On this page:

August 2020

Family Violence and Sexual Violence Joint Venture e-Update [PDF, 750 KB]

May 2020

Family Violence and Sexual Violence Joint Venture Budget Special Newsletter May 2020  [PDF, 309 KB]

December 2019

Family Violence and Sexual Violence Work Programme: eUpdate December 2019 [PDF, 286 KB]

November 2019

Family Violence and Sexual Violence Work Programme: eUpdate November 2019 [PDF, 858 KB]

July 2019

Family Violence and Sexual Violence Work Programme: eUpdate July 2019 [PDF, 671 KB]

May 2019

Family Violence and Sexual Violence Work Programme: eUpdate May 2019 [PDF, 639 KB]

April 2019

Family Violence and Sexual Violence Work Programme: eUpdate April 2019 [PDF, 535 KB]

20 December 2018

Te Rōpū starts work

Online guide for victim-survivors of sexual violence

Every 4 Minutes – new report by the Chief Science Advisor sets out the evidence for preventing family violence

29 strangulation charges in first ten days of new law

Joint Venture advertising positions

Te Rōpū starts work

The membership of Te Rōpū, the Māori Partner of the Joint Venture, was announced(external link) on 18 December as Te Rōpū held its inaugural meeting in Wellington.

Te Rōpū is a Partnership between Māori and the Crown to transform the whole-of-government response to family violence, sexual violence and violence within whānau.  

Announcing the appointments, Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice, Jan Logie, said, “Te Rōpū marks a significant change to the way Government works with Māori to address some of our most complex and difficult problems.”

The interim group will work in partnership with government Ministers and the Joint Venture on family violence and sexual violence to develop a national strategy and action plan, as well as informing enduring arrangements for Māori involvement in the Government’s work in this area.

“This work is critical, and it needs a Māori perspective – but we didn’t want to assume what that would look like before we’ve got the strategy and action plan, and before we’ve heard from Māori about what they need from us,” says Jan Logie. “That’s why this interim group has been appointed.”

Members of the Interim Te Rōpū include Prue Kapua (Chair), Roni Albert, Ngaropi Cameron, Ange Chaney, Paora Crawford Moyle, Te Owai Gemmell, Roku Mihinui, Susan Ngawati Osborne, Russell Smith, and Sir Mark Solomon.

Cabinet agreed to establish an interim Te Rōpū to assist the government to work in partnership with Māori on an integrated response to family violence and sexual violence. The Cabinet papers, including the Terms of Reference for Te Rōpū, are available

Online guide to the justice system

Victim-survivors of sexual violence have access to a new online guide(external link) to the justice system, launched on 13 December.

The guide responds to survivors’ calls for better information about the stages of the justice process, to reduce re-traumatisation and re-victimisation.

In 2015, the Law Commission Te Aka Matua O te Ture Report: The Justice Response to Victims of Sexual Violence -
Criminal Trials and Alternative Processes(external link)(external link)
highlighted concerns about the impact of the justice
system on victims.

Further research [PDF, 1.6 MB] commissioned by the Ministry of Justice interviewed survivors about their experience of the justice process and identified the opportunities for reducing trauma. Access to timely information about the process restores a sense of power for survivors.

Equipping survivors, their family, whānau and supporters with this information, we hope to reduce the stress associated with going through the court system.

The online guide recognises that people will need different information at different times in the process, and provides plain language explanations of processes and legal terms.

The guide is part of a wider package of work to improve victims’ experience of the justice system, which will include:

  • training for frontline Justice people on how to provide safe and appropriate responses to people affected by family violence and/or sexual violence;
  • further research and evaluation including additional interviews with victims of sexual violence to understand their personal experiences of the justice system, to help inform and improve operational changes; and
  • improving in-court facilities for victims.

The Solicitor-General is in the process of developing new guidelines for the prosecution of sexual violence cases, which are expected to take effect in the middle of next year. Crown Law will provide training on the Guidelines to Crown Solicitors and Police Prosecutors prior to them taking effect.

The evaluation of victims’ experiences helps establish a baseline against which operational improvements will be measured.

“The Ministry plans an evaluation of its operational improvements to ensure it is not unintentionally re-victimising people,” said Wayne Newall, Manager, Implementation for Commissioning and Service Improvement.

“This latest qualitative research provides important insights into the experiences of some our most vulnerable customers. It has given us valuable insights that we will use to improve the services we deliver within the justice process. We anticipate repeating this research in 2020/ 21 to assess progress on improving the justice system,” said Mr Newall.

Mr Newall said he wanted to thank social research company Gravitas for organising the fieldwork for this report, and those Court Victim Advisors who helped arranged for victim’s participation in this important research.

“Along with modern law and whole-of-government efforts to create an integrated system, operational improvements play an important part in improving the response to victims of sexual violence. This online guide is a positive step in the right direction, and the research provides us with a deeper understanding of the experiences of victims and where change is most needed.”

Every 4 Minutes: new report from Chief Science Advisor sets out the evidence for preventing family violence

New Zealanders must understand the importance of childhood and reduce children’s exposure to adverse experiences if we want reduce incarceration rates, says Dr Ian Lambie, Chief Science Advisor to the Justice Sector.

In Every 4 Minutes – A discussion paper on preventing family violence(external link) in New Zealand launched at Parliament on 11 December, Dr Lambie has set out the links between the trauma caused by family violence and our high prison population.

“All of us must take responsibility for starting to repair the damage and distress that family violence does to our society. We need everyone knowing about, and beginning to think about, what we can do collectively about family violence. It’s everyone’s responsibility to reject and prevent violence,” Dr Lambie says.

The paper says family violence can be prevented through:

  • Effective investment in families with children;
  • Media and awareness raising campaigns; and
  • Ensuring public servants and community practitioners have the capacity and capability to enable prevention and early intervention.

Dr Lambie says scientists have found that exposure to violence can impact the biological development of a child’s brain and body.

“They negatively affect a child’s physical and psychosocial health, through upsetting the neuroendocrine and immune systems, and brain development critical for learning and memory. This impacts mental health, physical health and behaviour. Exposure to violence significantly increases the likelihood of criminal offending.”

Most criminal offenders have themselves been targets of violence:

  • 80% of child and youth offenders have experience of family violence
  • 87% of young offenders aged 14-16 years in 2016/17 had prior care and protection reports
  • 75% of women in prison have reported family violence and sexual violence
  • A history of sexual abuse is the strongest predictor of reoffending by young females.

“Over the past 10-15 years there have been numerous calls for Aotearoa New Zealand to create a culture that prioritises investment in children’s early years and supports parents to nurture their babies. It is time to act on the evidence. There is much more that can be done to create the conditions for wellbeing in families and whānau. The evidence shows this is essential to preventing violence and reducing our incarceration rates,” says Dr Lambie.

Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues), Jan Logie MP, received the discussion paper, saying it was a welcome contribution to the government’s work on a national strategy and action plan on family violence and sexual violence. 

New family violence law sees 29 people charged with strangulation

Following new family violence law taking effect on 3 December, Police pressed charges(external link) against 29 people for strangulation within the first eleven days. Previously, strangulation was treated as an aggravating factor in assault charges. Making it a stand-alone family violence offence will enable greater visibility of the prevalence of the offence, as well as raising awareness of the seriousness of this crime. Strangulation is an indicator of increasing risk and lethality.

Phase 2 of the new family violence law will take effect in July 2019, delivering a raft of changes to family law and laying the foundations for a more integrated family violence system.

