'This is not New Zealand' - victims of sexual abuse while in state care demand Royal Commission

Victims of physical and sexual abuse while in New Zealand state care have presented petitions on the steps of Parliament this morning calling for a full inquiry into historical abuse.

The Human Rights Commission is now backing the calls, and Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy told the crowd of around 200 this morning: "This is not New Zealand".

In the past, the Government has ruled out an inquiry, arguing New Zealand is different to other countries that have issued Royal Commissions into sexual abuse because apologies and compensation have been paid out here.

However, the Labour and Green parties have backed this latest call for an inquiry with MPs from both parties accepting this morning's petitions.

Last year, Judge Carolyn Henwood recommended an inquiry after chairing the Confidential Listening and Advice Service, which heard stories from more than 1100 victims.

Victim and support groups say the full extent of the abuse suffered historically by children in New Zealand state care isn't known because a full investigation has never occurred.

It's not the first time a petition has been taken to parliament calling on an inquiry.

Earlier this year state care sexual abuse victim Grant West travelled around New Zealand collecting signatures for a petition, calling for a Royal Commission.

Abuse petition presented at Parliament
Abuse petition presented at Parliament Source: 1 NEWS