Joint venture established to reduce violence rate
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.