Supporting a Pasifika-led approach to violence prevention

  • Hon Iain Lees-Galloway
  • Hon Aupito William Sio
ACC Pacific Peoples

The Government is proud to support ACC’s partnership with Pasifika experts Le Va on a groundbreaking $5.9 million, five-year campaign to help eliminate family and sexual violence, and suicidal behaviour among Pasifika young people in New Zealand, say ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.

”Young Pasifika are disproportionately affected by violence, and the Atu-Mai programme  launched on 4 July has been designed by Pasifika not for profit organisation Le Va to help break down the barriers to positive behavioural change,” says Iain Lees-Galloway.

“Pasifika young people are three times more likely to be exposed to family violence; they have higher rates of assault claims lodged with ACC; and their injuries from assault tend to be worse, and come at a higher financial and social cost.”

ACC’s research suggests three quarters of all violence experienced in Pasifika communities is not formally reported.

“Low reporting of sexual violence and family violence due to cultural barriers, can limit our understanding of these issues and mask the extent of the problem. We recognise there are traditional and cultural sensitivities that need to be treated with care, and Le Va’s guidance, insight and strong track record will help us achieve better outcomes for Pasifika young people,” says Iain Lees-Galloway.

Aupito William Sio says Atu-Mai will have a positive impact on the Pasifika communities by investing in Pasifika young people and helping them to thrive.

“For far too long we have told ourselves that it was okay to harm the most vulnerable members of our family, which is unacceptable and has no part in our culture.

“That practice is wrong and does not align with the heart of our culture, which is alofa and is about being kind and patient, which needs to be reflected in the words we use to our aiga.

“This is a wonderful initiative to support Pasifika families and I know our communities will embrace wholeheartedly the message that it is all our responsibility to keep our loved ones safe, healthy and strong, especially women and children,” says Aupito William Sio.