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Ministry committed to women's protection

10 December 2006 Media Statement

Ministry committed to women's protection

Women's Affairs Minister Lianne Dalziel agrees with women's groups that protection orders must work effectively, but has hit out at "unfounded and ill-informed" statements that the Ministry of Women's Affairs is failing to act.

"Preventing violence against women is the highest priority in the ministry's work programme and it has been doing significant work to understand the problem," Lianne Dalziel said.

Lianne Dalziel said that the ministry's role, as a small policy agency, is to look for effective solutions based on sound research and solid evidence.

A year ago the ministry commissioned research from the University of Waikato to give a better understanding of protection orders, and what might be done to make them work better. Results are expected early next year and will contribute to the Ministry of Justice's review of the Domestic Violence Act.

"That is just part of the ministry's contribution to finding effective, long-term solutions in the field of family violence. The ministry plays a role alongside other government and non-government agencies on the Family Violence Taskforce, which seeks to eliminate family violence," Lianne Dalziel said.

"However, solutions take time, because the causes of the problem are complex and we all want solutions that not only address the underlying causes of violence, but also will work in the long term.

"Addressing New Zealand's intolerable record of family violence needs a well-researched, thoughtful, co-coordinated response involving the whole of government, non-government agencies and communities. I would be delighted if the Opposition spokesperson Jackie Blue would get on board and be a part of the solution instead of sniping from the sidelines with unfounded and ill-informed attacks on the Ministry of Women's Affairs."

"All New Zealanders are going to have to be part of that solution, because we will never eliminate family violence while society tolerates that violence," Lianne Dalziel said.

Ends

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