Whānau key to addressing family violence

  • Te Ururoa Flavell
Economic Development Maori Development

Whānau need to play a bigger role in tackling family violence if its scourge is to be removed from communities, Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says.

“We are struggling to win the fight against family violence and we need to change our approach. We can’t carry on with the same old methods – we’ve got to make changes,” says Mr Flavell.

“Family violence impacts far wider than those who are the victims – it affects the whole whānau. But whānau must be part of the solution.

“The solution lies within our communities, but we first have to own the issue.”

According to police data, family members were more likely to be the victims of violence among Māori (35 percent) and Pasifika (36 percent) than the national average (21 percent).

“It’s just got to stop – enough is enough. We can’t let this continue.”

Mr Flavell met with organisations working in Christchurch on Tuesday, including the Tū Pono Collective which runs Te Mana Kaha o te Whānau working to end the impact of violence in lives of whānau, and says their wrap-around and interlinked services point the way forward.

“The services they provide tap into every aspect of the scourge of family violence, from addressing violent behaviour, to caring for the tamariki and rangatahi who are impacted,” Mr Flavell says.

Budget 2017 provides $9 million to support the pilot of whānau-centred family violence interventions and Mr Flavell says the time is right to try something different.

“We know whānau-centred, kaupapa-based approaches lead to positive, long-term outcomes for Māori and we need to try new things to break the cycle of family violence.

“Whānau must get the support they need to access appropriate help to end violent behaviour,” says Mr Flavell.