Watch: Bill English on state abuse of children, that SBW jersey, Edgecumbe


Prime Minister Bill English said there will be no inquiry into the abuse of children under state care. 

More than 100,000 children were removed from their families between the 1950s and 1980s, more than half of them Māori. Many of them suffered physical, mental and sexual abuse as wards of the state.

Four of them told their story to The Hui at the weekend, one describing his treatment as "horrific, inhumane shit".

But Prime Minister Bill English says there's no need for a fresh inquiry.

"There has been a form of that inquiry through the listening service that ran for seven years, designed to get to the bottom of these issues," he told The AM Show on Monday.

"For these people these have been horrible events. They've been able to come forward, have their story heard, get some compensation. Some of them aren't necessarily satisfied with that."

Under Labour, an inquiry would go ahead and an official state apology issued.

Mr English says he has no problem acknowledging what happened.

"It's pretty clear-cut and it's had a deeply traumatic effect on some of these individuals. The question now is where to put the energy, really. We focused on changing the system, probably the biggest changes in 20 or 30 years."

Sonny Bill Williams' Blues jersey cover up 'hard to understand'

Sonny Bill Williams taped over the BNZ logo on his Blues jersey in his Super Rugby comeback on Saturday night.

Mr English said it's hard to understand why one player would act differently to the rest.

It's been seen as a religious stand by Williams, a devout Muslim.

Asked about it on Monday, Prime Minister Bill English reluctantly weighed in.

"It is hard to understand that one guy has to behave differently than the rest," he told the AM Show.

"I don't understand all these professional contracts, but if you're in the team, you're in the team. You wear the team jersey ... But they'll sort it out."

Blues assistant coach Steve Jackson said the matter would be addressed with Williams' management during the week.