Independent Inquiry into abuse at Dilworth begins

The Dilworth Trust Board welcomes the commencement of an Independent Inquiry into abuse at Dilworth School, saying it will co-operate fully with the Inquiry and encourages former staff and Board members, Old Boys and the wider Dilworth community to participate.

The Inquiry is led by the Hon. Dame Silvia Cartwright ONZ PCNZM DBE QSO DStJ and Co-Inquirer Frances Joychild QC. The Inquiry begins work tomorrow, July 1, 2022 and launches its website which enables Old Boy survivors to register their interest to participate in the Inquiry process at The Inquiry intends to report its findings by the end of the year.

The website includes the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry, finalised by Dame Silvia and Ms Joychild following helpful feedback from Old Boy survivors including those seeking redress under the Human Rights Commission Class Action, and the wider Dilworth community.

Chairman of the Dilworth Trust Board, Aaron Snodgrass, said “We appreciate the time taken by Old Boy survivors, their families, our community and others to provide thoughtful insights and valuable suggestions via the feedback process.”

Mr Snodgrass said the Inquiry is essential to understanding the abuse that occurred at Dilworth, how it occurred and the School’s response at the time. Dilworth is willing and prepared to recognise our responsibility for what happened to Old Boy survivors.

“We believe Old Boy survivors. We are listening and learning from them, and we are taking action to support them.”

Mr Snodgrass said that he will soon be announcing details of the comprehensive Redress Programme for Old Boy survivors.

“This programme is unprecedented in New Zealand. Although the process is largely complete, we need a little more time to finalise some details, so it is ready for Old Boys to engage with it.

“While redress cannot undo the harm done to Old Boy survivors, the Board remains committed to establishing an independent Redress Programme that will help them to move forward with their lives,” said Mr Snodgrass.

To support Old Boy survivors, the Board has also established a Wellness Unit that is being launched tomorrow, 1 July.

“A dedicated team of professionals who have experience working with survivors of abuse and trauma, the Unit will assist those registering to participate in the Inquiry. It will also provide support, referrals and access to counselling and other support services for those participating in this process.”

Information about the Wellness Unit can be found on the Inquiry website.