Cancellations of Anzac Day services in Auckland

I have mixed feelings about the cancellations and consolidations of Anzac Day services. If the Police have genuine concerns about security and what levels of protection they can provide then there may be some justification, but we should as much as possible resist letting the Christchurch mosque attacks affect our normal lives and events.

Most of the cancellations seem to be in Auckland.

Stuff: 58 Anzac Day services cancelled in Auckland, but services across rest of country will go ahead

Two-thirds of Auckland’s Anzac Day services have been canned in the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

There would be just 26 services across the region, down from 84 in 2018, Auckland Council said on Tuesday evening.

Decisions to cancel or consolidate services had been made following discussions with the police and the Returned and Services Association.

Police Superintendent Kathryn Malthus said there was “no information to suggest a specific risk to public safety at this time”.

So are some people being over-cautious or overreacting?

However, the Returned and Services Association’s headquarters in Wellington was unaware of any services outside Auckland being cancelled.

RSA marketing and communications manager Shane Wratt said safety and security had been discussed with police nationwide.

However, Auckland was a “different beast” due to its population and the number of small services that took place on Anzac Day, Wratt said.

With a lot of small services it makes it easier to combine some of them.

RSAs running smaller services were told it may not be possible to have police coverage and it was recommended they consolidate services with ones that were nearby, he said.

“We’ve been in conversations with police for some time and we’ve had collaborative conversations – we’re talking to experts who are giving us their opinions – but it’s up to RSAs to make the call,” Wratt said.

Wratt believed Auckland RSAs were taking a “sensible approach” to Anzac Day events as the most important thing was for people to feel safe, he said.

“It’s a different world.”

In Auckland anyway. ironically, Christchurch Anzac Day services seem to be largely unaffected.

30% increase in funding for family violence services

One pre-budget announcement, a 30% increase in funding for family violence services, is long overdue.In dollar terms it isn’t a lot, but it is critical that much more is done to reduce both family violence and the effects of family violence.

I think it is one thing that was genuinely neglected by the National led government.

Significant funding boost for family violence services

Social services dealing most directly with the harm caused by family violence will get much needed support as the Government boosts funding to front line agencies for the first time in ten years.

“Nearly half of those receiving the increase are women’s refuges who provide vital support keeping women and children safe,” said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.

“The 30 percent increase in funding is critical to the Government’s efforts to begin to turn around New Zealand’s tragic family violence record.

“Additional funding in 2019/20 will enable these critical front line agencies to expand into areas where there isn’t currently any support or start addressing over demand in existing services.

“Family violence has a damaging, yet often hidden, impact on victims’ lives including their ability to work and lead a normal life,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

Through Budget 2018, the Government is allocating an additional $76.157 million over four years to support the delivery of Ministry of Social Development-funded family violence services for victims, perpetrators and their families.

Carmel Sepuloni said, “This funding will provide a boost to around 150 providers of family violence services nationwide.”

This has benefits across portfolios.

 Jan Logie, Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice on Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues, also welcomed the new funding.

“This funding is an important first step, supporting organisations which do vital work but have been stretched to breaking point,” Jan Logie said.

“As we get started on the broader work of challenging and responding to family and sexual violence, it’s crucial that victims and their families are able to get the support they need now. Because they can’t wait.”

Minister for Children Tracey Martin said Budget 2018 funding would have an impact right across New Zealand.

“The announcement delivers on the Coalition Agreement between Labour and New Zealand First to increase funding in this area,” Tracey Martin said.

Family violence feeds general societal violence, so it is critical it is reduced and dealt with more effectively.

I don’t care whether this funding was promised during the campaign, negotiated when the Government was put together, or has come later. Better funding to address awful amounts of family violence is something that had to happen.