Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Turiana Turia's speech: Preventing Family Violence


Turiana Turia's speech: Preventing Family Violence

Launch of Family Violence Intervention Guidelines, Te Rangimarie Room, Te Papa Tongarewa

E nga mana, e nga reo o tenei whenua, tena koutou katoa. E nga iwi e huihui nei i tenei ra, tena hoki koutou katoa.

Today is the last day of Week Without Violence.

Week Without Violence is an international community-led campaign against all forms of violence – physical, verbal, sexual, psychological and institutional violence, including racism, harassment, bullying and hate crimes. Violence occurs throughout society, across all our institutions, including our families.

Violence, abuse and neglect diminish a person’s growth and development, their capacity to feel, think and communicate, their faith and trust in the world around them, and their ability to belong, to share and care.

When violence occurs within the family, the problems it causes quickly escalate out of control, and spread into the wider community. Family violence is at the core of many social problems – poor health, educational under-achievement, social isolation and cultural breakdown.

The acts of physical violence which trigger public interest and official intervention can have many interlocking causes. To prevent violence, we have to address those underlying causes – otherwise the pattern will be repeated.

This issue can seem all so complicated, and so hard to know where to begin, that it overwhelms us. But there are solutions, and these guidelines are one part.

When members of a family are affected by violence, there is an obligation on the wider group to assist, whether whanau, neighbourhood or church community, or official agencies on behalf of the general public.

These guidelines are part of the official response. They grew out of a recognition that health professionals are often well placed to recognise the signs of family violence, and to offer support.

But health professionals are trained in health care, not violence prevention. They themselves need guidance and support to make their interventions effective. That is the purpose of these clinical guidelines. They will be backed up by training programmes for health workers.

A key requirement for effective intervention is co-ordination. Many government, professional and non-government organisations have helped to develop these guidelines, through the work of their representatives on the Professional, Maori and Pacific Advisory Committees, and I’d like to thank them for their contribution.

These guidelines contribute to Te Rito – the New Zealand Family Violence Prevention Strategy. Close co-ordination and co-operation among official agencies is the goal of that broader strategy.

Of course, any intervention takes place after violence has occurred. Campaigns to prevent family violence in the first place are also planned, to complement these guidelines. So the government has planned a comprehensive response to this issue.

Experts agree, however, that governments alone cannot prevent violence. So what can we do, as individuals, and in our communities?

Last week, I invited the YWCA and a number of community groups to Parliament to commemorate Week Without Violence. The theme for this year is Voices Against Violence – and we heard many voices against violence.

Mereana Pitman has devoted 25 years to stopping violence. She told us that her initial focus was acts of physical violence – but she soon realised you could not stop that without looking at the underlying causes.

Mereana became interested in how family history and attitudes contribute to violence; then how cultural conflicts and colonisation have affected relationships within whanau and hapu; and how global culture and economy set the stage for how we live our daily lives.

Mereana’s message was one of hope. As her horizons broadened, her understanding deepened. As the problem seemed to become global, she realised that by taking personal responsibility to make changes in our own lives, we can make changes to how the world operates around us.

Mereana encouraged us to dispel the illusion that violence is acceptable, of any sort or degree. We must look to address violence in all areas of our lives.

As an example, my colleague Brian Donnelly, of New Zealand First, talked about his teaching career. As a young school principal, caning or strapping students was accepted as a nasty but necessary part of the job. Brian became principal of one school where, every day, students were bleeding from fights, staff were afraid to do lunch duty alone, violence was out of control. A new approach was needed.

Brian declared the school a violence-free zone.

To start changing attitudes, he asked teachers to identify and promote the positive in each other, and in the students. Within months, they had transformed the culture, and the school was flourishing. Brian now advocates a law change, to stop children being smacked, as one way to change attitudes to violence in our families and society.

In too many cases, in our schools and our society as a whole, responses to episodes of violence have been simplistic, punitive and individualised – removing the ‘problem’ (whether the victim or the perpetrator) rather than looking at ways of healing and rehabilitating relationships. Transforming a violent society to one which embraces wellbeing requires education and rehabilitation of all its members.

So it’s up to each one of us, to be open to the possibilities of restoring balance in our families and our communities. Together we have enormous power to bring about change.

Kia ora tatou katoa.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Government: Northland To Move To Orange, NZ Prepared For Omicron


Northland will move to Orange at 11:59pm tonight, 20 January 2022, while the rest of New Zealand will remain at Orange as the Government prepares for Omicron to enter the community.
“Vaccination rates have continued to increase in Northland and are now at 89 percent first dose. The easing of the Auckland boundary over summer did not drive an increase in cases so we believe it is safe for Northland...
More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Responding To The Need In Tonga


The power of the Tonga eruption (and the size of the aid response being mounted) have been sobering indications of the scale of this disaster. The financial impact is certain to exceed the damage done by Cyclone Harold two years ago, which was estimated at the time to cost $US111 million via its effects on crops, housing and tourism facilities. This time, the tsunami damage, volcanic ash, sulphur dioxide contamination and villager relocation expenses are likely to cost considerably more to meet...
More>>



 
 



Science Media Centre: Omicron Outbreak Would Move The Country To Red - Expert Reaction

The Prime Minister has announced if Omicron cases spread into the community, the country will move to the traffic light system's Red setting within 48 hours. Jacinda Ardern also mentioned there will be changes to the country's testing regime, with more use of Rapid Antigen Tests... More>>


Government: New Zealand Prepared To Send Support To Tonga

New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today... More>>


Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Immunisation Starts For 5 To 11-year-old Tāmariki

More than 120,000 doses of the child (paediatric) Pfizer vaccine have been delivered to over 500 vaccination sites around New Zealand as health providers prepare to start immunising 5 to 11-year-olds tamariki from today, 17 January... More>>



Statistics: Departures Lift Border Crossing Numbers

The number of people crossing New Zealand’s border went up in November 2021, mostly due to an increase in departures, Stats NZ said today. There were 28,700 border crossings in November 2021, made up of 12,300 arrivals and 16,400 departures... More>>


Financial Services Federation: Open Letter To Government From Non-bank Lenders: The Path Forward On CCCFA Changes
Responsible lenders are not interested in telling the Government “I told you so” when it comes to unintended consequences of changes to lending laws that are now causing grief for everyday Kiwis seeking finance... More>>

CTU: Too Many Kiwi Workers Financially Vulnerable As Omicron Looms
With New Zealand on the precipice of an Omicron outbreak and the economic upheaval that comes with it, the CTU’s annual Mood of the Workforce Survey shows the vast majority of kiwi workers do not have the financial resources to survive a period of unemployment... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels