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Ending family violence should be a key issue

Ending family violence should be a key issue says Māori Party

Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Tariana Turia have spoken out today to remind parties of the real issues facing Māori communities that are not being addressed in the election debates across our screens.

“While capital gains tax, computer hacking and medicinal marijuana are being discussed with great gusto by some parties, Māori voters in the Native Affairs Māori Television polls are telling the nation that addressing family violence is a key concern to their constituency,” says Te Ururoa Flavell.

“I am so proud of the leadership taken by whānau who are saying enough is enough. We do not want violence to be part of our future. Whether it be physical abuse or sexual assault, the way we talk to each other, psychological warfare or emotional harm - families are standing up and saying the home must be a site of safety,” says Tariana Turia.

“The Māori Party policy focuses on building whānau strength to eliminate violence - while at the same time encouraging responsibility and accountability for positive change from our communities, whānau, hapū and iwi, Pasifika families and government,” says Mr Flavell.

“We have examples of strong leadership demonstrated by families to end violence in the home, and we should continue to support families to help them come up with their own strategies and solutions rather than telling them what and how it should be done. We have become so reliant on others having the answers. Whānau Ora has shown a different way of resolving longstanding issues that cause conflict in our homes.”

“We must make the issue of violence an everyday conversation – it should not be reserved for election fodder, or only for specialist commentary,” says Mrs Turia.

“I am absolutely confident that we have the solutions within our families and that strong, united, connected whānau are the foundation for the change we need.”

“We want to see meaningful action at all levels and that’s why our policy aims to prevent violence through strategies that engage communities and promotes a shifts in those norms that have at times condoned violence, as well as ensuring there are appropriate crisis response services available on demand. We need to ensure that our services are whānau-centred, and culturally competent.”

“The Māori Party – as the only strong and independent Māori voice in parliament – will always take seriously the concerns from our Māori voters – and when four out of the five Māori electorates polled tell us family violence is their number one issue, then we believe all political parties need to stop, listen and learn from Maori voice,” says Mr Flavell.

The Māori Party has pledged a commitment to the provision of adequate and sustainable funding for domestic violence services, which is immediately accessible by survivors of domestic violence and will enable prevention of family violence.
Going forward the Māori Party will:
• Continue to support the strategy introduced by Associate Minister of Social Development Tariana Turia,Achieving Intergenerational Change which is about addressing violence issues that families face and weaving the strands of work together into an integrated, cohesive approach to ensure people are given the support they need to turn their lives around.
• Introduce a direct resourcing pathway that expands E Tū Whānau and the Pasifika Proud campaigns
• Seek to introduce new legislation (the Prevention and Protection from Family Violence Act) reflecting the view of the Government and the community that family violence/domestic violence in all its forms is unacceptable and is an intolerable violation of human rights
• Push for the prevention of and response to family violence as a stated Government priority, with two Cabinet Ministers sharing responsibility and with one of those Ministers being the Minister of Finance
• Invest funding in frontline services at Women’s Refuges throughout Aotearoa to enable them to address the huge numbers of police callouts
• Commit sustainable funding for specialist services to continue to provide information, first response and long-term support and treatment for those affected by sexual violence

• Push for a much greater commitment into migrant and refugee services to provide culturally competent services to their own communities

• Lobby for a much greater commitment from ACC into responding to the deep impacts of sexual and domestic violence.

Achieving Intergenerational Change is an over-arching, whole-of-Government approach that will include a suite of activity to strengthen the family violence system, and build on existing initiatives that are making a real impact in communities.
These initiatives include:
• The E Tū Whānau principles and framework which empowers whānau, hapū and iwi to respond to family violence by identifying solutions and implementing them. The focus is on Māori-led solutions grounded in tikanga and based on whānau strength, responsibility and accountability for positive change – from iwi, government and whānau and community discussion and action, led and modelled by Kahukura (community thought leaders).

• The Pasefika Proud principles and framework which encourages and supports Pacific communities to take ownership of the issue of family violence

• The It’s not OK campaign which has been successful in raising attention to the issue of family violence and preventing violence. The It’s not OK campaign aims to change attitudes and behaviour that tolerate any kind of family violence, and encourages and supports New Zealanders to seek help.

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