Join the Joint Venture Business Unit – vacancies

The Joint Venture Business Unit is recruiting! This is an opportunity to work on the whole-of-government transformation of the family violence and sexual violence system. The following roles are currently being advertised:

Permanent Director – An opportunity to lead the government's collective response to family violence, sexual violence and violence within whānau and to shape a new way of working across agencies and in partnership with Māori.

  • Influential and challenging senior leadership opportunity
  • Lead a whole-of-government response by driving change and leading to inspire
  • Key role with a mandate to bring about a new way of working

Applications close on 1 February 2019.

Permanent Director advertisement(external link)

Principal Advisor – MāoriAn opportunity to co-lead, alongside a Tau iwi counterpart, the development and implementation of a national strategy to eliminate violence within whānau, family violence and sexual violence. This role will be critical in ensuring the views of Māori are sought in the design of the national strategy and that the needs and aspirations of Māori are represented in policies to address violence.

Applications close on 6 January 2019.

Principal Advisor advertisement(external link)

Policy Managers (2) - The Policy Managers will lead two teams of Principal, Senior and Advisors providing high quality advice across Joint Venture agencies in the areas of strategy development, operational policy and system design, policy and secretariat support for the Minister, the JV Board and advisory bodies.

Applications close on 13 January 2019.

Policy Managers advertisement(external link)

Policy Advisors - The JVBU is seeking Policy Advisors at all levels, to support the achievement of the Joint Venture's objectives, by leading the development of high quality policy advice across Joint Venture agencies.

These roles vary across a range of focus areas including strategy development, operational policy and system design, policy and secretariat support for the Minister, the JV Board and advisory bodies.

Applications close on 13 January 2019.

Policy Advisors(external link)

22 November 2018

Update from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Domestic and Sexual Violence), Jan Logie MP

New family violence law taking effect

New family violence long-term healing and recovery services

Update on appointing the Te Rōpū advisory group

Independent sexual violence sector working group formed

Implementing the Domestic Violence Victims’ Protection Act

Auckland court support pilot showing positive signs

Would you like to host a community engagement?

Update from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Domestic and Sexual Violence), Jan Logie MP

It’s been an incredibly busy and successful year for all of us working to prevent and eliminate family violence and sexual violence in Aotearoa, so I’d like to reflect on what we’ve done together and what we have to look forward to in 2019.

First, let me acknowledge the people working on the frontline in communities, providing crisis responses and supporting victims and survivors in their recovery. A number of you have also been working with the Joint Venture Business Unit (previously the Multi-Agency Team) and other agencies. It’s invaluable having that on-the-ground experience reflected in our work, and we’re grateful for the generous input of the practitioners who are advising us.

Second, I want to acknowledge the work of officials right across government. They are focused on developing new policy, implementing new law, funding and partnerships with community providers, enabling the design of new services and a national strategy, and developing new ways of working across government to give effect to the Joint Venture way of working. We have an ambitious work programme, so I appreciate you doing all that you can to put in place the change New Zealanders expect.

For me, there have been a couple of big highlights this year: including passing new law and creating the Joint Venture that brings government agencies together on family violence and sexual violence.

In addition to my Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Act passing in July, Parliament recently passed the Family Violence Act and the Family Violence (Amendments) Act. These all bring a stronger focus onto the needs of victims: their safety, their voice, and the principles that inform decisions concerning those affected by family violence. From 3 December, for example, strangulation will be a stand-alone offence. I am pleased to see the law bringing a focus onto an offence that is always serious and points to escalating risk. There’s more information about this in this e-newsletter.

For many years, advocates have been telling government that we need to work differently, so I was pleased to see the positive reaction when we announced the Joint Venture in September. This new way of working brings chief executives together to deliver an integrated, whole-of-government approach to family violence and sexual violence. It creates a single point of accountability and leadership, as recommended by the sector and experts like the Law Commission and the Family Violence Death Review Committee. Integrated practice across government and in communities can reduce family violence and sexual violence. We in government have to do things differently to achieve that integration.

As I said in September, a priority for the Joint Venture is preparing a national strategy and action plan on family violence and sexual violence. I’m looking forward to engaging with everyone to ensure we get the best possible strategy and a plan that everybody can help to deliver on. We’ll announce the process for designing and confirming the strategy in the near future.

For now though, I’m aware that we’re heading into a very busy period for those on the frontlines. Police, support agencies, and courts will be very busy responding to family violence and sexual violence cases throughout the Christmas-New Year period. This is something which we want to see less and less of in future years. For now, I wish you all the very best with your work during this time.

New family violence law taking effect

The first phase of new family violence law will take effect on 3 December, introducing three new family violence offences and making changes to bail and evidence laws.  The new law is the culmination of extensive consultation with communities, organisations and individuals by both the previous government and this government.

The safety of victims and accountability for perpetrators is at the heart of the new legislation.  Phase one is about strengthening criminal law so that behaviours commonly experienced by victims of family violence can be effectively prosecuted.  Three new offences have been created:

  • Strangulation or suffocation;
  • Coerced marriage or civil union;
  • Assault on a person in a family relationship. 

These offences are covered by amendments to the Crimes Act 1961. 

Victim safety and reducing trauma are at the heart of amendments to the Evidence Act 2006 and the Bail Act 2000, also coming into effect in phase one. We are making it easier for victims to give evidence in court by video recording, so that they will only have to describe what happened to them once. This is being rolled out as Police capacity to gather evidence on video allows.

We will also take steps to keep victims safer while the person who has been violent to them is on bail. Safety of the victim and family becomes the priority when deciding whether to grant bail and on what conditions.

Victims who may be additionally vulnerable because they live in ethnic immigrant communities now have better protection from types of abuse that may have higher prevalence in their cultural community, such as coerced marriage or civil union.

Phase two of the legislation strengthens family law and will come into effect in July 2019.  Phase two measures build on the changes in phase one, with the same emphasis on victim safety and perpetrator accountability.  Protection Orders and Police Safety Orders will be improved and information sharing will be enabled where it will enhance victim safety. 

New family violence long-term healing and recovery services

New ‘Whānau Resilience services’ are being developed to provide long-term healing and recovery services to individuals, families, whānau and communities affected by family violence.

The Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni recently announced(external link) the investment of $15.4 million from Budget 2018 into the new Whānau Resilience services. This followed engagement by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) with family violence providers across the country earlier in the year.

Family violence service providers reported that the overwhelming demand for crisis services means the majority of MSD funding is dedicated to providing short-term reactive support. This has not enabled providers to easily work with families and whānau on a long-term basis.

It is recognised that many people affected by family violence present with entrenched intergenerational trauma that takes time to work through and heal. Therefore, Whānau Resilience responses will be designed to be longer term, with support available at times of vulnerability.

The goal of Whānau Resilience is for whānau to establish or re-establish a life free from violence, and become resilient to the patterns of behaviour that can lead to violence.

Services will be regionally designed

Whānau Resilience services will be nationally procured and then regionally designed. The regional design of Whānau Resilience services acknowledges that communities and providers have invaluable knowledge and experience that should inform the design of services available in their communities.

This investment will ask for a range of successful providers to work together across their regions to determine what the needs are, what is available, and to collaborate to design effective responses based on the voices and input from individuals, families and whānau.

MSD are currently running workshops across the country to provide more information to providers and communities about what this new funding may mean for them. Further information about Whānau Resilience and the workshops is available online(external link).

Update on appointing the Te Rōpū advisory group

The new Joint Venture leading the prevention and reduction of family violence and sexual violence will include a Māori advisory group, Te Rōpū.

