Why the Royal Commission’s report into child abuse horrors wasn’t the full story

ANALYSIS: A Royal Commission report into the sexual abuse horrors at the Marylands school in Christchurch took the headlines last week. But, writes National Correspondent Steve Kilgallon, it was an expensive exercise which may have no real impact other than expose the flaws of the commission.

The horror of what happened at the Marylands children’s home in Christchurch returned to the headlines last week with the release of a Royal Commission report which called it “hell on earth”.

The second interim report from the Commission, which is investigating child abuse in care, was quite widely welcomed and warmly greeted in the media.

A beautifully-illustrated 370 pages apparently pulled no punches as it described the horrific, deep-rooted and widespread abuse of vulnerable children by members of the Catholic religious order the St John of God Brothers (and the state’s failure to exercise any oversight).

But in truth, there’s a compelling case that all the Commission has done with the Marylands report is a very expensive, very long piece of feature journalism: there’s nothing new, and it’s difficult to see any meaningful impacts.

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