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‘Not justice’: Survivor’s advocate slams ‘pathetic’ settlement offer

Late last year, former Marist Brother Charles Afeaki changed his plea, mid-trial, and admitted to 13 charges of sexual abuse of two 11-year-old boys in the 1970s.

  • Former Marist Brother Charles Afeaki will be sentenced in May for his abuse of two 11-year-old boys in the 1970s.
  • The wealthy Marist Brothers will pay out just $45,000 in compensation.
  • A survivor’s advocate says that’s a “travesty”.

If Afeaki had lived in the US, Canada or Australia, the religious order he once belonged to would have been wincing at the size of the cheque they’d have to write.

Multi-million dollar settlements for abuse survivors aren’t unusual overseas: earlier this month, the Tasmanian Anglican church was ordered to pay one survivor $AU2.3m ($NZ2.45m).

In New Zealand, the intricacies of our legal system mean securing compensation for sexual abuse in the courtroom is difficult – and so victims must negotiate directly with the group who abused them.

This was the third time the 81-year-old Afeaki had been convicted of sexual offending against young boys in the 1970s, when he was both a religious brother and a teacher in primary schools owned by the Catholic Marist Brothers order.

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