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Brothers make one-off payment to NZ abuse victims

The St John of God Brothers have mailed payments to complainants from its former residential school in Christchurch.

The order sent cheques for $A1335 to each of 70 men who maintain they were abused as boys by its brothers.

The one-off "good faith" payments were made to tide the men over until their claims can be resolved by March.

The Australian and New Zealand head of the order, Br Peter Burke, had originally hoped to settle claims this year.

He said extra time was needed for retired High Court judge Sir Rodney Gallen to review processes and ensure fair settlements.

Br Burke had also spent time in hospital, which delayed the process.

He invited complainants to accept the payment as "a small expression of our sorrow and our shame for the way you were treated in the past".

Br Burke said the payment was not part of the financial offer that would be made to the men early next year.

Ken Clearwater, manager of the Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust, met a group of the men last night and said they were pleased with the gesture.

"He (Br Burke) is prepared to put his money where his mouth is. At the end of the day there is still a lot of negotiating to do, but it is a start."

The Press

Catholic order pays 70 who claim abuse (NZ Herald)
Brother suspended over sex claims (5/7/02)
St John of God Brothers to pay out $3.6 million (13/6/02)
Hospitaller Order of St John of God (Australia)


4 Dec 2002