Abuse in Care Royal Commission Redress Submission Process

Age Concern New Zealand supports survivors being able to see out-of-court redress for all types of abuse.

Age Concerns have long and widespread experience of working with older people currently experiencing elder abuse and neglect. From the work Age Concerns do with older people, it is apparent that any type of abuse can have damaging effects on their lives.

The purpose of a redress scheme should have at its foundation acknowledgement of the abuse and the damage caused to claimants. For older people / kaumātua this is fundamental. Not being able to tell anyone, respond or argue back at the time of the abuse, has lifelong impacts on them and on their subsequent relationships. Redress must start with older claimants being believed and their experiences acknowledged in writing (or whatever other form of communication is appropriate for them). The objectives of a redress scheme need to include a simple process for making an application, with a clear pathway for claimants. It is notable that many of the current redress options involve multiple agencies, legal costs, and complex processes requiring support specialists to navigate, even with out-of-court settlements. Hence the objectives of a redress scheme need to provide a streamlined approach to reduce the barriers for all claimants.