In September, Cabinet agreed to establish an interim Te Rōpū to assist the government to work in partnership with Māori on an integrated response to family violence and sexual violence. They also agreed to the interim Te Rōpū mandate and terms of reference. The Cabinet paper is available here.

Under-Secretary Logie announced the government’s decisions to establish the Joint Venture and interim Te Rōpū at the 66th Māori Women’s Welfare League National Conference, in Gisborne/Tairawhiti, on 28 September 2018.

Ministers are in the process of considering nominations for the interim Te Rōpū, with the aim of achieving Cabinet sign off on appointment before Christmas. One of the first tasks for the interim Te Rōpū will be to provide advice on the design of the national strategy.

The Joint Venture business unit (the former multi-agency team) received 26 nominations from over 42 non-government nominating parties, in addition to the 40 plus Māori experts on the business unit’s data base.

A short list and all nominations were given to Ministers for their consideration following an assessment by officials from the Ministry of Social Development, Oranga Tamariki, Te Puni Kōkiri, and the business unit.

All nominating parties will be advised of the results at the same time as the announcement.

Independent sexual violence sector working group formed

An independent working group has been formed to define what support the sexual violence sector requires and to design the ideal ways to provide this support.

This project, which is being led by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and ACC, is part of the cross-government family violence and sexual violence work programme co-ordinated by the Joint Venture for Family Violence and Sexual Violence. 

A great response was received to the opportunity to join the working group and 20 people have now been selected. The names of the people selected are on the MSD website(external link).

The selected working group members represent the full breadth of the sexual violence sector – from prevention, medical forensic services and crisis support through to long term care and recovery services. It also includes representatives from sector bodies Te Ohaakii a Hine – National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together (TOAH-NNEST) and Male Survivors Aotearoa.

The group will seek input and expertise from across the sector as this work progresses and we will keep you informed on opportunities to take part. Find out more(external link) about this work.

Implementing the Domestic Violence Victims’ Protection Act

Law that enhances the legal protections for employees affected by family violence will enter into force on 1 April 2019. The Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is responsible for the implementation of the Domestic Violence Victims’ Protection Act, which enables employees to apply for domestic violence leave and apply for flexible working conditions.

MBIE has initiated work to implement the Act, which will include training for MBIE staff who respond to enquiries from employees, to enable them to provide accurate information about the Act and how it applies. Agencies such as Citizens Advice, Community Law, community providers working with victims will also receive information about the new law.  

As this work progresses, more information will be available for employers and employees.

Auckland court support pilot showing positive signs

The early results from an evaluation of a pilot service being run in Auckland show it is making a positive difference for victims/survivors of sexual violence going through the criminal justice system.

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) contracted Auckland Sexual Abuse HELP Foundation Charitable Trust (Auckland HELP) to pilot the service.

This work aims to address a gap identified by the Law Commission’s 2015 report ‘The Justice Response to Victims of Sexual Violence.’

Early findings from an evaluation by Malatest International show the court support pilot:

  • provides clients with access to trauma informed client-centred care; specialist expertise, knowledge and understanding, advocacy, holistic support and preparation for the criminal justice system,
  • has a collaborative and close working relationship/interface with other services,
  • makes a positive difference for clients – court preparation, experiences and ability to manage anxieties and outcomes(before and after trial), and
  • is challenged with limited workforce capacity, gaps in culturally-appropriate services and low awareness across service providers.

MSD will work with the Ministry of Justice to make recommendations on future service delivery after the pilot ends on 30 June 2019.

Find out more(external link) about the court support pilot.

Would you like to host a community engagement?

If you are interested in hosting the Ministry of Justice and the Joint Venture business unit for a family violence and /or sexual violence engagement in your community, we’d love to hear from you!

We want to engage with practitioners and the public in as many centres as possible, to optimise the implementation of the new family violence law and gather input on the national strategy. 

Ideally, you’ll have a large room and strong connections with your community.

If you’re interested in being part of this work, please email

28 September 2018- Special edition

Doing things Differently to end Family Violence and Sexual Violence

The government has announced today that chief executives from across the public service will be leading and taking collective responsibility to end family violence and sexual violence.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in Gisborne, Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues), Jan Logie, outlined the “joint venture” approach which will ensure
every part of the government is working together in a strategic, planned way.

You can view the announcement on the Parliamentary Under-secretary Jan Logie's facebook page(external link)(external link)

Integrated practice across government and in communities can reduce family violence and sexual violence, so government must do things differently to achieve that integration.

This new way of working will bring chief executives together in a joint venture to deliver an integrated, whole-of-government approach to family violence and sexual violence. This will create a single point of accountability and leadership, as recommended by the sector and experts such as the Law Commission and the Family Violence Death Review Committee.

This change is about creating a system that works for victims, rather than victims doing all the work. Changing the way government works will lead to improvements in victims’ ability to access support, and will increase our ability to hold people using violence to account, work collectively to stop their violence, and help people using violence to access support to change their behaviours.

“Everyone should be able to live free from violence, but too often people don’t know where to go for help, or don’t have the right kind of help available to them. As a society, we have tragically failed to provide sustainable support or put resources into preventing family and sexual violence from happening in the first place,” says Jan Logie.

“We have to stop splitting this issue up into half a dozen unconnected silos. Family and sexual violence are complicated, affect every part of our community and demand a coordinated, committed response.”

Previous attempts at creating a whole-of-government response to family violence and sexual violence have lacked the mechanisms for collective leadership and ensuring accountability. Cabinet has agreed that the joint venture will lead the preparation of a single, whole-of-government package for Budget 2019 to align and prioritise resources to reduce family violence and sexual violence.  The joint venture will also lead the preparation of a collective annual report across all agencies to create a collective account of performance towards shared outcomes and a single point of accountability to Parliament and the public.

The joint venture’s work will be done by a business unit reporting to the chief executives on the Social Wellbeing Board: the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Oranga Tamariki, Health, Te Puni Kōkiri, Social Development, Education, Justice, with the addition of Police, ACC and Corrections because these agencies have a critical role in the family violence and sexual violence system.

The joint venture’s role is to lead, integrate, and provide support for everyone to ensure an effective whole-of-government response to family violence and sexual violence. Its first task will be to develop a national strategy and action plan to reduce and ultimately end family and sexual violence.

The joint venture will be informed by an independent Māori body (Te Rōpū) and wider external advisory group to support the government to work in partnership with the sector and to learn from the experience of victims, perpetrators, and children affected by violence. Building Māori partnership into the model, and ensuring those affected by violence are integral to our work, will help drive significant improvements in the system. 

The joint venture will also work with existing advisory groups, reference groups, boards and panels to ensure wider stakeholder input. This will include groups such as Rainbow, disability, the E Tu Whānau reference group, and Pasefika Proud. 

The Social Wellbeing Board Chief Executives are operating as the joint venture now. The Multi-Agency Team on Family Violence and Sexual Violence is transitioning to the business unit supporting the joint venture, with an acting Director. There will be a new identity for the business unit and a formal launch will take place before the end of the year.

The Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice will be the Lead Minister for Family Violence and Sexual Violence, responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the work programme for the joint venture.

The Lead Minister will be supported by a Ministerial group comprising the Minister of Justice, the Minister for Social Development, the Minister for Children, the Minister for Seniors, and the Minister for Māori Development. 

Sector organisations are invited to stay in touch with the joint venture business unit via the current Multi-Agency Team email, until the new identity is confirmed:

For more information about the joint venture: Q&A on the Joint Venture [PDF, 327 KB]

Te Rōpū

An interim Te Rōpū is being established to work in partnership with the Crown, Ministers, and the joint venture to help develop and shape initial work on a national strategy to prevent and reduce family violence, sexual violence and violence within whānau.

