State care abuse victims offered compensation

The Ministry of Social Development is offering historical claimants the option to have their abuse claims settled on face value, and after some fact-checking they will be paid out and offered an apology.
Eighty percent of people offered a fast-track offer so far have accepted it.

One woman, who wanted to be known as Debs, was abused in foster care as a child.

She lodged a compensation claim with the Ministry of Social Development nine years ago and this year was offered $5000 under the fast-track system.

“When the mail came through and I opened it and read it was $5000, I was gutted, and refused to take it. My life is worth more than five grand after what I went through.”

Debs said she was low on money so took the offer, but that was partly because she worried that, if she did not, she could end up with nothing.

Her payment was one of the 401 fast-track offers made so far. Of those, there have been 307 payouts totalling nearly $5.8m.