Steve Dunne response to Veitch

Illustrating how fraught speaking about family violence can be Kristen Dunne-Powell’s father Steve Dunne responds bitterly to Tony Veitch featuring in an NZ Herald series on violence – Tony Veitch: Acceptance, remorse and recovery.

Dunne from Stuff: I wish my daughter was not forever connected to Tony Veitch

In the 10 years since Tony Veitch broke my daughters back, she has rebuilt her life completely.

We are immensely proud of her resilience and the person she is.

We do not dwell in the past and we have followed her lead in moving past this.

However, I wish she was not forever more connected to this man.

I have witnessed her pain again today, on what should be a special day for her and our family.

The constant reminders of this public case also haunt her as she attempts to go happily about her daily life.

So, as Tony puts our case back into the public arena, our family question what do we do?

Stay silent, and just let it go … say nothing. Is that the best way I can protect my daughter? and other women in abusive relationships?

New Zealand Herald’s own editorial tells us not to do this.

“Silence can too easily be misinterpreted as condoning the act. More often, silence will be hiding the hearer’s utter disgust”. So the New Zealand Herald allowing Mr Veitch’s self serving propaganda (again) astounds us.

And positioning him as part of the solution is an insult to all true victims of this tragic issue.

If this “apology” showed genuine remorse, it would have been given privately to our daughter.

She has never received one. So who gains from this public “apology”? And actually is it an apology at all? Tony, to atone for your actions, you must stand in the complete truth.

This was no one-off, as you still attempt to mislead the New Zealand public to believe.

The other charges were never presented to the court, but they remain evidence of your systematic abusive pattern. In those files lies a very inconvenient truth for you.

Through Kristin’s charitable work we have met many former perpetrators of violence who are now White Ribbon ambassadors and I encourage you Tony to seek their help and support, so you may genuinely and deeply face your abusive actions, with integrity. And truth.

Repeated in full. That is fairly damning of Veitch, it looks like he has botched this badly. He has re-opened old wounds, if he is genuinely remorseful he needs to address this.

Also from Stuff:

WHERE TO GET HELP

• Women’s refuge crisisline: 0800 733 843

• Lifeline (open 24/7): 0800 543 354

• Depression Helpline (open 24/7): 0800 111 757

• Samaritans (open 24/7): 0800 726 666

Use and abuse of protection orders

Duncan Garner interviewed Judge Peter Boshier yesterday on family violence and protection orders. In that Garner referred to problems with protection orders, and then took calls from men with different experiences.

Garner (in Boshier interview):

What about protection orders, I’ve heard from people on my show this afternoon, from a mother, a woman called Sue and her daughter who both have protection orders against the daughter’s ex, the son-in-law of Sue, who has breached the protection order three or four times and only been fined or different curfews put in. No prison time.

Talkback – Jamie:

I’ve had two protection orders put on me mate and both exceeding ten years ago. I think the protection order is like you know the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

Clearly I didn’t know how to be in a relationship.

Clearly I didn’t know how to handle my emotions.

Clearly I was uncontrolled.

If I hadn’t been caught, what I learned afterwards, at school or somewhere beforehand, I would have never had obtained a protection order on me.

My second point would be when people sign down and protection orders are put in place, it shouldn’t just be a contract, it should be a contract with the female as well, where they both agree that no one will go in their home.

Garner: How are things now?

Oh no I’m good now because I got away from the relationship. But I’ll give you one example. I sent texts to my kids, ok because I didn’t fully understand the protection order. I sent texts to my kids saying good morning and good night. When I got breached I’d had thirty two texts in a sixteen day period, good morning, good night, and I got breached.

Luckily the police understood and they only breached me twice instead of the three that would have put me in jail eh.

Alan:

I have to say that what’s going on in the media seems to be fairly one sided.

When I was in a bad relationship years ago and we had custody issues, after  two years of not getting information from the school, and I actually got back custody, I went to the school and said why didn’t I get anything?

And they said oh ’cause your wife said she had a protection order against you.

Garner: “And did you?”

No.

Relationship break ups and custody disputes can be very emotional for all involved. Protection orders are an essential part of trying to help deal with these situations, but they can be abused by both males and females.

Protection orders can be used as weapons in relationship and family disputes.

Protection of victims in relationships and especially of children is paramount – but fair use and protection of the rights of all parties is very important.

Transcript: Judge Peter Boshier on family violence

Judge Peter Boshier on family violence

Judge Peter Boshier on family violence

Judge Peter Boshier, law commissioner and formerly chief of the Family Court, talks to Duncan Garner about Government plans to find better ways of addressing family violence and on protection orders.

