Dame Lowell would have preferred to work alone as head of sex abuse inquiry: Committee

Dame Lowell Goddard was appointed in early 2015 and resigned in August.
BEN PRUCHNICE

Dame Lowell Goddard was appointed in early 2015 and resigned in August.

The Kiwi judge who was the head of the United Kingdom's controversial inquiry into historical sex abuse cases would have preferred to work alone, British MPs have been told.

Dame Lowell Goddard's time as the chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse and the circumstances of her resignation were discussed at a home affairs select committee hearing in London on Tuesday.

The new chair of the inquiry, Professor Alexis Jay, denied the inquiry was "an unhappy ship".

Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse panel member Ivor Frank, new chair Professor Alexis Jay, and panellist Drusilla ...
Parliamentlive.tv

Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse panel member Ivor Frank, new chair Professor Alexis Jay, and panellist Drusilla Sharpling at the home affairs select committee.

Goddard has strenuously denied allegations of using derogatory language and mistreating staff while she was the head of the wide-ranging inquiry, described as "mired in chaos" by one British opposition MP.

READ MORE:
Dame Lowell denies using racist language
Dame Lowell's statement on press claims
Judge quits as head of UK inquiry
Justice Goddard to head UK abuse inquiry

Several allegations were made in The Times of London in a series of articles, which Goddard said were "totally false".

UK home secretary Amber Rudd, who was asked urgent questions in the House of Commons on Monday about the abuse inquiry.
Dan Kitwood

UK home secretary Amber Rudd, who was asked urgent questions in the House of Commons on Monday about the abuse inquiry.

Jay, a former member of the inquiry advisory panel, told MPs that every effort was made to make the arrangements work.

She was asked to describe the relationship with the New Zealander and said it was clear from the beginning that Goddard would have preferred to work on her own without the assistance of the panel set up to work with the head of the inquiry.

In reply to questions from the select committee, she said:

The new chair of the inquiry, Professor Alexis Jay.
Parliamentlive.tv

The new chair of the inquiry, Professor Alexis Jay.

"We were not redundant and there are specific legal requirements that the chair and panel make certain decisions but many are for the chair on her own.

Ad Feedback

"The panel felt like they were kept at a distance from a lot of the activities of the inquiry."

Goddard's tenure as the head of the inquiry into cases of institutional abuse in hospital, schools, and care homes has been the subject of intense scrutiny. She was the third inquiry chair to resign.

The Times published articles containing claims of mistreating staff and using derogatory language, claims Dame Lowell denies.

The Times published articles containing claims of mistreating staff and using derogatory language, claims Dame Lowell denies.

The inquiry's most senior lawyer also resigned recently.

Inquiry panel member Ivor Frank, asked whether Goddard was a "nightmare to work with", said he would prefer not to use such language and there were different working methods involved.

Frank said the inquiry sought assistance in an effort to establish a better rapport between the panel and Goddard.

"I would prefer to say there were challenges.

"There were times when things were perfectly amicable and perfectly professional, there were other times when it was less the case.

"The chair was not always present within the UK throughout that entire 16 month period."

Panellist Drusilla Sharpling told MPs she reported concerns about the inquiry to the Home Office in April and no permission was given to spread the concerns, which were not referred to as a complaint, or take any action.

Responding to a question about The Times' allegation of mistreating staff - which Goddard denies - she said it was entirely inappropriate to comment.

"I am not going to engage in the sort of character issues that have been published across the press...The panel had concerns about the qualities of leadership that were being evidenced throughout the course of the inquiry.

"I did not give anyone permission to spread those concerns among anybody else. I did not require any action to be taken."

Goddard did not give evidence to the committee directly but in a letter to the select committee dated Monday, she said she all matters regarding resignation were finalised by August 11. 

She had produced evidence for the committee, in which she said the job was not an easy one.

"It was never easy operating in an environment in which I had no familiar networks and there were times when it seemed a very lonely mission. However, I am pleased I was able to set it on its way. Ultimately however I had to face a situation which I could not solve and which would continue unless challenged. I resigned to make that challenge occur."

She also said she was concerned about articles in The Times which "appeared to derive from a member of your committee which alleged I have wilfully refused to cooperate with the House of Commons investigation."

"I hope you will agree from the sequence of events I have outlined that this allegation is totally untrue."

