The Royal Commission into abuse in state and faith-based care has today heard from a man so affected by abuse that he set fire to his sleeping father, and later in life killed a man in revenge for his hurt.
Twenty-eight witnesses are currently giving evidence in a two-week hearing in Auckland.
Dr Rawiri Waretini-Karena, a former child of the state, detailed his whanau’s forced separation from Māori culture over generations and the abuse he endured as a child.
He is an expert on the Māori experience of historical intergenerational trauma, and the seeds of his own trauma were sown generations ago.
His grandfather who only spoke Māori, was taken by the state in 1930 and beaten until he learned to speak English.
His father was taken by social welfare officers in 1954 and also beaten.
Dr Waretini-Karena told the inquiry his father passed on the same abuse that he received, and it impacted the whole whānau.