Mr Taylor has spent 40 of his 63 years in prison. He will give evidence about being violently removed from his family by child welfare officers and taken into State care at only 11 years for being “NUPC” – not under proper control – because he had been wagging school. He will describe his three stints in Epuni Boys’ Home and the abuse he endured and witnessed there, his incarceration in a psychiatric facility as a teenager, and the road he took from State care to prison.
Mr Taylor considers just as Australia had its “Stolen Generation”, so did New Zealand. Thousands of children, the vast majority Māori and Pasifika, were taken from their families, placed with strangers, and had their lives irrevocably blighted. Many ended up in the criminal justice system, and in jail.
He considers this was not only to the detriment of the children and their whānau, but to the community who suffered from crime and the enormous expenditure of public funds that would not have happened but for the abuse perpetrated against these children. Mr Taylor will address the lessons to be learned from this so that the mistakes of the past are never repeated, and the need for recognition and acknowledgment of the harm that was caused and the opportunities that were lost.