Before the select committee convened, a statement to Stuff from Goddard and her husband Christopher Hodson QC said Dame Lowell had not been asked to participate in the select committee hearing, or declined to appear.

"To avoid any misunderstanding Dame Lowell notes that [since August 31] she has not received any communication from the UK Home Secretary; nor from any other person on behalf of her or the [Home Affairs Select Committee] seeking information or her attendance at any meeting.

"On October 6 the UK Permanent Secretary advised her that members of the [committee] had expressed to him a wish to meet with her, and that this was a matter for the [committee] to deal with, as it has now done in its October 14 letter."

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Can micronutrients help with anxiety?

Julia Rucklidge's team is currently conducting a trial to see if micronutrients can improve depression and anxiety ...

One in 10 adults in the developed world now takes an antidepressant.

Us Two: The Mad Butcher and Don Graham

Sir Peter Leitch, left, and Don Graham.

'You know the saying, "He'd give you the shirt off his back?" I've actually seen him do that.'

Lucy Hone: Stress for success

Having a Personal Stress Plan may just be the difference between life and death, writes Dr Lucy Hone.

Not all stress is bad - if you can learn how to handle it.

'Kiwi culture' turns deadly video

Making a summer splash at locations such as the Raglan footbridge is seen as a Kiwi tradition but the consequences can ...

Four have suffered the same life-changing injury diving off a wharf; another was killed jumping from a bridge. Now, councils are taking action.

Wellington

Wellington loses Si and Gary show

Wellingtonians won't hear Si & Gary on their breakfast show anymore.

But they'll get something more local in return - Polly and Grant.

Man caught with gun

A man was arrested after police found a loaded shotgun in a car. (FILE PHOTO)

Gang tension is believed to be be behind the arrest of a man carrying a loaded shotgun in Masterton.

How to stop begging? video

Marcus Pohio is homeless and regularly begs on Courtenay Place, in Wellington.

The only thing that will get Marcus Pohio off the street is death. But is public generosity speeding that up?

Ex-British Cars House for sale

The building features a tiled lobby and a vintage cage lift.

1920s character building with penthouse apartment and rooftop on the market.

Canterbury

Photos: Christchurch floods

Heathcote River flooding near Sloane Terrace.

The Heathcote River has burst its banks and flooded southern parts of the city.

Live: Southern deluge 

The rain may have eased but parts of Canterbury and Otago are still underwater.

State of emergencies declared in several areas as flood waters force scores of evacuations.

State of emergency in Chch

Christchurch's Heathcote River was in flood on Saturday morning.

Residents evacuated in boats as persistent rain floods the Heathcote River, closing roads and inundating properties.

Heathcote residents trapped

Waimea Terrace resident Tarapreet Singh, 25.

The kitchen sink is brimming with water and the nearly overflowing toilet is unflushable.

Waikato

Historic cottage illegally destroyed

This Huntly coal-mining cottage in Tregoweth Street was torn down illegally by its owner, Kevin David Lynch, in January 2016.

The owner was fined $10,000 after he bulldozed the late Victorian coal miner's cottage.

Body in bale ruling

The body was found at OJI Fibre Solutions and FullCircle Recycling on June 28 in Frankton's Pukeko Street.

If it hadn't been raining, Daniel Bindner might not have crawled into a cardboard recycling cage.

Crash closes SH1

Police are at the scene of a crash on SH1 north of Turangi which has blocked the road.

Contractors working to clear State Highway 1 north of Turangi after a truck rolls.

Quad bike safety an attitude thing

Trauma data reveals a huge peak in quad bike injuries among the 55-to-65 age group.

Wintec students look to solve the problem of quad bike accidents.

Taranaki

Terrier looking for a friend

210717 News Photo. SIMON O'CONNOR/STUFF
Katie Tahere's dog Mocha is looking for a walking buddy after her dog Coco ...

Mocha is looking for a new walking companion after losing her best friend.

Farewells not the focus

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie says the team aren't focusing on rallying together to try and send the departees out on a high.

Any game now could be the last for several stalwarts, but the Chiefs aren't using departures as motivation.

Building gets new roof

The New Plymouth District Council decided in January to use shingles instead of corrugated iron on the Gables under ...

