29 August 2022
Statement from Dilworth Trust Board Chairman Aaron Snodgras
The Dilworth Trust Board welcomes the launch of the independent Dilworth Redress Programme today and the participation of Old Boy survivors in this important redress programme.
The confidential Programme is available to any Dilworth Old Boy survivor of sexual or serious physical abuse committed by a Dilworth representative or, in some cases, for Old Boy survivors of sexual abuse committed by another student while at Dilworth.
Families/estates of deceased Old Boy survivors can also apply for redress.
There is no cost to applicants to register and to make an application for redress.
While redress cannot undo the harm done to Old Boy survivors, we know that having access to redress may help Old Boy survivors to heal.
The Programme is designed to be fair and balanced. The starting position for the Redress Panel when considering an application for redress is that Old Boy survivors will be believed. The determination of the independent Panel is binding on Dilworth, which must honour any offer of redress. An Old Boy survivor will have the right to accept or reject the Panel’s determination of an offer.
We did not want Old Boy survivors to have to wait for the Government’s Puretumu Torowhānui programme to be established, which is why in October 2021 we announced our intention to establish an independent Redress Programme.
Participating in the Dilworth Redress Programme is voluntary and doesn’t prevent Old Boy survivors engaging in other claims, including through any government redress scheme that may be available to them in the future.
We consulted with legal and psychological experts in New Zealand as well as with those with experience in redress schemes abroad to develop the independent Dilworth Redress Programme. We also considered some of the key recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.
The independent Dilworth Redress Programme is designed to provide meaningful redress for Old Boy survivors as quickly as possible.
The Dilworth Redress Programme Terms, which will guide the work of the Panel, take into account previous feedback provided by Old Boy survivors and the wider Dilworth community.
The independent Dilworth Redress Programme and the establishment of an Independent Inquiry and the Wellness Unit, which began work last month, demonstrate the Board’s commitment to addressing issues of abuse at Dilworth. The wellbeing of Old Boy survivors is our central focus, as well as ensuring a safe and healthy environment at Dilworth School for all current and future students.