The Crown's legal maneuvering and settlements over historic abuse in state care will be scrutinised by the Royal Commission set up to investigate the issue.
It would be a "heavy duty" part of the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care, said outgoing chairman Sir Anand Satyanand.
The comments were made during an interview with the Herald as Satyanand was preparing to announce his departure from the inquiry, citing age and the expansion of the task lying ahead.
The Royal Commission is set to run until 2023, with its remit expanded to include more than 100,000 children in state and faith-based care between 1950 and 1999.
Those who spent time in care have lodged claims against state and faith-based organisations over emotional, physical and sexual abuse.
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Satyanand said the Royal Commission would be examining how the modern state sector had dealt with former state wards who had sought redress for the harm they had suffered.
It meant the historic claims settlement process and the Crown's position to court cases taken by survivors would be a "heavy duty part" of the Royal Commission.
"The litigation strategies (adopted by the Crown) will be examined by the Commission."
The area is fraught because lawyers operate on the basis of client confidentiality and have legal privilege to protect their dealings with those they are representing.
Lawyer Sonja Cooper welcomed the focus and said it was one area her firm had pushed for the Royal Commission to investigate.
Cooper Legal represents more than half the former state wards who have sought or are seeking an apology and compensation from the Crown.
Cooper said she had already met with Simon Mount QC, the Royal Commission's lead lawyer, to offer assistance.
"This will include giving evidence and linking the Royal Commission with others who can provide relevant evidence to the Inquiry."
Survivors interviewed by the Herald frequently referred to poor experiences trying to reach what they considered to be a fair settlement for the abuse they suffered.
In June last year, the Ministry of Social Development announced it was carrying out work following reviews to improve the settlement process.
An academic research project by the University of Auckland's Dr Stephen Winter was critical of the New Zealand settlement process.
Winter's research compared the New Zealand settlement process to that adopted in Ireland and found there were "high costs imposed on survivors, non-transparency, inadequate support and injustice".
Winter, who found settlement values should be increased, wrote: "These concerns are serious and the need for change is urgent."
His findings suggested the Royal Commission identify different approaches, including those which would improve access to legal representation and documentation while speeding up the process and offering other form of resolution.
The new Inquiries Act gives the Royal Commission extensive powers and few limits on what it can investigate and how it can choose to do so.
Lawyer Deborah Manning is among the few lawyers to appear before an inquiry set up under the new law, having represented the Afghan villagers before the Inquiry into Operation Burnham.
Manning said the Royal Commission might not need to consider using its powers to penetrate privilege when it could be waived by their clients - in this case, government departments.
Even without doing so, she said there would be information available showing how long cases took to settle, how quickly discovery processes took and the disparity of funding between Crown lawyers and those - if any - acting for claimants.