Decision Process and Offer

*Timeframe to be advised by Independent Redress Panel


Dilworth Independent Redress Panel considers the application.


Dilworth Independent Redress Panel makes its redress determination.*


    Applicant receives Dilworth Independent Redress Panel’s written final and full determination by way of an Offer.


    Either the Applicant may reject this Offer in which event the process is at an end....


    ...Or if the Applicant wishes to proceed, he receives a Settlement Agreement from Dilworth Trust Board and must receive independent legal advice (some funding via Dilworth Trust Board).


    When Applicant accepts final and full Settlement Agreement, the elements specific to his settlement are provided/delivered.**

    ** Settlement in Redress can include a financial payment, paid access to psychological support and therapy, a personal apology provided in a format of his choice, or other forms of redress. Please also note: any financial payment for therapy would require that an Applicant who accepts, relinquish any future access to Listening Service funded therapy.

    The Dilworth Independent Redress Panel’s role is to determine whether:

    • The Application is eligible under the Programme 
    • Financial Redress should be paid, and if so how much 
    • Any other form of Redress is appropriate

    You can ask to attend an in-person meeting (Face-to-Face) with the Dilworth Independent Redress Panel although this is optional, not compulsory (and your appearance will have no influence on the Dilworth Independent Redress Panel’s determinations and decisions). Those who request to attend a Face-to-Face Meeting with the Panel will not be advantaged, and those who choose not to attend will not be disadvantaged.   

    When making its determinations, the Dilworth Independent Redress Panel will respond fairly and equitably to all applicants. It will consider the nature, extent and impact of the abuse, the individual vulnerability of the applicant, the degree of failure on the part of Dilworth School and other aggravating factors. It will consider each redress application on its own. 

    The standard of proof required by the Dilworth Independent Redress Panel to determine whether abuse occurred is ‘reasonable likelihood’. This is a lower standard of proof than the legal, civil standard of ‘balance of probabilities’. The Dilworth Redress Programme Terms also state: “Survivors should be believed unless there is compelling evidence to the contrary.”  

    The Dilworth Independent Redress Panel has the power to authorise a payment for redress to those applying. Its decisions and ‘offers’ to those applying are binding on the Dilworth Trust Board (and Dilworth School). The Dilworth Trust Board must honour offers made of any form of redress. 

    Financial Redress

    The maximum amount of financial redress available is up to NZ$200,000 for each individual. If a case is exceptional, when compared with other cases, the Dilworth Independent Redress Panel may increase the Offer of financial redress up to a maximum of NZ$300,000 for that individual. 

    Part of the redress ‘Offer’ may include a payment for provision of future counselling or therapeutic support, or the applicant may continue to receive funded therapy through the Listening Service; a personal apology from the school taking into account the wishes of the former student.

    ‘Offers’ and ‘Settlements’

    All applications for redress will be determined by the Dilworth Independent Redress Panel; not by the Dilworth Trust Board.

    The Dilworth Independent Redress Panel will make the determination (decision) of your application and will provide you with a written Offer. You may accept or reject the Offer. If you reject the Offer, that will be the end of the redress process and you may pursue any alternative claim against Dilworth. There will be no negotiation.

    If you wish to accept the Offer, acceptance will be conditional upon you and Dilworth signing a Settlement Agreement after you have had independent legal advice. You will be provided with the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement will set out the offer and all other terms providing for a full and final settlement of all claims you may have against Dilworth.

    It includes a statutory declaration (a document in which you confirm that what you have stated in the application is true, and this document is witnessed by an authorised person such as a Justice of the Peace; or a solicitor). A copy of a specimen Settlement Agreement and declaration can be downloaded here or requested from the Dilworth Response Programme Manager at [email protected]

    Before you agree to and sign the Settlement Agreement, the Dilworth Redress Programme requires you to obtain independent legal advice. This is a condition of the Programme. As part of the settlement process Dilworth will pay your reasonable legal costs for this independent legal advice when you are deciding to accept or reject your redress offer – even if you decide to reject it – up to NZ$3,500 plus GST. You will need to ask the lawyer to address their invoice to the Dilworth Trust Board and send it to Dilworth Response at [email protected]. If your legal costs for this advice exceed NZ$3,500 (plus GST) you will need to pay the excess.

    The Offer cannot remain open forever. Dilworth will allow a reasonable period of time for you and your lawyer to decide whether or not to accept the Offer. Dilworth will give you reasonable notice of its intention to withdraw the offer if not accepted by a specified date.

    Financial Redress payments are not subject to New Zealand Tax. For further information, please refer to the advice provided to the Dilworth Trust Board by Chapman Tripp, and the IRD. Also read what the Ministry of Social Development has written. Regardless of this, Dilworth Trust Board strongly recommends that applicants obtain their own independent financial and tax advice. 

    For more information see tab: Help & Support

    Government Offers of Redress

    Any applicants can accept the Offer of Redress from Dilworth  - or decline it.  Even if you have accepted an Offer through the Dilworth Redress Programme,  you can still apply through the Government’s puretumu torowhānui redress scheme, introduced following the report from the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.  

    It is over to you what you feel is best for you:  the Government scheme;  the Dilworth Redress Programme;  or both.  

    If you accept the Offer of Redress from Dilworth Redress Programme, it will be full and final settlement of all claims you may have against Dilworth Trust Board for the abuse you suffered.  

    Scroll for more info