Duncan Garner: The Law Commission is about to release a discussion document on this domestic violence law review, what’s likely to be in it and what we need to do.

What do we need to do with these domestic laws. Do we need to beef them up and sort them out?

Judge Peter Boshier: I think that we need a stand alone domestic violence charge. I think it would focus on the issue and really make everyone much more aware of the true extent of family violence.

At the moment it tends to get a bit merged into other forms of crime, so I think what’s happened in terms of initiatives this week – very very encouraging.

Garner: I was looking at that family violence review report that showed 139 people including 37 children died from family violence and related homicides between 2009 and 2012, so that’s an average of 35 a year. It’s too many isn’t it.

Boshier: Yes, and I think what the Minister’s concentrating on this week is the fact that half of our homicides each year, 50%, the basis of those is family violence.

And when I look at the extent of it that passes through the courts, I’m still doing Family Court work, and I just look at what the extent of family violence is, I’m not surprised that a lot of it ends up in homicide.

So I think there’s a recognition that this is probably our number one social evil right now.

It has probably been our number one social evil for a long time.

Garner: So if it does end up in homicide what can we do earlier in that process so it doesn’t?

Boshier: Two things. One is, and I wanted this to say I’m speaking to you as Chair of White Ribbon, and the importance of me just saying that is that this is very much an attitude change organisation.

It’s aimed at saying that all the enforcement in the world won’t stop people who are determined to kill, but what you can do is begin attitude change.

And I think we’ve done that in New Zealand with things such as drunk driving, smoking, there are other examples where we’ve changed our attitude and we accept that something’s simply not acceptable.

So the first thing I think is attitude change.

Garner: How do you change attitude?

Boshier: I think you breed an ethos that instead of resorting to the fists and power imbalanced by intimidation you resolve conflict in a way in which there’s dignity and there’s a talking through of issues. That’s after all what old cultures of the world have done for years.

Garner: That could take a generational change for some people because they’ve never seen it in their own families.

Boshier: And I think you have hit the nail on the head. There is intergenerational  family violence which means that people grow up against that background, that’s what they’re used to.

I’m not at all daunted by the fact that it may take a long time. What I’m encouraged about when I heard the Minister talking on Q & A yesterday was that if there’s leadership at the top.

You know if there is a commitment by people like you, like me, like the Minister to achieve change, I think society can do it.

Garner: What about protection orders, I’ve heard from people on my show this afternoon, from a mother, a woman called Sue and her daughter who both have protection orders against the daughter’s ex, the son-in-law of Sue, who has breached the protection order three or four times and only been fined or different curfews put in. No prison time.

Boshier: Two things about that. One is that the Police, I believe, understand the importance of intervening meaningfully when there’s an alleged breach of the protection order, and i think that is a change that will occur.

With the courts quite often breaches of protection orders occur with other things and may get a bit lost or diluted when other crime is going on. I don’t want to apologise for that or sanction in any way.

What I would like to say is that if we can focus on a breach of a protection order being just as bad as any other breach of a court order like driving while disqualified, and we say that there is no excuse, and there will be no way out other than accountability, and I want to re-emphasise that word, accountability, by all of us, then I think we’re going to take things more seriously.

Garner: Could I just ask that question again though, with protection orders do you think we will see change then, I think you hinted there that there might be change in that area.

Boshier: My understanding of what I heard the Minister say yesterday was that in the overall review of family violence legislation, which I think is going to be unfolded by the Minister this Wednesday, it’s expected that there will be a number of suggested changes to the extent of protection orders and their enforcement.

I have not been privy to the discussion paper that the Minister is going to release, but I pick up the signs that what’s this far been just a breach of a protection order might now become elevated to a default position where someone’s in real trouble.

Last year I taught in Palau which is in Micronesia, and their family protection legislation has a default position, whereas for the first breach you get seven days imprisonment. For the second breach you get fourteen, and for the third and subsequent you get twenty eight days imprisonment. It’s snap.

Unfortunately our prisons have serious problems with perpetuating violent behaviour.

There’s no real way out of it. And I think the messaging is absolutely unequivocal, so it may be that our messaging needs to be clearer and women.

Look they should expect that if they go to the trouble of getting a protection order it will give them meaningful protection.