The interim Te Rōpū will be appointed by the Minister of Māori Development and the Lead Minister in consultation with the Minister of Māori/ Crown Relations. It will comprise up to ten members who bring appropriate skills and expertise and who can reflect communities, rangatahi and whānau, urban and regional Māori and wāhine Māori. The group will help inform the terms of reference of the permanent Te Rōpū, with advice due by April 2019.

Nominations to the interim Te Rōpū will be moving quickly. If you’d like to nominate somebody for the pool of potential appointees or want to know more about the Te Rōpū, please contact:

The National Strategy and Action plan

A draft strategy and action plan will be developed before the end of the year, through a design process that will involve victims, perpetrators and community experts. The interim Te Rōpū and a range of Māori experts will be invited to provide early advice on the design and development of the strategy. The Māori experts and wider stakeholder advisory groups will also have important roles in preparing the strategy, prioritising actions, informing effective responses, and holding government to account.

The strategy and action plan will also draw on the information communities have provided to government during past consultations on family violence, sexual violence and violence within whānau.

The draft strategy will be refined and developed through a formal consultation process early in 2019. New Zealanders will be invited to contribute their ideas and aspirations through an open and engaging process. This work will be cross-referenced with the development of the Child Wellbeing Strategy.

All New Zealanders have a part to play in preventing and reducing family violence and sexual violence. Everyone will have the opportunity to comment on the draft strategy and action plan, including identifying the actions that individuals, families/ whānau and communities can take.

2 August 2018- Invitation to provide feedback on draft family violence information sharing guidance

The Ministry of Justice has launched online consultation to enable practitioners in the family and sexual violence sectors to provide feedback on draft guidance about information sharing.

The guidance seeks to clarify and simplify the rules around information sharing. We invite you to provide feedback on the draft at:

The guidance discusses legal requirements and best practice, to provide practitioners with certainty about what the law says. It will be accompanied by tools for the sector, such as templates.

Submissions close on 5 September.

The guidance will be finalised and published to coincide with the entry-into-force of the new law.


The Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill provides greater clarity about requirements for family violence information sharing. The changes will support agencies to develop more integrated, seamless responses to people affected by family and sexual violence. To give effect to these provisions, the Ministry of Justice has developed guidance for practitioners in ‘family violence agencies and social service practitioners’* as described in the Bill. The guidance reflects feedback received during consultations on Family Violence Law Reform and in submissions on the Bill.

*For the purposes of the Bill, ‘family violence agencies and social services practitioners’ include any non-governmental organisation that is funded by government to perform functions or provide services to protect, or otherwise help, victims of family violence; or help people to stop inflicting family violence. They also include: ACC, Corrections, Education, Health, Housing NZ, Immigration NZ, Justice, Police, Oranga Tamariki, the Ministry of Social Development, District Health Boards, social housing providers, early childhood educators, schools, social workers, and GPs.

If you have any questions or feedback, please email

18 July 2018

Nau mai, haere mai. Welcome to the July edition of the e-Update from the Multi-Agency Team on Family and Sexual Violence.

The Multi-Agency Team is leading government efforts to create a coordinated, cross-government approach to preventing and responding to family and sexual violence.

Stay in touch and invite others to do the same

Following Budget 2018 announcements, we’ll have significant work progressing over the next six months and we want to ensure we can communicate directly with as many people as possible. This newsletter will play a central role in providing updates, so we’re keen to ensure we have as many people as possible on our email list.

Please forward this newsletter on to colleagues and partners you’re working with and encourage them to sign up for newsletters by emailing the Multi-Agency Team on Family and Sexual Violence at: 

We look forward to sharing further news about this work, in due course. Thanks!

Update from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Domestic and Sexual Violence), Jan Logie MP

This week (9 July) I’m at the United Nations in Geneva presenting the Government’s report to the Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), on behalf of my colleague Hon Julie Anne Genter. It feels very appropriate that the reason I’m going is the Minister for Women is going on maternity leave!

Among the issues the Committee has asked us to address in our presentation are family and sexual violence. As we know, these are significant issues for women in Aotearoa New Zealand. I’m looking forward to sharing information about the work we have underway and hearing the concluding observations of the experts on the Committee. This should give us a really clear picture of where we’re going.

In May, I participated in the Safer Ethnic Communities Ministerial Forum in Auckland where the focus was on social inclusion, family violence, and small business crime. This was an important opportunity for the Government to hear directly from ethnic community leaders. We know that often the best solutions come from the people directly affected by the issues.

And while we’ve been listening, in both the ethnic communities event and in Crown/Māori relationship hui, a similar and very important point has been made: that racism leads to people not accessing the services they need, even when they have been hurt by family violence and want help.

Ethnic women have told us how racism isolates them. They feel unable to ask for help because they don’t want to bring harm to their community, or they fear they won’t be listened to because of their ethnicity.

Māori have said they don’t feel safe or protected when they access services. They describe this having a detrimental impact across the whole spectrum but noticeably in family violence, suicide, education, health and prison incarceration rates.

Having the privilege of hearing about these issues reminded me that in our efforts to improve wellbeing, including transforming the systemic responses to family and sexual violence, it’s critical that we acknowledge that communities are our best asset. Communities are experts who can support the implementation of initiatives and policies in their communities, in ways that work for them.

Hearing that racism is impacting on people accessing support, points to the significant amount of work needed if we really want to improve safety. We know there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to either violence or racism, and our response has to be multi-faceted and at the same time well-coordinated and planned to ensure we aren’t leaving gaps for people to slip through.

I look forward to reporting back from the UN.

Safe to talk uncovers historic sexual abuse

Historic sexual abuse has been the most commonly reported issue raised with the new Safe to talk He pai ki e korero helpline.

People have also got in touch to find out how to support a friend, colleague or whānau member who has experienced sexual harm or has harmful sexual behaviours.

More than 1,200 people have contacted the new national sexual harm helpline since it began in February this year.

Of those people, 83 percent were female and 17 percent were male. The most frequent age group making contact (of those who provided details) has been those aged 13 to 19, followed by those aged 40 to 44. Of those who provided ethnicity details, 27 percent identified as Māori. 

Around 5 percent of those who got in contact were referred on to a face-to-face service provider with the most common referrals being made to Oranga Tamariki–Ministry for Children, Police, ACC and GPs.

Most people, some of whom were reaching out for the first time, were able to receive help and advice from helpline specialists.

Safe to talk is available to anyone affected by sexual harm in any way. It is available for free 24/7 by:

Calling: 0800 044 334

Texting: 4334


Visit the website for resources and webchat: link)

Making New Zealand the best country in the world to be a child

The Child Wellbeing Unit in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet is commencing work on the Government’s first Child Wellbeing Strategy. The Strategy, a requirement under the Child Poverty Reduction Bill, will take an evidence-based approach to identify what will make the greatest difference in children’s lives.

Government has suggested 16 potential child wellbeing focus areas and it will be engaging stakeholders on whether these are the right areas. These areas include a focus on reducing child poverty; and children being safe and nurtured in their whānau and home, free from abuse, neglect and family violence.  The Government will also be engaging on the vision statement, draft child wellbeing outcomes and principles that should underpin the Strategy.

Relevant Cabinet papers have been released(external link) and in the months ahead, anyone who is interested will have an opportunity to contribute to the development of the Strategy. You can sign up for email updates here(external link).

