolution of All Historic Claims of Abuse by The End of 2020

Oct 2013

Social Welfare Residential Care 1950 -1994

Oct 2010

Summary of "Understanding Kohitere"

Oct 2010

John Werry Release

Oct 2010

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