begins hearing Māori experiences
Monday was the first day of a two-week hearing into how Māori have experienced abuse in state and faith-based care.
It is being hosted by Ngāti Whātua at Ōrākei marae, where a powhiri rang out this morning to welcome the survivors, and to offer protection and support ahead of two weeks of painful testimony.
The long-running Royal Commission has so far heard largely historical evidence. But the first witness on Monday, Tupua Urlich (Ngāti Kahungunu), was only 26-years-old.
"I'm kei te pai with everybody witnessing this," he said via livestream as he struggled for words at the start of his powerful testimony, "because this is what we live with every day. My heart is racing right now".
Urlich detailed the vivid memory of a van arriving when he was five years old. Of his mother crying as he and his younger sister were taken away to be placed hundreds of kilometres away.