Atu Mai – Pasifika Violence Prevention Programme

ACC is investing $5.9m over the next five years towards establishing New Zealand’s first national Pasifika injury prevention programme, Atu-Mai, to achieve meaningful and relevant change for Pasifika young people.

Atu-Mai, launched by Hon Iain Lees-Galloway and Hon Aupito William Sio in Auckland on 4 July 2018, aims to equip Pasifika young people and their families with the right knowledge and skills to live free from violence, sexual harm and suicidal behaviour. Through a national plan, Atu-Mai will focus on prevention: providing protection from violence and reducing the likelihood of being a victim or offender of violence in the first place.

Le Va’s research over two years had identified the underlying conditions, risk factors and protective factors for violence, that are unique to Pasifika young people and different from the risk factors for the general New Zealand population.

The execution of this action plan will be underpinned by the establishment of a Pasifika Spearhead service that will both deliver and coordinate services in partnership with ACC and in collaboration with Pasifika young people and communities to provide evidence-informed education, training, resources and tools to meet the needs of Pasifika communities.

The launch featured powerful performances by Pasifika youth around resilience and hope.

You can find out more about Atu-Mai on the Le Va website(external link)

Workforce capability: Family and Sexual Violence Customer Response Guidelines for Justice

The Ministry of Justice has developed guidelines and training to support frontline staff to provide safe and appropriate responses to customers affected by family and/ or sexual violence.

In November 2017, the Ministry launched a ‘Responding to Family Violence’ package focused on supporting staff affected by family violence. The Ministry was awarded a SHINE DV Free Tick for that work. This next stage is about customers and includes a focus on both family and sexual violence.

Through online and face-to-face training, Justice staff will be equipped with skills to recognise the signs of family and sexual violence, respond, and, where needed, refer people to specialist services.

The work recognises that court staff form part of the family and sexual violence workforce, and are well placed to deliver a primary response to people affected by family and/ or sexual violence. It also reflects the role of the Ministry as a ‘family violence agency’ under the new legislation.

The customer response guidelines and training were developed in partnership with subject matter experts from courts, including Victims’ Advisors, Sexual Violence Victims’ Advisors, Family Court Coordinators and Court Registry Officers. Training is expected to commence in September.

Workforce capability: early adopters talk about the using the Framework

Implementation of the Workforce Capability Framework has begun with early adopters round New Zealand testing out its usefulness on the ground.

The Framework was launched by the New Zealand Government in 2017. Its purpose is to improve responses to people affected by family and sexual violence by building capability across the workforce.

This includes government agencies, family violence and sexual violence practitioners, organisations and volunteers. Its vision is a workforce that:

  • has a common understanding
  • is culturally appropriate
  • responds safely and respectfully
  • works together to maximise safety and support for victims, and
  • has shared practice principles.

The Framework is structured around six domains. Early adopters have welcomed the Framework, in particular a series of reflective questions for practitioners to use.

“We were so excited about being part of creating the Framework, we wanted to start rolling it out. We started doing testing in October last year,” said Sue Rudman, Manager of the Bream Bay Community Trust and Ruahine Albert (Roni), chief executive for the Waikato Women’s Refuge Te Whakaruruhau.

They were both on the design group for the Framework and have developed a training programme based on it. They trained staff at Te Whakaruruhau in Hamilton over a 10-week period, on different components from the first two domains:

  • Understanding people’s experiences of family violence
  • Sexual violence and violence within whānau, and
  • Upholding the dignity of people and their diverse cultural identities.

Training was for two full days each week with 40 staff attending in rotation.

Sue said over the last couple of decades she has seen robust training and good analysis of the dynamics of family violence fall away and this has impacted on practice and how agencies work together.

“With this training, we are putting the woman and her safety back in the centre of the picture. 20 years ago, having the correct analysis was really important and we want to bring that back. Yes, there may be other issues that present, such as mental health or addiction, but if the woman is being abused that has to be addressed. The victim has got lost in the whānau.”

Both Roni and Sue are encouraged by improved relationships with Government agencies as a result of the Framework’s emphasis on a common understanding and consistent practices so that everyone is working together for the client.

Roni said, “We’ve found switched on people in all the agencies we work with – Police, Work and Income, DHB. We had two guys at Corrections who knew how to navigate the red tape and get things done fast because they understood how it was for the person we were trying to help – the complexity. They can speed through the red tape.

Roni and Sue have found the reflective questions valuable. “It’s about non-judging – and knowing you’re not judging – by using reflective questions. We are transforming the way we are working with women and families. Rather than focusing on transforming the system, we are transforming the way we are working and that is transforming the system,” Sue said.

“If you change the people in the system, the system will change. There’s been a lack of understanding of the complexity of people’s situations. True understanding – by that I mean good old-fashioned analysis – clients can feel the difference. They know if a person is genuine and has integrity.”

“We need good relationships with Government agencies – Police, Justice, Health, Housing, Oranga Tamariki. Clients need easy access to the things we all need to survive and we get those things from the Government. If we want to help people with those basic needs we need buy-in from people in Government agencies.”

“We are hoping to bring everyone into the training. We’d like to see it adapted to different groups and communities. If we are all coming from the same understanding we can work for the client together and prevent blockages because of red tape.”

MSD Family Violence Funding Strategy

Good progress is being made on a programme of work to strengthen the funding and delivery of MSD-funded family violence services for whānau and families.

The first stage of this work, which focused on understanding the ‘current state’ of MSD-funded services, has now been completed. It included visits to a sample of MSD-funded providers, randomly selected across a range of services, and an online survey open to all MSD family violence providers.

The next stage of the programme is the development of a new MSD Family Violence Funding Strategy. This strategy will outline the family violence services that MSD will fund and how these will be commissioned. We want a future state where services are whānau-centred, outcomes-focused and integrated.

It is expected the strategy will be completed later this year. MSD will then be working with communities and the sector to co-design how to put the strategy into operation.

This will make a useful contribution to the Multi-Agency Team’s work on system improvements and the development of a whole-of-government strategy to prevent and reduce family and sexual violence.

Find out more about MSD’s family violence work programme(external link)

Research into pornography use

The Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) is about to commence the first phase of a major research project investigating young New Zealanders’ use of pornography. 

It is universally agreed that online pornography is not for children and adolescents. However, it is well established that many children and young people view it. There is significant concern amongst parents, young people, and those working in youth education and health about the potential effects of this exposure.

“Following consultations with a variety of agencies and researchers we have identified a need for robust, up-to-date evidence about the scope of the issue in New Zealand. We are looking at a phased approach, starting with a nationally representative quantitative survey which will in turn inform a qualitative phase,” says Chief Censor David Shanks.

Findings from phase one will be released at the end of 2018 and the qualitative phase will begin early 2019.

The OFLC’s most recently published research, Young New Zealanders Viewing Sexual Violence(external link), filled a gap in current research by giving young New Zealanders, frontline agencies, and sexual violence experts a voice to describe the effects of depictions of sexual violence in mainstream entertainment media. The third and final phase of the research involved 24 paired interviews with 48 young people aged 13 to 18 from around New Zealand.

For further information contact

Community engagements on family violence information sharing

The Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill provides greater clarity about requirements for family violence information sharing. The changes will support agencies to develop more integrated, seamless responses to people affected by family and sexual violence. To give effect to these provisions, the Ministry of Justice has developed guidance for practitioners in ‘family violence agencies and social service practitioners’ as described in the Bill. The guidance reflects feedback received during consultations on Family Violence Law Reform and in submissions on the Bill.