AUDIO: Law Commission to propose changes to domestic violence laws and protection orders

From the Q & A interview here are Amy Adam’s comments on protection orders:

CORIN One of the areas where you’re not getting the cut through is clearly around protection orders. Researching for this interview – a staggering number of breaches of people who have gone on to kill and do terrible things. They clearly aren’t working. Will you make it tougher to— easier to get protection orders and tougher if they are breached?

AMY Well, first of all, I wouldn’t say that they’re not working. I think they have a very valuable role in our system. But clearly if they’re being breached, serious consequences can flow. So absolutely we’ll be looking at protection orders, how they work, how you get them, what the consequences are of breach, who takes what action, who has to lead that, does it have to be victim-led, can the police act on their own initiative? So all of these things are being looked at. What we’re seeing is actually an increasing number of prosecutions for breaches of protection orders, which is a good thing, an increasing number of convictions every year for breaches, and we’ve already put the penalties up.

CORIN Do you need, though, to take more—? And this is one of the things that came through from the likes of Women’s Refuge when we talked to them. Do you need more of a zero-tolerance approach to protection orders? Because it seems as though, you know, a bit of a warning, first breach and nothing’s done. You know, and the police miss it or something. Does there a need to be a much tougher approach to the first breach of that order?

AMY I think we need to have very clear expectations that breaches of protection orders are taken extremely seriously. Now, the police do have to look at their arresting practices and how that works and getting it in front of the courts, and then the courts and the judges have to think about how they handle them. As I say, we’ve put that penalty up, so from the first breach, an offender can be liable to three years in prison, and I think that’s right. But I still think there are questions around how can they be more effective, how can we secure the victim’s protection under them more effectively, how can we make them easier to get, how can think about all of the myriad of things that flow from that, like where are the people going to live, how do we physically keep them safe? So there’s a lot of questions to ask, and as I said, the goal of this is to start that discussion, ‘How do we do this better?’

Amy Adams on overhauling family violence laws

Amy Adams on overhauling family violence laws

Minister of Justice Amy Adams was interviewed on Q & A yesterday where she explained Government aims to address an alarming scale of family violence, with plans to consult on and overhaul family violence laws.

Family violence is one of New Zealand’s biggest problems. It is very damaging and incurs major personal, family, societal and financial costs.

On top of ruining lives (and ending some) family violence is a major factor in health (physical and mental), it causes major problems in education and is a huge factor in crime and policing, with a staggering 44 per cent of police response time currently spent on family violence.

One News Summary: New family violence offences, tougher penalties coming

Amy Adams said a document would be released on Wednesday outlining the review and discussing steps which could be taken to curb New Zealand’s high domestic violence rates.

Ms Adams said about 44% of all police time was spent on domestic violence.

“I don’t think New Zealanders want to live in a country where half of all our homicides are from someone you love,” she said.

Among likely measures are a new class of criminal offences to reflect the family nature of the crime, and provide a higher level of culpability.

Reclassifying family violence charges away from standard assault, homicide of sexual assaults would aid in the tracking of family violence statistics in New Zealand.

The wider justice system was also being looked at in terms of double ups and inefficiencies, Ms Adams said, as the current system involved “a number of agencies jumping in and out of bits of it without any cohesion.”

Ms Adams said there would not be any changes around burden of proof – the “innocent until proven guilty” system would remain in place in all cases.

The full interview video: Justice Minister Amy Adams on a discussion document to overhaul family violence laws (11:14)

AmyAdamsFamilyViolence

Adams comes across as switched on and competent, and determined to do something about reducing violence. I hope she and Parliament can make a real difference on this.

A Labour Party member (and candidate in the last two elections) Michael Wood was on the panel and said:

What’s positive about this is it’s been a cross party approach to get us to this point. A lot of people get frustrated about the fighting in politics. This has been a case of parties working together to this point.

That is positive, but Wood inadvertently pointed to one alarm bell, ‘fighting in politics’. At times our Parliament and our MPs set a very poor example in displaying aggression and conflict as a norm.

The full interview transcript from Scoop:

AMY ADAMS

Interviewed by CORIN DANN

CORIN Good morning to you, Minister.

AMY Morning.

CORIN All right. A discussion document – what are we going to see here in terms of concrete changes to the laws that will actually make a difference?

AMY Well, we’ll put the document out on Wednesday, and the idea of that is to really start a pretty ground up discussion about what can we do better, because as you said in your intro, these figures are too high, and despite a number of initiatives over many years by a wide range of people, we’re not getting enough of a cut through, and I don’t think most New Zealanders want to live in a country where half of all our homicides are from people you love.

