New Commissioner appointed to Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care
The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care has welcomed a new Commissioner, lawyer Julia Steenson.
Ms Steenson joins Chair Judge Coral Shaw, and Commissioners Sandra Alifovae, Andrew Erueti and Paul Gibson in overseeing the Royal Commission.
In announcing the appointment, Minister Tracey Martin indicated there will also be a sixth Commissioner appointed, with the role to be filled after the General Election.
The government has been searching for some time for a suitable candidate to take the role left by Coral Shaw, when she became Chair late last year, taking over from retiring Chair Sir Anand Satyanand.
Julia Steenson (Ngāti Whātua, Waikato/Tainui), is a qualified lawyer who has worked in the finance and education sectors, as well as in legal practice. She currently works in governance and is the founder of Ture.co.nz, an online marketplace for legal services which aims to provide a better way for everyday people to have easy access to and knowledge of legal services. She also hosts the NZFreelaw podcast to provide free legal information to large audiences.
An elected representative on the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust (NWO) Board, Ms Steenson sits on the commercial board of NWO Whai Rawa Limited. She is a member of the Risk Assurance and Audit committee for the NWO group and is Chair for Kia Puawai Limited; a health and wellbeing charity.
Previously, she worked as General Counsel for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa where she presented on Intellectual Property at the World Indigenous People Conference in Toronto.
Private sessions resume - New dates for Redress Hearing
With the country now in Level one the Inquiry has moved back to delivering some of the services that were on hold due to Covid-19 restrictions. This month private sessions have resumed in the Auckland and Wellington regions, they will then move on to the other regions.
The Redress Hearing set down for late March - early April was deferred due to Covid-19.New dates have been set for the hearings with the state hearing being split into two phases.
In the first phase the Inquiry will hear evidence from survivors of abuse in care about civil claims made against the State. It will also hear from survivors about civil litigation in the courts and before the Human Rights Tribunal. In the second phase of the State Redress Hearing, witnesses for the Crown will give evidence.
· State Redress: Evidence from survivors of abuse - Monday 21 September to Tuesday 6 October
· State Redress: Witnesses for the Crown - Monday 19 October to Tuesday 3 November
A separate faith-based hearing is scheduled from 23 November to 11 December. There will be a focus on the redress processes of the Catholic Church, Anglican Church and the Salvation Army.
For more information go to www.abuseincare.org.nz