During August and September, the Ministry will be seeking feedback on the draft guidance to test that it meets the needs of practitioners. Following targeted face-to-face engagements, conversations with victims, and online submissions, the guidance will be finalised and published to coincide with the entry-into-force of the new law.

If you’re interested in reviewing the draft guidance, please email

Redesign of protection order application form

A newly designed – and simplified - protection order application form will be launched later this year. The Ministry of Justice has conducted a significant process of listening to customers’ voices to gain insights into people’s experiences of accessing and completing the form, as well as the system that sits around it. This process has helped inform the prototype for the new form, providing valuable insights for the redesign.   

Through this newsletter you will receive updates on current work, including the implementation of the Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill(external link)

We welcome your feedback so please email us at

17 May 2018 - Family and sexual violence work programme - Budget Special

Nau mai, haere mai.

Welcome to this special Budget edition of the e-Update from the Multi-Agency Team on Family and Sexual Violence. The Multi-Agency Team is leading government efforts to create a coordinated, cross-government approach to preventing and responding to family and sexual violence.

Dedicated body to lead and coordinate family and sexual violence system

The Government has announced funding for a dedicated body to lead the transformation of the family and sexual violence system.

Budget 2018 invests $2m in the establishment of the body, which will provide a single point of leadership and accountability for the whole-of-government response to family and sexual violence. It is responsible for improving the way in which Government agencies work together to reduce family violence and sexual violence, and how they engage meaningfully with service providers and the wider sector.

Jan Logie MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence), said, “An effective family and sexual violence system requires sustained leadership and coordination. It’s clear the current system is failing to prevent violence or provide the integrated responses people need. That’s why we’re creating a dedicated body to transform and lead the system.”

The body will set a clear direction for the Government’s commitment to prevent and reduce family and sexual violence, with a collective strategy designed in partnership with the sector, Māori and other stakeholders. The body will identify gaps in the system, inform the allocation of family and sexual violence investment across agencies, facilitate solutions by Māori, for Māori, and lead the system transformation needed so that we can reduce family and sexual violence.

The form this body will take will be confirmed in due course, but this initiative is consistent with recommendations made by recent reviews, including the Family Violence Death Review Committee, the Law Commission, the Productivity Commission, and the People’s Blueprint.

Significant funding boost for family violence services

In pre-Budget announcements, the Government announced an additional $76m(external link) over four years in Budget 2018 for front line social services working directly with families impacted by family violence.

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni, said, “The 30 percent increase in funding is critical to the Government’s efforts to begin to turn around New Zealand’s tragic family violence record. Additional funding in 2019/20 will enable these critical front line agencies to expand into areas where there isn’t currently any support or start addressing over demand in existing services. This funding will provide a boost to around 150 providers of family violence services nationwide.”

Through Budget 2018, the Government is allocating an additional $76.157 million over four years to support the delivery of Ministry of Social Development-funded family violence services for victims, perpetrators and their families.

Jan Logie MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice, said, “As we get started on the broader work of challenging and responding to family and sexual violence, it’s crucial that victims and their families are able to get the support they need now. Because they can’t wait.”

Minister for Children Tracey Martin said Budget 2018 funding would have an impact right across New Zealand.

“The announcement delivers on the Coalition Agreement between Labour and New Zealand First to increase funding in this area,” Tracey Martin said.

Whānau Protect – Safety at Home receives additional funding

Whānau Protect, a service which helps high-risk victims of family violence who want to leave violence behind, will receive more than $7.5m over the next four years(external link) in Budget 2018.

The funding will ensure the continuation of a service that reduces future victimisation and minimises social disruption by allowing victims to safely remain in their own homes.  Whānau Protect provides increased security features, such as monitored alarms. This initiative has been operating since 2008 in pilot locations (Christchurch, Tauranga and Auckland). It was expanded from June 2015 and achieved full nationwide delivery in March 2016, supporting around 400 high-risk victims each year.

Much-needed support for sexual abuse survivors

Survivors of sexual abuse will receive much-needed support with increased funding for sexual abuse assessment and treatment services(external link) in Budget 2018.

Sexual abuse and treatment services will receive $7.5 million over four years to provide help that is desperately needed by many New Zealanders. These services deliver acute and non-acute medical treatment, forensic services and referrals, which are important in helping prevent long-term effects such as ongoing distress and compromised wellbeing.

The Minister of ACC, Hon Iain Lees-Galloway said, “ACC works to reduce sexual assault in New Zealand and Budget 2018 has increased funding to services that work to prevent sexual abuse, and support victims through treatment.”

Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Justice Jan Logie, who has the first dedicated role in the Executive focused on family and sexual violence in New Zealand’s history said, “This Government is committed to ensuring people are supported and violence is prevented. Our plan includes properly resourcing sexual abuse assessment and treatment services, so I’m pleased that these crucial services are receiving the first significant funding increase from central government since 2008. It has been long overdue.”

Increased funding for Victim Support Services

Victim Support Services will get more than $13.5m extra over four years(external link) to ensure victims of crime and trauma have access to crisis response and long-term social support services. There will also be some financial assistance to help people with costs associated with being a victim of crime.

Through this newsletter you will receive updates on current work, including the implementation of the Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill(external link). We welcome your feedback so please email us at

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30 April 2018

Addressing family and sexual violence essential to wellbeing – Under-Secretary Logie

On International Women’s Day, Jan Logie MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence) addressed a group of stakeholders(external link) in Auckland where she set out her vision and described the prevention of domestic and sexual violence as “one of our greatest opportunities for improving wellbeing and building a cohesive society.”

Jan Logie MP(external link) says her first few months as Under Secretary have been full of intense discussions about how to transform the family and sexual violence systems. “Whether I am meeting with Ministerial colleagues, government officials, advocates from the community sector, or victims of violence, every conversation is about the critical shifts we need for an integrated and effective system.

“As we finalise the priorities for the work programme for this term of Parliament, I am drawing on the knowledge of many and I’m pleased to hear some consistent messages coming through. People are talking with me about the importance of good law, enabling behaviour change so that people know what we need them to do, ensuring government agencies work together, investing in prevention, hearing victims’ voices, kaupapa Māori responses and adequate funding,” says the Under-Secretary.

If you wish to contact the Under-Secretary’s office, please email: 

Ministry of Justice awarded SHINE DV Free Tick

The Ministry of Justice has been awarded the Shine DVFree Tick in recognition of its efforts to create a workplace that is safe and supportive for staff experiencing family violence.

Specialist Domestic Violence Agency Shine awards the Tick to employers. The Ministry is the first public sector organisation to receive the award and only the second to ever receive it in New Zealand, following Westpac in 2017.

 A Ministry Workplace Family Violence Policy was launched in November 2017 and a group of Family Violence Contact People within the Ministry was trained as first responders.  Anyone affected by family violence, whether they are a victim or perpetrator, can contact them for help and be connected to a specialist service as well as access policy provisions such as special leave and safety plans.

Pathways to help at the Ministry are clearly articulated and include managers who receive training on how to support their staff.  The two-hour training session is mandatory and will have been completed by all of the Ministry’s 470 managers by the end of May this year.

All other staff attend an introductory face-to-face session where specialist support is available.

An e-learning module and awareness raising activities support the programme.

The Ministry is an early adopter of changes in practice and behaviour recommended in the Family Violence Workforce Capability Framework. Receiving the award Chief Executive Andrew Bridgman called on other public sector organisations to follow its lead.

New Safe to talk helpline

A new national helpline called Safe to talk He pai ki te kōrero(external link) is now available 24/7 to provide free and confidential support to people affected by sexual harm. People can get advice and support from trained specialists and be connected to support services in their community.

