Government welcomes report on Family ViolenceSocial Development
The Government has welcomed the report from the Expert Advisory Group on Family Violence released today. The Expert Advisory Group (EAG) was tasked with providing independent strategic advice to the Government to assist in determining key priority actions to address family violence in New Zealand.
Associate Minister for Social Development, Tariana Turia says that the report is comprehensive, covering key elements crucial in any discussion on family violence issues and solutions.
“The recommendations emphasised that a whole-of-government approach is vital. If we are to make long-term changes to end family violence we need to improve the integration of the Government’s family violence activities,” says Minister Turia.
“The report makes a significant contribution to work already undertaken to reduce the serious harm that family violence causes to individuals, families, whānau, ai’ga, communities and the country as a whole.”
The EAG consulted with the National NGO, Alliance against Family Violence. Non-government organisations working in the area of family violence were also asked to complete an online survey regarding the challenges they encounter when providing services to people affected by family violence in New Zealand.
“The rate of violence in our communities, particularly against our most vulnerable like our tamariki, is unacceptable. Reducing family violence is a community-wide responsibility and we should all do whatever we can to ensure our tamariki and their families are safe.”
The report contains 22 recommendations grouped into three broad areas including structural reform, research and information management and streamlined service delivery, efficiency and partnerships. Of those 22, 19 have been accepted by the Government in whole or part.
Work has already been done to partly address five of the recommendations by making family violence a priority area.
The integration of the Government’s family violence activity must be improved by ensuring synergies and identifying the duplication of programmes and services.
Currently, there is work underway to address a further 10 of the recommendations, and four more recommendations will be addressed as part of the future work programme. Some of these work streams will also form part of the proposed whole-of-Government approach.
The Government noted three recommendations but considered that they required no further action at this stage, although action could be contemplated in the future.
These relate to proposals for new legislation or legislative change, and a proposal to make the Minister of Finance one of the Cabinet Ministers with responsibility for family violence.
“I want to thank all the members on the advisory group for their dedication to the task at hand. They were chosen not only for their expertise, but also for their commitment to seek action that results in an end to family violence.
“When combined, their expertise and experience provided a unique perspective on the issues and possible next steps.
“I would also like to acknowledge all those groups working to end family violence in their communities and to make a real impact in changing New Zealand’s family violence record,” says Mrs Turia.