New Zealand clergy face being interviewed by Australian police as part of a Royal Commission investigating how institutions - including churches - allegedly covered up claims of child sex abuse, a victims right advocate says.

Radio New Zealand reported today that a group that investigates church-related sexual abuse says clergy in New Zealand are among those Australian police want to interview.

The Australian Government announced this week it would set up a Royal Commission to investigate how institutions including schools, foster homes and churches have handled accusations of abuse.

The Catholic church in New Zealand had said its officials would investigate the handling of a paedophile priest who came to Hamilton from Australia 30 years ago, Radio New Zealand reported.


John McNally of Australian support group Broken Rites, told the radio station that the case being reviewed by the church was only "the tip of the iceberg".

He said police wanted to talk to members of the Catholic order St John of God.