It is the first time people affected by sexual harm have been able to seek help anonymously at any time from one central place. The helpline is available to anyone affected in any way by sexual harm – this includes those who have harmed someone else or have thoughts about causing harm.

Concerned friends, family and whānau can also seek information and advice.

Safe to talk is available for free 24 hours a day, seven days a week by:

Safe to talk has been set up as part of the Government's commitment to better support people affected by sexual harm and to prevent sexual harm by ensuring more people get the help they need at the right time.

It is being run by Homecare Medical who run a number of other helplines including Healthline and Quitline.

Integrated Safety Response (ISR) to Family Violence

The Multi-Agency Team (MAT), in partnership with the National Integrated Safety Response (ISR) team, is beginning the evaluation of phase two of the ISR pilots. This follows the first evaluation(external link) report released in August 2017. Findings of this report, after year one of the pilot, were promising – adult victims and children are better protected, perpetrators are better supported to stop their violent behaviour, and families and whānau are supported to live in non-violent homes.

Analysis of Police reports of family harm episodes found that two-thirds of ‘predominant aggressors’ had no further reported family harm episodes, or that subsequent episodes were less frequent and/or less serious than those in the six months before contact with ISR.  Recommendations for improvement to the pilots were also made. 

Despite these promising early results, more information is needed to inform decisions about next steps, hence the extension of the pilot for another two years.

The phase two evaluation will be the final evaluation of the ISR pilots in Christchurch and Waikato, and will help to inform ongoing advice to Ministers on the future of integrated and crisis response practice in New Zealand.

The objectives of this evaluation are to:

  • Understand the effectiveness of ISR compared to previous or existing crisis responses     
  • Determine whether ISR represents a good return on investment (costs/benefit analysis)
  • Understand the distinct features of ISR and the context required for ISR to work optimally
  • Examine the efficiency of the model (process evaluation)

 The evaluation will also look at the responsiveness of the ISR to whānau Māori and at the end of April we are commencing the design of the kaupapa Māori evaluation with a group of experts in whānau-centred evaluation.The final evaluation report will be delivered in June 2019 and insights and learnings will be shared publicly.

New Police approach to family harm

Police is gearing up to launch its new approach to family harm toward the end of May this year.

Acting Superintendent Bronwyn Marshall, Safer Whānau Business Change Manager, says the new approach is the biggest transformation of Police service delivery around family harm in more than a generation.

“Simply put, it’s all about new ways of thinking and working for many Police staff,” says Bronwyn.

“It involves new language, new mobile and desktop technology, new risk measures, and safety tools, all of which contribute to carrying out a quality family harm investigation at the scene - now known as a 5F.”

A training programme is underway for Police staff in the new approach and partner agencies and NGOs are being briefed ahead of go-live.

“This change presents a fantastic opportunity to prevent and reduce family harm,” says Bronwyn.

“Our training and the use of the new tools and resources on a day-to-day basis will really make a difference for the families we’re called to help, and provide better quality information for our partner agencies and NGOs to support families experiencing harm.”

The new approach is part of the wider Police Safer Whānau work programme(external link) which aims to reduce the harm families in New Zealand are experiencing, through transforming the Police response and partnering with iwi, community and other agencies to assist the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities exposed to family harm.

To find out more about the Police Safer Whānau work programme, please email:

Workforce Capability and Risk Assessment and Management Frameworks

The Multi-Agency Team (MAT) is leading the implementation of the Family Violence, Sexual Violence and Violence within Whānau Workforce Capability Framework and the Family Violence Risk Assessment and Management Framework, released last year. These set out the skills, knowledge and actions needed to provide safe, effective, integrated responses to people affected by violence.

We’ve heard from a few ‘early adopters’ who are making use of the Frameworks to improve responses to whānau and families. We are gathering stories about how people are putting the Frameworks into practice so if you would like to tell us about what’s happening in your area, please get in touch.

In March, the Multi-Agency Team hosted a co-design workshop with some family violence network coordinators, community educators and good practice leaders, to get ideas on easy ways to get started with Workforce Capability Framework. Workshop participants came up with some great ideas for resources that would help promote the workforce capabilities and principles. Look out for some of those new resources coming soon!

Careerforce(external link), the Industry Training Organisation (ITO) for the social service and wellbeing sectors, is currently working with the MAT and a small group of family violence service providers to develop and test products to align the Framework to a workplace learning programme. The programme will contribute to the New Zealand Diploma in Health and Wellbeing (Applied) Level 5.

To create an engaging and dynamic approach, Careerforce is developing an interactive graphic of Kia Puawai, with Shayne Walker outlining the kaupapa and principles of the Framework and its domains. This will support people to get familiar with the Framework and how to apply it in their practice. Careerforce is aiming to have the programme available for the sector by the middle of 2018.

MAT is continuing conversations with local and national groups on using and improving the Frameworks. If you have feedback on these, please contact Sheryl Hann,

Integrated Safety Response (ISR) training 

ISR is a multi-agency pilot to ensure the immediate safety of victims and children, and to work with perpetrators to prevent further violence. The pilot is led by Police and is part of the Government’s broader Family Violence and Sexual Violence Work Programme.  ISR is operating in two sites – Christchurch area (Christchurch metro, North Canterbury and Selwyn) and the Waikato District and has funding to operate through to June 2019.

The new ISR training programme is due to be rolled out from early June 2018. The primary audience for the training are those working in government agencies, Non-Government Organisations, and ISR site staff (300 in the Waikato and Chch pilot areas).

The programme is a blended learning solution, which includes:

  • a series of five e-learning modules introducing the key concepts and knowledge on ISR eg. Introduction to ISR and Risk Assessment modules
  • a series of 7 one-hour workshops led by ISR site Specialist Practice Leads eg. ISR and our community and Leading Family Safety Plans
  • a Performance Support tool based around the ISR process, for learners to access key information ‘in moment of need’
  • coaching and support from experts and people leaders.

Once finalised, some of the training material will be available on the ISR website and may be of interest and use to other family violence practitioners.

Find out more about the ISR pilot and training(external link)

Implementation of new law

The Ministry of Justice is the lead agency for the implementation of the Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill(external link). While the timing for the passage of the Bill and its entry into force are subject to Parliamentary decisions, work is underway to enable new court processes and ways of working in anticipation of new law.

Simplifying and aligning Protection Order and Care of Children applications

In support of the changes in the Bill, the Ministry is working to simplify and align protection order application forms and Care of Children Act (COCA) forms. The need to simplify the forms was identified in public consultations on the family violence reforms.

The complexity of the current forms means it can be difficult for people to complete them and provide the information Judges need when considering an application.

Aligning the protection order and COCA forms recognises that people applying for protection orders may also have to complete forms seeking Family Court decisions about the care of their children. Ensuring some consistency in the look and feel of the forms will make it easier for customers. 

The design process is enabling input from victims of family violence, specialist service providers, Police, and the judiciary. Once new prototype forms are created, these will be tested with relevant audiences to ensure the best possible products.

For more information about the implementation of the new law, please email

E Tū Whānau: Touch NZ creates whānau-first kaupapa

A commonsense way of managing conflict during Touch Rugby games has drawn high praise from players, supporters and officials who experienced kōrero AWHI in practice at the 2018 E Tū Whānau National Touch championships held in Auckland’s Pulman Park in March.

Inspired by values fundamental to the E Tū Whānau movement, Touch NZ Community Project Manager Moni Collins, developed the AWHI Side-line Behaviour Promise, a code of positive behaviour that Touch NZ expected everyone to adhere to throughout the tournament.

