Enduring infrastructure to support the elimination of family violence and sexual violence

Government agencies will build on the work of the Joint Venture, in a new Interdepartmental Executive Board to enable the collaborative responses, clear roles and responsibilities required to deliver Te Aorerekura - the new National Strategy to Eliminate Family Violence and Sexual Violence.

“Eliminating family violence and sexual violence is one of the greatest opportunities for improving people’s wellbeing, but this work is complex and doesn’t fit neatly into individual agency boundaries. We need a spectrum of interventions that range across prevention, recovery and healing. This needs to be delivered through a sustained, collaborative approach across government, where tangata whenua and communities are engaged in decision-making,” says Marama Davidson, Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence and Sexual Violence.

“How government agencies work together, with tangata whenua and communities, is critical for an effective system. The Auditor General’s recent report on family violence and sexual violence work emphasised this and we are responding by creating a new public service agency.

“The new Executive Board for the Elimination of Family Violence and Sexual Violence replaces the current Joint Venture, and will be responsible for leading the collective action needed for the collective action to deliver Te Aorerekura, which I launched last week.

“The Executive Board uses the same accountability mechanisms that exist between a chief executive and a Minister, but enables joint responsibility for collective work. This means that chief executive board members have joint responsibility for the operation of the board. It helps strengthen the collective commitment of chief executives to priorities that span multiple agencies’ responsibilities.

“The Board will be focused on aligning strategy, policy, and budgeting functions across relevant agencies. This will enable Ministers to receive whole-of-government advice to support decision-making that takes a system-wide perspective towards the vision of ending family violence and sexual violence.

“Key to sustaining the collaborative approach outlined in Te Aorerekura is the need to continuously view the system as a whole. We need to focus on how we can best make collective progress, without duplicating the work underway in individual agencies.

“The Joint Venture was established in 2018, to bring agencies together ahead of the new Public Service Act 2020. The Interdepartmental Executive Board created under section 26 of the Public Service Act creates greater accountability from the Board to the Minister, and also clarify financial accountability and reporting arrangements under the Public Finance Act.

“The establishment of the Executive Board is an important foundation to support the implementation of Te Aorerekura, and highlights the Government’s commitment to working differently.

“We will announce the name of the Board early in 2022,” concluded Marama Davidson.

What is an Interdepartmental Executive Board?

An interdepartmental executive board is a board of public service chief executives. It is a new model of public service agency, designed to draw together chief executives to deal with complex issues that have impacts and policy levers that sit across a wide range of portfolio areas. These complex issues cannot be solved by one single agency. This model brings together chief executives of affected or contributing departments to work collectively. The board of chief executives aligns strategic policy, planning and budgeting around the shared issues within the remit of each of the chief executives’ agencies. Responsibility for delivery activities that contribute to the board’s priorities would remain with individual departments.

A Minister designated by the Prime Minister is assigned responsibility for the board. Members of the board are jointly responsible to that Minister for the board’s functions (this relationship could be managed by the Chair of the board). This is similar to how a Crown Entity board operates.

Interdepartmental executive boards have the ability to enter into contracts, and would be able to administer appropriations. The board can employ staff, who would be hosted by a servicing department which could also carry out administrative and reporting activities under delegation from the board.