By Andrew McRae of RNZ
A man who was abused in both state and church-based care says pent-up frustration over what happened to him prompted him to stab a convicted paedophile in prison.
Roy Takiaho gave evidence on Friday to the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care about being abused in two boys' homes and in foster care.
Takiaho, 48, first went into care at the age of 2 - first with foster families and then to Social Welfare's Owairaka Boys' Home.
There was physical violence at Owairaka, between the boys and by staff.
''Sometimes the perpetrators were the older kids, but sometimes it was also the house masters.''
He said he spent a lot of time in single secure cells, sometimes up to a week.
''Those were the cells that were the most visited by certain members of staff and I was subjected to it myself and having a staff member come in and tell me I am bad and good for nothing. That was my first experience with the abuser. That was sexual abuse.''
At the age of 13 he ended up in the Salvation Army's Hodderville Boys' Home in South Waikato.
He described it as one of the ugliest places on Earth and where he experienced sexual, mental and physical abuse.
Takiaho remembered what the main abuser, a Salvation Army officer, told him about the love of Jesus.
''At the time it was someone I thought who sincerely loved me and this thing that I heard of about Jesus and God. But his God love was about sexually abusing in the name of Jesus. How disgusting.
''We were forced into this Christianity belief. They told us that the only way we were going to get our souls saved was to repent. It was a strict regime that we had to abide by.''
He said that as a result of the abuse he suffered he in time became a physical abuser himself, wanting to hurt people and administer pain.
Takiaho ended up in jail.
It was years later that a Salvation Army field worker came to see him in prison to start the army's redress process for the abuse at the hands of the Church.
Takiaho said he wanted his abusers to be held accountable, but instead he was being offered money and felt the abuse was being swept under the carpet.
''This sparked a lot of things in my head, especially to be informed of a paedophile within my surroundings and walking around me, I took it upon myself to deal with this paedophile.
''I ended up stabbing him six times."
He said he had been reminded of paedophilia. "It was very fresh in my mind and to get this information it encouraged me to deal with a paedophile. I didn't care what I had done to him.''
Takiaho was given a further six years in jail.
Gloria White, who is 60, was in the care of the Salvation Army as a child and believes officers at the Grange Home in Auckland she was in chose to ignore she was being abused by her parents.
Her father sexually abused her and her mother prostituted her out to men.
She told some staff members about what was going on, but they did not help.
''I believe there was a lot of signs I was being abused and the matrons chose to ignore the situation or maybe they thought the power of prayer would make everything right.''
White said that on one occasion she told a Social Welfare Department social worker, but nothing happened.
Her message to other survivors of abuse while in the care of the Salvation Army is to come forward and share their experiences.
''I came forward not knowing there was such a thing as a claim or that I was possibly a claimant or that there was such a thing as redress. I didn't even feel like I was complaining. I just needed the Salvation Army to know and feel the hurt and let it out and voice the words. That is what I got most from this process.''
White said survivors needed to come forward and share their secrets so it would not eat away inside them.
A 76-year-old witness, referred to only as "Mrs B", said she objected to the word care, because in no way was she cared for by the Salvation Army.
She was sent to the Grange Home at the age of 7 and was there until she was 13.
She said it was six-and-a-half years of abject fear and utter terror.
In her statement to the commission, she said she spoke not only for herself but for the hundreds, possibly thousands of little girls who were also abused in what she called the gulag of Salvation Army-run homes around New Zealand.
She suffered physical, psychological and verbal abuse.
One described the abuse from a particular officer at the home as brutal and systematic, occurring several times a week.
''She used anything at hand to assault me. She broke several broom handles across my back.''
The witness said that even now, nearly 70 years later, she still would wake in the night shouting and soaked in perspiration.
Mrs B said there was also sexual abuse and a lack of both medical care and basic care at the home.
''I was abused, betrayed, silenced but not destroyed. I am the exception, rather than the rule. I have not continued the abuse into the next generation and I have not self-destructed.
''The Salvation Army stole everything I had as a child, except my mind, which has kept me alive.''
Mrs B wanted, among other things, an in-depth auditing of the Salvation Army's assets, and disclosure of the sums paid to the army's high-ranking members in New Zealand.
She said the Salvation Army had never been called to account.
Leaders from the Salvation Army and the Anglican and Catholic Churches will appear before the Royal Commission in March with their evidence in response to what has been heard over the past two weeks from abuse survivors.
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