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Improving the historic abuse claims resolution process

Being more responsive to claimants

More people are bringing their claims for resolution to us. It’s a positive thing that people feel they are able to come forward.

However this does mean there are a large number of cases to work through, and it’s important that every case is treated with care. As at 2019 each claim is taking a little over four years to process, and this unlikely to change quickly.

To improve how we work with claimants we have been working with independent advisors to review the existing system. We have also consulted with past and present claimants, many of whom are Māori, and with the professionals involved in the process to understand what works and what doesn’t.

You can see the two reports from consultation at the top of the list of documents to the right, along with MSD’s response.

We have used the information we gathered to develop an improved process to meet the needs of our claimants.

Changes will be phased in over the next four years. Additional funding was provided in Budget 2019 to increase staffing and support other improvements to the process.

Meeting face to face with people to hear their accounts of the experience they had while in care and how they have been affected remains central to the claims process.

The new process

What has already changed?

  • The assessment process has been streamlined. Where possible, we assess claims without fully investigating each concern. The new claims process looks to acknowledge claimants’ reported experience, with some allegations requiring additional checks to be completed.
  • Historic Claims has increased staffing considerably, which has included diversifying the workforce from both a cultural and skills-based perspective.
  • Historic Claims has published a new claims brochure which outlines the end-to-end process. The Historic Claims Business Process and Guidance is also available on line to support greater transparency about the process

What will be different over the next few years?

  • In early 2020, Historic Claims Auckland hub will be in place. This involves an additional ten Claimant Support Specialists (whose role involves engaging with claimants to understand their experience in care and support them through the claims process) and twenty additional Claims Assessors.
  • Historic Claims is currently investigating options of how claimants can have more choice about how they engage with us, and who they engage with.
  • Historic Claims is considering ways in which information can be shared with claimants that better meets their needs, and developing resources to help people understand why parts of their records may be blocked out
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Feedback from Māori consultation

Report from engagement with claimants

Consultation with claimants – MSD response

Cabinet paper: Resolving Historic Claims of Abuse - Proposal to Bring Funding Forward

Report: Resolving Historic Claims of Abuse - Proposal to Bring Funding Forward

Nov 2014

Report: Historic Claims of Abuse - Completion Strategy and Funding Implications

Feb 2014

Report: Timely Resolution of All Historic Claims of Abuse by The End of 2020

Oct 2013

Social Welfare Residential Care 1950 -1994

Oct 2010

Summary of "Understanding Kohitere"

Oct 2010

John Werry Release

Oct 2010

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