Update on the Crown's redress and rapid payment systems

8 May 2023

Some Dilworth Old Boy survivors may be eligible to make a claim through the Ministry of Social Development for a rapid payment.

Designing a redress programme for people who were abused or neglected while in state care is proceeding – despite the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) delaying completion of its final report until March 2024.

The Government has appointed Dr Annabel Ahuriri-Driscoll (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Kahungunu) and Ruth Jones QSM (Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata) as co-Chairs of the survivor-led redress design group, which will develop the key features of the Crown’s new redress system.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has been authorised to make rapid payments to people who:

  • Were in the care, custody, guardianship, or came to the notice of the Child Welfare Division, the Department of Social Welfare, the New Zealand Children and Young Persons Service or Child, Youth and Family (Agencies) before 1 April 2017, and
  • Believe they were harmed as a result of abuse or neglect while in care.

If at some point in time an Old Boy survivor was under the guardianship of, or came to the attention of one of the Agencies, he may be eligible to make a claim through MSD for a rapid payment.  These payments will range from $10,000 to $30,000.

MSD’s background information notes that “payments are not calculated based on a person’s individual experience and concerns, but rather the length of time a person was involved with Child Youth and Family or its predecessor agencies. This acknowledges that the longer a person has been involved with the State, the more likely they will have experienced repeated harm.”

Access to the rapid payments is being managed so those most in need have their cases actioned ahead of others:

  • Claims from people who are ill or elderly (70 years or older) will be prioritised
  • They will be followed by those who have been waiting the longest for their claims to be considered.

The current wait time on claims is over four years, so it could be some time before rapid payments are made to those not in the above two priority groups.

MSD’s website provides information on the claim process, which includes details for starting the claims process (by writing, phone call or email), and various fact sheets on the process and what to expect.