23 Oct 2018

Royal Commission into state care abuse 'completely stalled' - lawyer

11:06 am on 23 October 2018

A lawyer working for New Zealand victims of abuse in state care says Australia's apology to their victims of child sexual abuse should embarrass New Zealand into getting on with its own Royal Commision.

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Australian PM Scott Morrison made an apology to victims of abuse. Photo: AFP

The apology from Australia's leader Scott Morrison follows a five year inquiry which found tens of thousands of children had suffered abuse in the nation's institutions over decades.

Sonja Cooper, who represents some of those abused while in state care in New Zealand said she's disappointed about the slow progress on an inquiry here.

She said New Zealand doesn't even have a terms of reference for its own inquiry, despite consultation finishing at the end of April.

The inquiry in Australia heard more than 8000 testimonies from victims about abuse in churches, schools and sports clubs.

New Zealand's Royal Commission into historical child abuse in state care, announced in February, is yet to begin.

Ms Cooper said the process has been completely stalled, which she suspected was a finance issue.

"I worry about the political will to actually get this done," she said.

Grant West, a survivor of child sexual abuse and one of the people who led a petition for a Royal inquiry in New Zealand, said it's good Mr Morrison's apology was tabled in the Australian Parliament, but it wont' fix everything.

"We're glad the apology happened but what we need now is action and laws to be bought in to stop this happening again."

"It just can't end here with an apology.

"You can't say sorry for other people's actions. Only the person who did the abuse can actually apologise for it," he said.