CORIN Right. So governments have been trying all sorts of things. What are you going to do that is different?

AMY Well, there’s a couple of things, and the first of those actually we announced last week, which is saying Government actually has to get its own house in order. For too long, we’ve been dealing with family violence victims along agency lines – so our agency looks at this part, and the next agency looks at this. The reality is these are families, and we have to get our own system in order and deliver a joined-up, all-of-government response. So that’s the first work programme we’re looking at. This piece that I’m announcing this week will be a look at exactly how the legal framework deals with family violence. So, to just give you one example, at the moment, when you’re convicted of a family violence offence, you’re actually just convicted of assault or homicide. There’s no particular class of family violence offence. So why does that matter? Well, it matters in a couple of ways. One, it makes it really hard to track where family violence is occurring, collect pictures of repeat victimisation and high-risk offenders. But secondly, it sends a different signal, I think, when you’re dealing with an offence that’s a complete abuse of trust.

CORIN So you would create an entirely new offence?

AMY I think that’s certainly some of what we need to look at. I think we need to look at how family violence differs from other sort of offending. You don’t have just a simple assault where you walk down the street and a fight starts, and it’s very much a one-off event. Family violence tends to be a whole pattern of abuse over a long period of time, and the law doesn’t deal very well with looking at a pattern of behaviour and control. So we have to think about how our law deals with that. We have to think about how it feeds into things like the Care of Children Act and the Bail Act and the Sentencing Act. So I think it’s time to look right across our system of laws and say, ‘How can the law support better practice, better outcomes, better safety for victims?’

CORIN If we have a new offence for domestic violence, would the penalties be greater than they would be for a similar offence under the old system?

AMY Well, that’s obviously exactly the sort of discussion we need to have. But in my view, family assaults and violence are of a greater level of seriousness, and the society would judge them more harshly. So I think there’s certainly a case to say there is a greater degree of culpability for violence against people who you’re in a trusted relationship with, particularly when we’re looking at children. You know, we have the fifth highest rate of child abuse and child death in the OECD. That’s not okay. And I think society would say it’s very very different when you commit an assault against someone who your job is to respect.

CORIN So tougher penalties and a new type of offence for domestic violence.

AMY Look, it’s going to go a lot further than that, Corin, but obviously we’ll put out on Wednesday what the whole suite of potential changes are. But really it’s about saying we need to look at this system from the ground up and say, ‘How can we do this better?’ We aren’t getting the cut through we need, and I want to see a significant difference.

CORIN One of the areas where you’re not getting the cut through is clearly around protection orders. Researching for this interview – a staggering number of breaches of people who have gone on to kill and do terrible things. They clearly aren’t working. Will you make it tougher to— easier to get protection orders and tougher if they are breached?

AMY Well, first of all, I wouldn’t say that they’re not working. I think they have a very valuable role in our system. But clearly if they’re being breached, serious consequences can flow. So absolutely we’ll be looking at protection orders, how they work, how you get them, what the consequences are of breach, who takes what action, who has to lead that, does it have to be victim-led, can the police act on their own initiative? So all of these things are being looked at. What we’re seeing is actually an increasing number of prosecutions for breaches of protection orders, which is a good thing, an increasing number of convictions every year for breaches, and we’ve already put the penalties up.

CORIN Do you need, though, to take more—? And this is one of the things that came through from the likes of Women’s Refuge when we talked to them. Do you need more of a zero-tolerance approach to protection orders? Because it seems as though, you know, a bit of a warning, first breach and nothing’s done. You know, and the police miss it or something. Does there a need to be a much tougher approach to the first breach of that order?

AMY I think we need to have very clear expectations that breaches of protection orders are taken extremely seriously. Now, the police do have to look at their arresting practices and how that works and getting it in front of the courts, and then the courts and the judges have to think about how they handle them. As I say, we’ve put that penalty up, so from the first breach, an offender can be liable to three years in prison, and I think that’s right. But I still think there are questions around how can they be more effective, how can we secure the victim’s protection under them more effectively, how can we make them easier to get, how can think about all of the myriad of things that flow from that, like where are the people going to live, how do we physically keep them safe? So there’s a lot of questions to ask, and as I said, the goal of this is to start that discussion, ‘How do we do this better?’

CORIN Yeah. In the Cabinet papers with your release of documents this week there was some talk about setting up a nationwide home safety service for victims who want to leave their homes but can’t. How is that different from Women’s Refuge? I mean, are you talking about something a bit more substantial?

