NZ child migrant abuse survivor wants Government apology

A British inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is urging the UK to payout victims of the post-war child migration scheme which brought 549 children to New Zealand.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) recommends a UK compensation scheme be set up without delay, but a child migrant abuse survivor in New Zealand says the Government here should also front up.

Thousands of British children were sent to New Zealand and other Commonwealth countries after the second world war with the expectation of a better life.

The reality was anything but, with many enduring years of abuse.

Malcolm Axcell was the first of hundreds of children to be sent to New Zealand under the scheme.

He was 11 years old when he arrived in 1949 and says he was sent to live with relatives who treated him as their slave.

Mr Axcell says the fault lies with the New Zealand government, because it brought him here.

"News Zealand shows no guilt, none at all, they don't show any emotion, they don't care, we don't exist."

He says there are plenty of other horror stories:

"A young boy that was sent to a paedophile in the West Coast. The young girl who was 9, she was 6 when she came here and at the age of 9 she was put on a farm in the middle of the Waikato somewhere with no females in the house at all, just 5 men."

An independent inquiry in the UK has found that many children experienced abuse akin to torture.

Australia and the United Kingdom have since apologised for the abuse, but New Zealand has stayed silent.

Mr Axcell says he doesn't want blood money, he just wants someone to say they're sorry to the 549 victims.

"I can't see the New Zealand government saying I'm sorry or we're sorry, and I can't see them paying out any money, I can't I, really can't, it's something that just won't happen in the country," he said.

In 1998 the government started a programme to find all child migrants in New Zealand to make them aware that assistance was available.

But the current government hasn't said if it will offer an apology or compensation.