A children's advocate says youth justice residences are a relic of the past that have no place in New Zealand's future.
The Abuse in Care Royal Commission has revealed 250,000 young people could have been abused.
Assistant Maori Children's Commissioner Glenis Philip-Barbara says the problem could actually be far worse, as many institutions didn't keep a proper track record of numbers.
She told Mike Yardley large residences for young people need to be phased out.
"Many New Zealanders won't realise how many children are still living in places like this."
The commission will release a final report with recommendations at the end of next year.