AMY Absolutely. So, we’ve done that. We’ve rolled that out this year, and this is a programme that’s already been trialled, and I have to say the results from the trial were one of the most impressive set of trial results I’ve seen. This is about saying to women, actually, to leave a violent—Or men, but it’s generally women. To leave a violent relationship, it doesn’t mean you have to leave your home, your community, your kids’ schools, your networks. If you want to stay in your home, we can give you practical assistance, like locks on doors, locks on windows, security lights, alarm systems. And the women who have been, or the families who have been in this trial and have had this sort of assistance have found a staggering drop of repeat—

CORIN So you’ll roll this out across the country, will you?

AMY It’s rolled out now. We rolled it out from the 1st of July, and I’m expecting very good results from that.

CORIN Will you look at changes to the court system?

AMY It’s certainly part of what we’re going to consider. As I said, I’ve made it very clear I’m not taking anything off the table in what we should consider.

CORIN So is a domestic violence court one option that’s being looked at in the discussion document?

AMY It’s certainly an idea that comes up from time to time, and what I would absolutely acknowledge is that there has to be a lot better flow of information between our courts, between our family and criminal courts.

CORIN But is it on the table this time round?

AMY We will look at any and all changes which will make a difference. I’ve been very clear in this discussion document – which you’ll see on Wednesday when it comes out – I want to hear from anybody who had got an idea as to how it can work. We’ve put a whole lot of ideas for discussion in there, but I want to hear any idea that we think will make a significant difference.

CORIN The focus here is about victims, isn’t it, and helping them come forward or feeling as though they’ve got the confidence to speak up in a court. What about the inquisitorial system, whereby there is a judge effectively leading the investigation?

AMY Interestingly enough, just on the first point, the focus shouldn’t be entirely on victims having to stand up for their own safety. Somehow it’s about keeping the perpetrator held to account. And if you’re relying on a victim who’s in a very traumatised, weak position to lead that process, that can be a failing in itself. But your point about the inquisitorial system – you probably know I’ve got the Law Commission now doing a piece of work considering the way our trial processes deal with particularly sexual violence, but obviously that’s a component, often, of family cases. And I’ve asked them that very question: how can we think about how trials work to make sure we have a process that’s more supportive of victims and that’s more likely to lead to convictions where that’s appropriate, without going so far that we degrade the very high-quality justice system we have.

CORIN So you’ve extended that inquiry to cover domestic violence?

AMY The inquiry is looking at trial and pre-trial processes where you’re dealing with very vulnerable victims, particularly in sexual violence cases. But family violence very often involves sexual offending components. And what we see often is the same sorts of issues. So that will certainly help the family violence work.

CORIN Sure. This has been an issue that’s come and gone over the years with different justice ministers – inquisitorial approach. It would be a massive change for any court in New Zealand. Do you personally favour it?

AMY What I have said is what I don’t favour is changing the burden of proof. So if we were to switch to a system where the defendant had to prove their innocence, I think that goes too far. Now, an inquisitorial system versus an adversarial is not a binary decision, it’s a continuum. And I think there is a lot of movement along that line that should be properly considered. I’m going to wait for the Law Commission to come back to us. But I’m certainly open to a number of the changes that they proposed in their issues paper. I think they are worth looking at, as long as we don’t go so far that we put the burden of proof on the defendant. Innocent till proven guilty is the fundamental part of our system. I’m not proposing changing from that. Short of that, there’s still a lot we could do.

CORIN What about the police attitudes, culture in the police? Are you confident that there is enough effort gone in there to ensure that they are properly dealing with domestic violence?

AMY Yes, I’ve been very encouraged in recent months since I’ve been in the role at the emphasis the police are putting on this. And they are, right at the moment, having a completely fresh look at how they deal with family violence. Interestingly, 41% of all police response time is dealing with family violence. This is almost half their work programme. And they have a very very significant programme underway internally, looking at how they think about it, train, respond – overview. I think they’re doing a lot.

CORIN What about going even deeper than that? And this is one of the things that again came up again in researching this, was about societal attitudes and gender, between men and women, and the issue that this is predominantly— men are the perpetrators most of the time.

AMY 90% of the time, yes.

CORIN So whether there needs to be more education, more effort put into trying to address that?

