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Supporting Whānau Experiencing Family Harm At Heart Of New Multi-disciplinary Hub Te Taanga Manawa

Te Taanga Manawa is a joint initiative and will house Police, the District Health Board including mental health, the Ministry of Social Development, Corrections, Oranga Tamariki and Kāinga Ora along with Te Whare Ruruhau o Meri, Te Iwi o Ngāti Kahu, Te Kahui Mana Ririki, Barnardos NZ and several other community providers. The multi-disciplinary team will be based in a shared working space in Manukau with the focus of providing better outcomes for whānau experiencing family harm. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern officially opened the hub today.

Barnardos Operations Manager for the Upper North Jonelle McNeill says “Barnardos is excited to be part of this cross-agency approach. It is essential for making change on an entrenched, damaging problem that mars the lives of far too many children, families and whānau in our country. Being part of Te Taanga Manawa is a natural progression of the collaborative work we have been engaged in with Te Whare Ruruhau o Meri and Pacific Provider Fonua Ola for some time. ‘Ngā Pou Tuarongo’ has been transforming service delivery to support whānau and families to stay together and keep their tamariki safe in the context of family violence and harm, grounded in the belief that ‘ma te kotahitanga whai kaha ai tātou’ – in unity we find strength.

Jonelle McNeill says that “being part of the new multi-disciplinary family harm hub Te Taanga Manawa is an expression of Barnardos' commitment to walking alongside and together with whānau, to support them to experience the outcomes and aspirations they seek for their tamariki and mokopuna. Because of the work we do every day in this space, we know first-hand the scale of the problem of family violence and abuse in our country, and the trauma it causes." 

"Barnardos is clear that an Aotearoa where every child shines bright is a place where all children are safe from harm. In our work, Barnardos’ people see the damaging and negative effects family violence has on children and their families and whānau, but we also see the change that can be supported through providing early help to prevent situations from spiralling further into family violence and other forms of violence.”

Barnardos has a long history of work in the South Auckland community, and it is where Barnardos services originally began in the 1970s in Māngere. Today, alongside the family violence prevention and family support work that will be based out of Te Taanga Manawa, Barnardos works in a range of other areas across Aotearoa. Barnardos provides child and family social services, early learning services, and advocacy for children’s rights and needs.

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