The Royal Commission into Care Abuse has apologized for deleting an online post, prompting a backlash from survivors
Earlier this week, the Board of Inquiry posted on Facebook asking survivors with mental health issues to join in new small group conversations.
Some responded by asking why he was only throwing them now, not much earlier, and had other questions.
“How are survivors supported to do this?” Paora Moyle asked online.
“Is there wellness care for them? Are they compensated for their time and effort in the same way as some other survivors (given that it’s their lived knowledge/consultation you’re asking for, not a testimony)?
“Why hasn’t this kind of engagement been happening since the beginning of RCI? Will there be other types of ‘community conversations’ about how we are affected, such as intergenerational trauma , socially, culturally, neurologically, spiritually, familially?
The commission then deleted his message.
This prompted survivors to suggest that the commission was effectively silencing those it asked to participate.
“Why is RCI doing this in its 4th year of working with survivors? Moyle asked.
“Actions like these erode your already shaken credibility,” Steve Goodlass told the commission.
The commission announced on Friday that it had removed the message because it was not clear enough.
“In hindsight, we shouldn’t have deleted the post, but rather should have updated it to say what we were doing.
“We apologize for any concern this has caused,” he said.
“We wanted to be able to link to more information that would answer questions that arose.”
He organizes small groups every six weeks until December.
“Entrants are not expected to share their own personal experiences,” he said.
“Conversations will focus on what the commission heard throughout the investigation, the impacts of abuse and neglect on survivors and their families and whānau, communities, iwi and hapū, and what that needs to change for the future so people can be safe in care.”