AMY So when you look at that ministerial group that we set up to look at the system, the Ministry of Justice is not going to be the only agency involved. It starts right from education, as you said. Intergenerational issues, there are ethnic issues, there are disability issues, elder-abuse issues. And we’ve got a number of people thinking about how we do that. What I’m concerned about, from a government perspective, is at the moment you’ve got a number of agencies jumping in and out of bits of it without any cohesion. So we need to think about who’s going to be leading that work on gender education, making women and children more resilient, helping people to know when to step up and how to get help, right through to the incident response, the counselling, the holding the perpetrators to account. But we’ve got to stop looking at this through siloed agency lenses and start thinking about this as a family that have a number of issues that we need to get around and support. Government can’t be the whole of the problem, but we’ve got a lot to do to get our part of the picture right.

CORIN You are spending $1.4 billion at the moment. Will you spend more on dealing with this issue, which, as you say, is a massive problem?

AMY $1.4 billion a year is a huge investment. I think when we start digging into how effectively that’s being spent, we’re going to find a lot of areas for improvement. But it’s absolutely right that we should be asking the question for every single dollar of that, ‘Is it being spent well? Have we got the balance between prevention and response right?’ I don’t think we have at the moment. I do think there are duplications. I do think there are probably some low-value initiatives being funded. The question now is to go through that with a reasonably fine-tooth comb, find areas where we can spend the money better. But out of this review we might find all sorts of areas where we need to look hard at whether there is enough resource. That’s ahead of us. But if we don’t tackle this head-on and say ‘we need to do better’, those conversations are never going to happen, and they need to.

Amy Adams on addressing family violence

Justice and Courts Minister Amy Adams was interviewed on Q & A this morning on Government on ways they are looking at ways of better addressing family violence.

AmyAdams

It was an excellent interview. It’s very encouraging to see Adams’ knowledge of the issues and determination to make a difference.

Jo Muir () tweeted a few points:

Govt looking at creating separate offence for family violence to make it easier to track. Could lead to greater sentence as well.

Tougher charge and tougher penalties for family violence in order to protect vulnerable children in particular.

Innocent until proven guilty still fundamental part of system.

41 per cent of police response time currently spent on family violence

A shocking statistic.

Details and a video link should be available soon (it will be on  One+1 in a few minutes).

Family violence is one of the biggest problems in New Zealand society. There are huge personal, social and financial costs.

Recent release:

LAUNCH OF NEW FAMILY VIOLENCE WORK PROGRAMME

Justice Minister Amy Adams and Social Development Minister Anne Tolley have today launched a new work programme to ensure government agencies respond better to family and sexual violence.

“Despite crime rates in New Zealand falling to a 35-year low, family violence remains unacceptably high,” Justice Minister Amy Adams says.

“We need to do more to prevent and address family violence in New Zealand.

That means taking a hard look at the way government agencies currently work together and what improvements can be made to help break the cycle of violence.”

Earlier this year, the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence commissioned a stocktake of family and sexual violence services across all Government agencies.

“We wanted to get a better picture of what was being spent where and its effectiveness, which is in line with our wider social investment approach,” Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says.

The stocktake found the Government spends an estimated $1.4 billion each year responding to family and sexual violence. It highlighted that while good work was being done, there is room for improvement, with fragmentation and duplication of services among some of the issues raised.

The new family violence work programme seeks to address those issues. It will be used to develop a whole-of-government strategy to tackle these problems and provide better results for victims.

The work programme will:

  • focus on reducing the long-term harm of family violence
  • gain a better understanding of  the current gaps and duplication in services, as well as look at what initiatives are delivering results, so that better investment decisions can be made
  • determine how services are linked together across government, with a view to appointing lead agencies to focus on particular areas of work
  • ensure services are focused on clients’ needs
  • ensure the two work streams led by Justice and Social Development are part of a cohesive whole.

“This new work is about focusing on delivering services that are effective, so we actually improve the lives of our most vulnerable New Zealanders,” says Mrs Tolley.

“The work programme builds on the practical package of initiatives we announced last year, which included establishing a Chief Victims Advisor, rolling out a nationwide home safety service and reviewing our domestic violence laws. The work programme is being expanded to include sexual violence,” says Ms Adams.

As part of the new approach, Ministers will be more involved in coordinated decision-making through the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. They will also ensure that NGOs have a bigger role to play. The Ministerial group replaces the Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families.

Ministers will receive further analysis of which agencies are best placed to ensure that services are effective across Government.

Agencies will develop advice, an investment strategy and an action plan, with the first report due to be provided to Cabinet by December 2015.

The Ministerial Group On Family Violence And Sexual Violence Cabinet Paper can be found athttps://beehive.govt.nz/webfm_send/68

Related Documents

There will be more information released next Wednesday.

Details about Amy Adams on National’s website.