Answers to questions about the Independent Inquiry and Redress Programme.

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Independent Inquiry

How does the Independent Inquiry differ to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care?

They are two quite different processes.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care has a wide-ranging mandate, based on its terms of reference from the Government, and its work is ongoing.

Our Independent Inquiry is specific to Dilworth School and will seek to provide an understanding of the extent of abuse at Dilworth School, the actions of the School in responding to complaints of abuse and the adequacy of those actions, the factors that caused or contributed to the abuse occurring, and the adequacy of the systems currently in place at Dilworth School to prevent abuse.

How will the Independent Inquiry be undertaken?

The Independent Inquiry commenced its work on 1 July 2022. The procedures and protocols for the Independent Inquiry were determined by the Independent Inquiry Chair and Co-Inquirer. For more information about the Inquiry please visit

Will former Headmasters and Board Chairs be required to participate in the Inquiry?

While the Inquiry has no powers to require anyone to participate, the Dilworth Trust Board is encouraging, and will continue to encourage, all former and current Board members and Chairs, as well as former and current School staff and Headmasters to participate in the work of the Inquiry.  

How will the findings of the final report be made available?

The Independent Inquirers will deliver a written report with their findings and recommendations. This report will be made publicly available, subject to any redactions to ensure the confidentiality and privacy of Old Boy survivors, as recommended by the Inquiry Chair. The Inquiry expects to report by the end of 2022, but will determine its own timetable.

What process was followed to appoint the Independent Inquirers?

The Independent Inquirers were appointed by the Dilworth Trust Board following consultations and after receiving feedback from Old Boy survivors.

How would the information I provide to the Independent Inquiry be kept confidential?

Procedures and protocols would be put in place at the outset of the Independent Inquiry to ensure private information remains confidential in accordance with the principles set out in the Privacy Act.

Would Dilworth School take on any recommendations outlined in the Independent Inquiry report?

The Dilworth Trust Board will listen carefully to the Independent Inquiry’s findings and recommendations and review its current policies and procedures to take account of those findings. It is likely we would accept and implement the Independent Inquiry’s recommendations or explain why not, if there are any which are not acted upon.

How did the Inquirers finalise the Terms of Reference?

The Inquirers finalised the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry after the Dilworth Trust Board completed its consultations with Old Boys, the legal representatives for Old Boy survivors and the Dilworth community.

Am I required to register with the Inquiry in order to make an application for redress?

The two independent programmes will run concurrently and completely independent of each other. There is no oversight, influence or involvement by the Dilworth Trust Board. Old Boy survivors will have the option to participate in either or both programmes. While the Independent Inquiry has been established first, Old Boy survivors are not required to participate in the Inquiry in order to access the independent Redress Programme. They are entirely separate.

Independent Dilworth Redress Programme

Can I make a claim for redress now, or when will I be able to?

Yes, you can go to the Dilworth Redress Programme to find information on how to register your interest in making a claim for Redress.

Why did the Dilworth Trust Board delay the launch of the Dilworth Redress Programme?

While the Board hoped to launch the independent Dilworth Redress Programme at the same time as the Independent Inquiry, we needed a little more time to finalise some details, so it is ready for Old Boys to engage with it.

The Dilworth Redress Programme is the first of its kind in New Zealand. Setting up a programme of this scale and importance has been undertaken with urgency, but also could not be rushed. While redress cannot undo the harm done to Old Boy survivors, the Redress Programme demonstrates the Board’s commitment to helping Old Boy survivors to heal and move forward with their lives.

Who will be eligible to apply for redress under Dilworth’s Redress Programme?

While redress cannot undo the harm done to Old Boy survivors, the Board is committed to supporting them through an independent Redress Programme.

The Dilworth Redress Programme, which provides for a full redress response including financial redress, is available to any Dilworth Old Boy survivor of sexual or serious physical abuse committed by a Dilworth representative, as well as survivors of sexual abuse committed by another student while at Dilworth.

Families of Old Boy survivors who have died can also make an application for redress.

Why should I consider the Dilworth Redress Programme rather than wait for a government programme, or take other action?

The independent Dilworth Redress Programme is entirely voluntary, and is one we hope Old Boy survivors will consider engaging with. There is no obligation to take part, and no obligation to accept an offer of redress.

