Joint ven­ture es­tab­lished to re­duce vi­o­lence rate

Bay of Plenty Times - - NATION - Week­end Her­ald

Chief ex­ec­u­tives from 10 gov­ern­ment agen­cies will now be held ac­count­able as part of a new strat­egy to end New Zealand’s ap­palling record of fam­ily and sex­ual vi­o­lence.

The yet-to-be-named “joint ven­ture” across the pub­lic ser­vice will re­port to a board of the chief ex­ec­u­tives to es­tab­lish a sin­gle point of lead­er­ship and ac­count­abil­ity, Jan Lo­gie an­nounced yes­ter­day at the an­nual Ma¯ori Women’s Wel­fare League con­fer­ence in Gis­borne.

Vic­tims find it dif­fi­cult to get help — as do of­fend­ers — be­cause of a frag­mented ap­proach from gov­ern­ment agen­cies and com­mu­nity ser­vices, which have not been mea­sured to see if they work or not.

“We have to stop split­ting this is­sue up into half a dozen un­con­nected si­los,” said Lo­gie, the Un­der-Sec­re­tary to the Min­is­ter of Jus­tice for do­mes­tic and sex­ual vi­o­lence is­sues.

“Fam­ily and sex­ual vi­o­lence are com­pli­cated, af­fect ev­ery part of our com­mu­nity and de­mand a co-or­di­nated, com­mit­ted re­sponse.”

The board in­cludes the chief ex­ec­u­tives of Oranga Ta­mariki, Health, Te Puni Ko¯kiri, So­cial Devel­op­ment, Ed­u­ca­tion, Jus­tice, Po­lice, ACC, Cor­rec­tions and the Depart­ment of Prime Min­is­ter and Cabi­net.

The first task of the all-of­gov­ern­ment group is to de­velop a

"We have to stop split­ting this is­sue up into half a dozen un­con­nected si­los" Jan Lo­gie

na­tional strat­egy and ac­tion plan, and pre­pare an in­te­grated pack­age across the agen­cies for next year’s Bud­get.

Pa­pers re­leased by the Na­tional Gov­ern­ment showed tax­pay­ers spend $1.4 bil­lion on deal­ing with fam­ily vi­o­lence each year, but Lo­gie said only 1 per cent of it was spent on pre­ven­tion.

Lo­gie agreed more money needed to be spent on pre­ven­tion and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­grammes, but was un­able to yet pro­vide spe­cific de­tails on dol­lar amounts.

So­cial ser­vices on the front­line of deal­ing with fam­ily vi­o­lence, such as Shine or the Women’s Refuge, re­ceived a $76 mil­lion boost in this year’s Bud­get, spread over four years, which was part of the coali­tion agree­ment be­tween Labour and New Zealand First.

In a world first, Green MP Lo­gie has also ush­ered through new leg­is­la­tion to al­low do­mes­tic vi­o­lence vic­tims to take up to 10 days of paid leave.

She told the the “joint ven­ture” would steer changes to make it eas­ier for vic­tims to get help.

“One woman told me get­ting sup­port was like walk­ing in a for­est, with booby traps ev­ery­where, with­out a map.”

Re­spon­si­bil­ity for ad­dress­ing New Zealand’s “un­ac­cept­able” rates of vi­o­lence is cur­rently spread across at least 10 dif­fer­ent gov­ern­ment agen­cies.

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