Abuse in care inquiry hears from former Ōwairaka Boys’ Residence watchman

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2021-07-22 14:39:54

A witness on the inquiry into abuse in care has revealed seeing a boy being overwhelmed to a close to pulp on the Ōwairaka Boys’ Residence in 1970.

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Ōwairaka Boys’ Residence.
Picture: Te Ara

Pulotu Arthur Gus Solomon, who was 26 on the time, was employed as a watchman on the residence.

He stayed for simply 4 weeks as a result of he couldn’t stand it any longer.

Solomon’s proof was learn to the Royal Fee by his daughter, Tupe Solomon-Tanoa’i.

Pulotu was advised by different employees to not fraternise with the boys as a result of, if he did, he’d look weak.

”I may inform they had been reluctant to say something, however after a few weeks speaking to them, I believe a few of them knew I used to be on their aspect however I did not wish to push it as a result of in the event that they had been discovered speaking to me they’d be in hassle.”

”It was a tragic place.”

He stated a employees member requested if he knew what went on within the safe unit after boys who ran away had been introduced again, and he replied he didn’t know.

Pulotu Arthur Gus Solomon's testimony was read by his daughter Tupe Solomon-Tanoa'i.

Pulotu Arthur Gus Solomon’s testimony was learn by his daughter Tupe Solomon-Tanoa’i.
Picture: RNZ

”He stated that we put them in there for the evening and the subsequent day we, referring to the guards, go in and provides them such a thrashing that they don’t wish to exit once more.”

Pulotu stated one incident actually shocked him and helped him make up his thoughts to depart.

It concerned a employees member lunging at a boy and punching and kicking him.

”I assumed to myself what’s going on right here? The boy was on the ground. His mate was standing there and so was I, as this poor child was hammered to a pulp. It occurred so quick.”

He stated a colleague’s recommendation was to maintain his lure shut, simply do his work and don’t say an excessive amount of.

”It made me query what was occurring there, however she would reassure me saying, simply play it by the guide, so I left it at that.”

”I felt helpless to say or do something about what I noticed as a result of the abuse was coming proper from the highest. I did not really feel I may make any distinction, so I solely stayed for a brief time period.”

His stated his colleague used to say to him, don’t waste your time boy.

”You’re simply going to get a nasty identify and be out the door. They might repair you up, you understand. And I used to be nonetheless younger on the time, I used to be simply out of college. I believe if I used to be older I’d have reported it.”

He stated, as youngsters in welfare houses are there for a motive, there is no such thing as a use in sending them to a spot the place individuals won’t take care of them correctly.

”What these youngsters want are individuals to be supportive, speak to them, take care of them, be affected person with them and hearken to them.”

Solomon stated welfare houses want employees who’re of excessive standing, with good morals and an excellent upbringing, who will elevate requirements.

He stated it comes right down to the standard of the folks that run the establishments.

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Supply by [earlynews24.com]