There is no cost to applicants to register and make a claim for redress.

Old Boys (or families of Old Boy survivors who have died) can accept the award of redress or choose to not do so. They can also concurrently apply for a claim through the Government’s puretumu torowhānui redress scheme that may be introduced as recommended in the He Purapura Ora, he Māra Tipu report from the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.

Current indications from Government are that its puretumu torowhānui redress scheme may be established in late 2023. We encourage Old Boy survivors to participate in one or both redress programmes based on what feels most appropriate for them.

What financial redress is available as part of this Redress Programme?

The independent Redress Panel may offer personalised financial and other redress to Old Boy survivors on a fair and equitable basis. It is proposed that in any one case, up to $200,000 be available to the Redress Panel from which they may award financial redress to an Old Boy Survivor, when applying these guidelines and exercising their discretion. In cases that the Redress Panel believes are truly exceptional when compared to other cases, it is able to award a figure for financial redress of up to $300,000.

What forms of redress other than financial redress will be available under the Dilworth Redress Programme?

Offers of redress will be tailored to each individual Old Boy survivor, and could include access to confidential counselling and psychological services; a direct personal response from Dilworth, including an apology; a redress payment; and other forms of redress which may be requested by the survivor.

The Board will have no control or influence over the independent Panellists and will be bound by their decisions on the redress to be provided to each Old Boy.

What is the definition of ‘serious physical abuse’ in the Dilworth Redress Programme Terms?

Considering the definition of ‘serious physical abuse’ will be a matter for the Redress Panel to assess, taking account of the experience of Old Boy survivors, and the impact the physical abuse has had on an Old Boy survivor.

Is it proposed that Dilworth would apologise directly to a survivor for the abuse?

Yes, if this is the wish of the Old Boy Survivor and is part of the offer of redress that is accepted. Dilworth would value the opportunity to make a direct personal apology in a form, on terms, and at a venue first agreed with the Old Boy Survivor.

Would a survivor need to interact with Dilworth School or the Dilworth Trust Board if they apply for redress?

No. Throughout the process, the survivor would not need to have any dealings with Dilworth unless the survivor wishes to, such as receiving an apology in person from Dilworth as part of the terms of any redress agreement. The Dilworth Redress Programme will run entirely independently of Dilworth.

Who would have access to the details in any redress application I make?

The Dilworth Redress Programme will be managed independently of Dilworth.

The independent Redress Panel, the Programme Administrator, and the Redress Facilitator (who would assist the survivor with preparation of their application) will have access to these details, subject to the confidentiality provisions that govern the Programme.

Old Boy survivors can be assured that they can make a claim and decide on an offer of redress entirely confidentially.

Would I need a lawyer to help me in my application?

The independent Dilworth Redress Programme is designed to minimise the need for a survivor to engage a lawyer. Claims can be made at no cost to the survivor, and there will be assistance available for claimants. The Redress Facilitator, appointed by the Redress Programme, will assist the survivor with the preparation of an application at no cost.

However, should an applicant wish to consult a lawyer, it is intended that the Dilworth Redress Programme provide a reasonable contribution to those costs.

Importantly, before a survivor accepts a redress offer decided by the independent Redress Panel, the survivor is required to take independent legal advice from a lawyer before accepting a redress offer. The cost of this independent legal advice will be covered by the Redress Programme up to a set amount.

Do I need to make an application for redress in order to contribute to the Independent Inquiry?

The two programmes will run concurrently and independently of each other, with no oversight, influence or involvement by the Dilworth Trust Board. Old Boy survivors will have the option to participate in either or both programmes. There is no requirement for Old Boy survivors who wish to apply for redress, to also participate in the Independent Inquiry’s proceedings. These are entirely separate.

How will the Dilworth Redress Programme ensure there is sufficient evidence to support a claim?

The Dilworth Redress Programme is designed to be fair, balanced and responsive to the needs of Old Boy survivors during their participation in the process. The standard of proof required for the Programme shall be that of a “reasonable likelihood”. The starting position for the Panel when considering an application for redress is that Old Boy survivors will be believed, unless there is compelling evidence to the contrary.