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South Auckland Family Violence Prevention Network AGM

Hon Tariana Turia
Minister of Whanau Ora

Thursday 7th February 2013 SPEECH

South Auckland Family Violence Prevention Network AGM

Tenei au e tu ake nei ki runga i te whenua o Pukaki ki Te Akitai e mihi atu nei ki a koutou katoa.

I’m delighted to be here today firstly to launch and celebrate the new name of your organisation ‘Safer Aotearoa Family Violence Prevention Network’ which has had its beginnings here in South Auckland. To the many volunteers who have supported this Network – from governance to community – for your tireless work in raising awareness and education with our whanau and aiga. Thank you for inviting me here today.

Tenei hoki te mihi ki a koe George, korua ko Raewyn, nga kaihautu o tenei kaupapa hauora, o tenei kaupapa whakaora whanau. Tena rawa atu koutou katoa.

I am pleased to have the opportunity to meet with you all and to thank you for the work you do together, and have done as an established network for many years.

Family violence comes at a huge cost to communities and families, but change is possible, especially when we are prepared to work together.

This is not an easy issue at all and I value opportunities like today to get past the policy speak and share our thinking and experiences. We need to challenge ourselves, review what we are doing and engage with the whanau and communities experiencing these issues to better understand what’s working for them and what’s not.

We know that family violence doesn’t happen in a vacuum. All sorts of whanau issues and stressors drive the behaviour. Whanau don’t live in isolation – but in communities. And the environments and opportunities in those communities can make a big difference too.

We work at a national level to try and change attitudes and promote positive values and non-violence. However, it is the work at community level, in and out of the houses and with whanau themselves, that is the real change maker. And I know that this work is not easy.

The closer that you are to whanau, to their issues and the complexities of their lives, the harder it is to maintain the simplistic understanding and responses. This is where your experience is so valuable.

Your collective commitment to the families in your communities has been a long-term one. You know these communities and the whanau and families experiencing family violence. You are part of the community itself.

As well as working together to improve the service experience of families, you have been strong advocates for approaches that work on the ground, and have engaged in a number of activities to bring the issue of family violence to the fore.

I am strongly of the view that collective approaches, long-term commitment and supporting families to be participants in the journey to being violence free is the key to long-term change.

Whanau themselves are, of course, the key to this change. It is only by mobilising the leadership within whanau that change will occur.

People need a reason to change. It is the process of building hope, of nurturing aspirations and confidence in the future that will inspire change. This is at the heart of Whanau Ora.

Na reira e nga kaihautu me nga kaiarahi e huihui mai nei i tenei ra, tena koutou katoa.


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