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Family violence prevention strategy launched

14 March 2002 Media Statement

Family violence prevention strategy launched

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey today launched Te Rito, a new family violence prevention strategy and five-year action plan.

The strategy was developed by the Family Violence Focus Group, an advisory group made up of government and non-government agencies, with significant input from other community stakeholders.

The strategy outlines a number of actions to be implemented by the end of this year including:
 finalising a policy on how to better cater for the needs of people affected by family violence who are seeking help but not using the formal court process;
 establishing a central place where research and information on family violence will be gathered and stored to allow easy access to up-to-date information by communities;
 facilitating a Pacific fono so Pacific peoples can discuss and identify their own solutions to preventing violence in their communities; and,
 establishing monitoring/accountability mechanisms to ensure that the strategy is successfully implemented.
Work is also being undertaken this year to clearly identify resource and capacity gaps so we can ensure that we get the best possible use out of both current and future resources.

Steve Maharey said the government is strongly committed to eliminating family violence and Te Rito provides an excellent starting point for addressing this.

“Family violence is a shocking crime in this country. It directly affects the well being of many New Zealand families/whānau to the extent that they cannot fully participate in society.

“Families/whānau living free from violence is the vision behind the strategy and Te Rito sets out the Government’s key goals, objectives and principles for maximising progress toward this vision.

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“A greater emphasis has been placed on early intervention and prevention initiatives, such as raising public awareness of family violence and more importance is placed on parenting education and school-based programmes. There is also a strong need to ensure approaches are culturally relevant and cater for diverse needs and circumstances.

“The prevention strategy is broad, comprehensive, takes a multi-faceted approach to family violence prevention and goes much further than previous initiatives.

“Te Rito is an excellent example of the extra value gained by seeking community input and working together in partnership with non-government organisations. Building on these relationships as we implement this strategy is vital to its success.

“The current level of Family violence in Aotearoa/New Zealand is unacceptable. The new strategy will take us a big step closer to addressing this serious issue and the government is committed to ensuring that it is successfully implemented,” Steve Maharey said.


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