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Te Ōhaakii Ā Hine-National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together Pleased To Support Govt’s Launch Of Te Aorerekura

Te Ōhaakii ā Hine-National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together (TOAH-NNEST) is the national network for those working to eliminate Sexual Violence in Aotearoa New Zealand. We consider the release of Te Aorerekura – The Enduring Spirit of Affection – Action Plan for the National Strategy to Eliminate Family and Sexual Violence an important step. 

Many organisations and individuals in our network have been advocating over the last four decades for the Government to take responsibility for and action on eliminating sexual violence from our communities. This is their first strategic step towards collective action to address the underlying social conditions and norms that allow this problem to exist. 

This action plan is a crucial step towards creating greater collaboration amongst Government Agencies and we hope this will ensure that collectively we can create systems of support that are safe, centre the people who need help, hold people accountable for their behaviour, and ensure sustainable change over time. 

Ngā Kaitiaki Mauri celebrates Te Aorerekura and action plan and recognizes it as a commitment and intention to ensure the voices of Māori communities will continue to be heard and resourced to continue to develop and implement their own whānau-centred solutions to address violence. The Advisory Group announced today is a valuable initiative towards an essential independent body to ensure the 25-year plan of change is consistently implemented. 

“Much work has occurred across the past decade that has culminated in Te Aorerekura. We acknowledge the work of the sexual violence sector, and more recently Interim Te Rōpū and Tangata Whenua in unapologetically advocating for a National Strategy and independent body that would address sexual violence and its drivers, raised by Minister Davidson today. Now the work to effectively implement the strategy begins and we stand with the Minister with cautious optimism.” says Joy Te Wiata, for Ngā Kaitiaki Mauri. 

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For Tauiwi Caucus this action plan is a vital first step, and further work is required for it to address sexual violence in a comprehensive way. Tauiwi Caucus acknowledges the plan’s commitment to increasing both the capacity for frontline workers as well as investing in developing their skill level, so that better support can be provided. 

For some time now, Tauiwi Caucus has been emphasising the importance of representing and accounting for a diverse range of experiences when developing national strategies, such as this one. It is important that the voices of Pacific people, refugees and migrants and those living with disabilities, among others, are heard and represented. This action plan seeks to identify how these elements of a person’s culture, values, beliefs or life experiences might change their needs. It is important to be able to reflect on how best to support people while being sensitive to their individual experiences. What is needed is for this Action Plan to make a difference to the accessibility of violence prevention, response, and support, and to ultimately eliminate this problem which creates significant harm and cost the country an estimated $6.9 Billion in 2020 (BERL). 

“Sexual Violence is a solvable problem, it will take the team of 5 million and a change of the culture that enables it to happen, but it is simply unacceptable not to take action on behalf of all who have been harmed. We are delighted that the Government is today publicly stating its commitment to this shared goal.” says Maggy Tai Rākena for Tauiwi Caucus. 

We are hopeful that this action plan will be a great tool to move towards our vision of Aotearoa being free from sexual violence and achieving greater well-being.

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