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Improving the historic abuse claims resolution process

Being more responsive to claimants

It’s important to us that claimants have full details about the claims process. You will find the MSD Historic Claims Business Process and Guidance Handbook in the documents section of our Make a Claim webpage. This document discusses how we process and assess claims. If you have any questions about your claim, please contact us on 0800 631 127.

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 of 2021 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 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 read the reports from consultation.

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

Changes are being phased in over the next few years. Additional funding was provided in Budget 2019 to increase staffing and support other improvements to the process.

In 2021, we started testing some new ways of working with claimants in order to be more claimant-centric and provide a better service to them. We’ve done this by having a small, dedicated group of MSD staff working alongside each claimant, enabling a trusted relationship to develop where MSD has a full understanding of them, their whānau and what matters to them. This enables us to respond to their needs, understand how they want to work, what supports they have in place and what else they might need. We will use learnings and insights from this work to help inform improvements to our process for claimants.

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. We also now have an Auckland hub in place as well as our Wellington hub.
  • 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 online to support greater transparency about the process.
  • More regular proactive contact with claimants to ensure they have the information they need about their claim, and that they have the right support.
  • A wraparound services pilot has been piloted in the Wellington, Wairarapa, Kapiti and Horowhenua regions enabling claimants in this area to receive support through an independent NGO which will connect them with other social services providers to ensure they receive the support they need.
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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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