The Gables Gallery's shiny new roof looks the part, thanks to 20,000 new shingles

From reporter to magical nanny

Not quite as graceful as Mary Poppins, but reporter Tara Shaskey gets a first-hand lesson on the production's flying stunts.

Mary Poppins is just a little bit magical. And that doesn't come easy or cheap.

Manawatu

Fetch not always a fun game

Chasing sticks can be a dangerous game, write vet Malcolm Anderson.

OPINION: Vet Malcolm Anderson offers some words of advice about the dangers of playing fetch.

No random drug tests 

Only following a police shooting do officers undergo drug and alcohol testing. (File photo).

Police are only given drug and alcohol testing if they fire a gun during an incident.

Millions spent fixing police cars

A police car comes to a final halt after crashing through a Hamilton property in June.

More than $8 million has been spent fixing damaged police cars in the past three years, with costs peaking in 2016.

Moon landing celebrated 

Buzz Aldrin stands on the Moon.

MEMORY LANE: Do you remember the first Moon landing?

Nelson

Nelson too good for Wanderers

22072017 NEWS PHOTO MARTIN DE RUYTER/ STUFF

Nelson players and support staff after winning the  Nelson Bays Division 1 ...

Nelson turn it on to hammer Wanderers in Nelson Bays club rugby final. 

Buzz about beekeeping

05062015 News Photo: Marion van Dijk / Fairfax NZ.

Urban beekeeper Nigel Costley with one of his beehives in the ...

Nelsonians keen to learn more about keeping bees can do so in a short course through the Nelson Environment Centre.

Trespass case win

Lawyer John Fitchett has won a trespass case against Nelson College.

Lawyer wins case against Nelson College board meetings, but judge unimpressed.

Dancers put their best foot forward

Lillian Southward performs in the Jazz Solo section at the Nelson Performing Arts Competitions 83rd Annual Festival at ...

 Toes were on point at the performing arts competition held over the weekend.

Marlborough

All hands on deck

John's Kitchen supervisor Richard McDonald likes the idea that food can be an expression of care.

Blenheim charity kitchen takes on new staff to cope with high workload.

Team turned around

The MBC Falcons rugby team had a frustrating day on Friday.

MBC First XV rugby team spent around 14 hours in a bus yesterday, then never even got to pull their boots on.

The next big quake

The Adelphi Hotel, in Kaikoura, was pulled down due to earthquake damage.

It's impossible to say when an earthquake is going to strike. But the predictable patterns of aftershocks can help.

Exploring Africa

The Hansby family at Victoria Falls, from left, Luke Hansby, Fleur Hansby, Nick Hansby and Sam Hansby.

When you plan your trip to Africa, the animals and environment are expected to be the main attraction.

South Canterbury

Power crews tackle cuts

A firefighter, from the Washdyke station, and a Netcon worker tackle a burning power pole on the Pleasant Point Highway ...

Pleasant Point residents urged to restrict power use as crews work to restore supply.

Ready, set...chomp video

Randy Santel tackles the Gotham burger challenge at the Central Cafe in Geraldine.

US competitive eater polishes off NZ's largest burger in under 10 mins.

Mackenzie blanketed 

Heavy snow is falling in Tekapo.

Snow is still falling in the Mackenzie after a dumping overnight.

Horses scramble to safety

A large tree swept past as the horses huddled for safety.

Horses clung together to dodge tree and debris sweeping towards them in raging flood.

Southland

Stewart Island heritage gets $1m

An artist's impression of the Rakiura Heritage Centre. The centre has received, over $1 million in Government funding to ...

The Government is to commit $1.08m to the Rakiura Heritage Centre Trust.

Post-funeral brawl

Police and ambulance were alerted to the incident, but were not eventually required.

A post-funeral gathering in Bluff on Thursday night ended with blood, broken glass and a visit from the police.

Irrigation scheme 'a win-win'

Dairy Creek Ltd director Tim O'Sullivan, Pioneer Energy chief executive Fraser Jonker and Pioneer Energy project manager ...

A $10m irrigation scheme near Alexandra, Central Otago, is going to deliver water to about 1800 hectares of barren land.

Gecko stolen from visitor centre

The Marlborough green gecko that was stolen from the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre in Te Anau.

An at risk gecko has been stolen from the DoC visitor centre in Fiordland.

Ad Feedback