Stopping family harm
An increase in family violence in Counties Manukau East has left agencies pushed to their limits.
Police crime data shows that during the 12-month period ending November 2016, there were 525 unique victims from acts intended to cause injury committed by a family member.
It’s a 19 per cent increase from the same period the year before.
Local agencies have also reported a spike in offences over Christmas and New Year.
Operations manager for Eastern Refuge Society, Rhonda CoxNissen, says it’s not unusual for numbers to rise during the festive holidays.
‘‘Our crisis line had more information and support calls over the Christmas period, and in terms of our residential facility we were actually full so we couldn’t have taken in any more women and children.’’
She says the increase over Christmas can be attributed to access to alcohol, additional people in the house and money pressures, and the wider issue may be down to a population increase in the area.
‘‘Counties Manukau East is growing and there is very little infrastructure being put in place in order to support agencies that work in this particular area.
‘‘I think it has been largely overlooked and that potentially there is an ideology out there that Counties Manukau East doesn’t need those kinds of services, but I can tell you categorically that’s completely untrue.’’
Cox-Nissen says the incorrect assumption also stretches into the community.
‘‘People like to think it doesn’t happen in their own neighbourhood and that the people they work with and socialise with don’t engage in that kind of behaviour,’’ she says.
‘‘But when one in three women are a victim of domestic violence in this country, you have to make the natural assumption that some of the people you are hanging out with could potentially be perpetrators and/or victims.’’
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Kawakawa Bay were closed off due to flooding, slips and fallen trees.
There have also been resident reports of sewerage overflows in the stormwater network at Mellons Bay beach near Howick.
Mellons Bay residents have reported sewage water coming through the sewage manhole at Mellons Bay Beach as a result of the heavy rainfall.
Mellons Bay local Peter Roylance says: ‘‘ An emergency escape valve for sewage is positioned right on the main entrance to the beach and flows directly on to it by the main steps.’’
‘‘This is a public health hazard and should not be tolerated.’’
Senior Sergeant Peter Kaveney says business was as usual in the Counties Manukau East region.
‘‘There was no major flooding reported or no delays in traffic. Police attended a couple of car crashes.
‘‘There was a minor slip on Sandstone Road in Ormiston.’’
More on page 3
The Whangaia Nga Pa Harakeke team of Counties Manukau Police district is working hard to reduce domestic violence incidents.