The result was a peaceful, fun-filled tournament and lots of kōrero about living with aroha and practicing tikanga – that which is tika, that which is right – in all aspects of life.

The power of kōrero awhi

One example of the AWHI Side-line Behaviour strategy in action involved a side-line marshall called Roger who had to confront a parent yelling aggressively at opposition players and the referee. He explained how consciously taking a kōrero awhi approach to the incident had a great outcome.

“I saw my job as trying to assist him in any way possible to stay and enjoy the game. If he’d continued to threaten players and the referees I’d have taken action, even called the police, but that would have been a last resort.

“Anyways, when I talked to him, he said that he didn’t even realise he was doing that. He was so sorry, and didn’t want to leave because he wanted to support his son, so we just thanked him for his kōrero. I invited him to enjoy the tournament and continue to uphold the mana of his team and their whānau, and that was it.”

“Everyone always gives us marshalls the evils, but now there’s this whānau word being used and that’s how we roll. Saying something like ‘Come on whānau, get behind the line’ sounds comfortable and makes things easier to deal with.”

Lucy Buchanan, a member of the Counties Manukau Open Women’s Touch Team and mother of a nine-year-old player, has also noticed the positive influence E Tū Whānau has had on the code. “

“There’s more enthusiasm, a change of attitude, and people aren’t afraid to stand up against violence anymore. Our etiquette has changed so much, especially in the words we say, and the words we choose, and that’s good for our kids. It’s the example we’re giving them.”

Riki Enosa from Counties Manukau and selector for the NZ Touch Trans-Tasman Squad 2018 rates the programme as a great success.

“E Tū Whānau and the AWHI promise have made excellent steps in the right direction by making all players accountable, and responsible, for their own actions.

“The AWHI campaign is showing us a way to be and how to act when we are representing both our code and our whānau. And there’s so much more compassion for referees and players as well.”

Rob Matthews, North Harbour board member sees great potential in the AWHI programme.

“It’s a document for all cultures and all creeds and has received the buy-in from all provincial teams. It’s a unifying document, it could be tweaked, but more importantly, it’s got the ball rolling.”

More information on the E Tū Whānau movement can be found on: link)

Joint procurement of programmes

The Ministry of Justice and the Department of Corrections have been working closely to align its contracts for family violence perpetrator non-violence programmes from 1 July 2018. A separate but aligned process is underway to procure MOJ safety programmes for adult and child victims of domestic violence. One of the main aims of this work is to offer providers more flexibility around programme delivery, so they can offer more responsive services in their communities. Both agencies require specialist framework programmes for Māori, and specific population groups including Pasifika, Asian/Indian/African/Middle Eastern and Chinese.

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13 February 2018

New Parliamentary Under Secretary to the Minister of Justice

(Domestic and Sexual Violence)

The Government has created the new position of Parliamentary Under Secretary focused on family and sexual violence. Jan Logie MP(external link) has been appointed to the role, bringing her extensive knowledge of the issues and the sector to her work. Under Secretary Logie has been a consistent advocate for those affected by family and sexual violence. She will lead the Government’s work on the design of an integrated and responsive family violence system, engagement with the sector, responses to the Law Commission report on justice responses to victims of sexual violence, and the implementation of new family violence law. If you wish to contact the Under Secretary’s office, please email: 

New faces at the Multi-Agency Team for Family and Sexual Violence (MAT)

Sarah Holden is the newly appointed Director of the MAT for Family and Sexual Violence, replacing Rosemary Cook. Sarah has over 30 years of public policy experience in the UK and New Zealand, with senior management roles in a variety of government departments and agencies. She is passionate about social justice, having spent a childhood in Africa and a further 20 years at the UK Department for International Development designing solutions to reduce poverty. When at the New Zealand Ministry of Health, she sat on the Family Violence Taskforce, and has joined us at the MAT to complete what she considers to be “unfinished business”. When not working for government she runs a high-tech start-up.

Hannnah Cranston has taken up the role of Programme Manager of the MAT, replacing Bryan Smith. Hannah came to New Zealand from the UK in 2009, having been a Domestic Violence Coordinator for Avon & Somerset Police and a Northern Somerset Council. There, she managed the establishment of Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) and a specialist domestic violence court. Here, her first job was as the National Services Manager for Women’s Refuge, and then the prevention coordinator for the Wellington Sexual Abuse Network (now the Sexual Abuse Prevention Network). Hannah is currently on secondment to the multi-agency team. Her substantive role is the manager for Sector Investment in the Ministry of Justice’s Sector Group, where she managed the social investment approach to justice programme. She lives in Lower Hutt with her beautiful but very naughty cat, Raj.

Evaluating the Integrated Safety Response (ISR)

The MAT is leading the final evaluation of the Integrated Safety Response pilots, which are operationally led by the NZ Police. The first evaluation(external link) was released in August 2017 by the Social Policy Evaluation Unit (SUPERU). While only a small number of people were interviewed for that evaluation, all of the victims that were interviewed reported feeling safer, with many noticing improvements in their overall wellbeing. Sixty-three per cent reported a complete stop to the abuse following ISR involvement.

The scope of the final evaluation is still under development, but is intended to build on our understanding of the outcomes achieved for people and families / whānau who have gone through the ISR process and associated services. This evaluation will be conducted in close partnership with the Police, Oranga Tamariki and providers working in the pilots.

The evaluation will inform future advice to Ministers about the next steps for the ISR. For more information or if you would like to be involved in the evaluation please contact

Implementing new law

The Ministry of Justice is the lead agency for the implementation of the Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill(external link). While the timing for the passage of the Bill and its entry into force are still to be confirmed, work is underway to enable new court processes and ways of working in anticipation of new law.

Here’s an update on a couple of the work streams.

Risk and needs assessment

The Bill provides for a risk and needs assessment service for perpetrators of violence. This service will be accessible for those subject to Police Safety Orders. We are taking the opportunity whilst designing this service to explore the potential for more referral pathways into this service from other parts of the family violence system, including self and whanau / community referrals.

A multi-disciplinary team from the family violence sector and Government, with expertise in risk assessment and service delivery is working collaboratively to design a prototype for future services. The goal is to create a risk and needs assessment service that is easily accessible, appropriate, and delivered specifically for perpetrators to take practical action to stop violence. In support of this work, the team will be engaging with perpetrators and victims of violence, including wider whānau and family.

Understanding the people who engage with Courts

This work stream is focused on ensuring the voices of the people who use Court services are a primary consideration in the implementation of legislative changes.

Customer voices are initially being sought on three specific issues:

  1. The safety of victims (including children) in family violence bail decisions,
  2. Simplifying the protection order application form, and
  3. Improving system responses to a protection order being issued.

Through face to face interviews, the Ministry is gaining an understanding of people’s experience of current processes. As the work progresses, new processes and forms will be tested so that we can ensure they meet the needs of customers. Community stakeholders will also have an opportunity to contribute their expertise and we’ll advise relevant organisations as the timing for this work is confirmed.

This people-centred approach will enable greater responsiveness to cultural perspectives and the needs of the more vulnerable members of our communities, especially children, those with disabilities, LGBTQI, and the elderly.

New resources for victims of sexual violence

Sexual harm helpline

The Ministry of Social Development is developing a new national sexual harm helpline called ‘Safe to talk’.

The helpline will provide, for the first time, nationwide 24/7 access to free, confidential information and support to anyone affected by sexual harm.

The helpline will go live on 19 February in the Canterbury region. This will provide an opportunity to test the new helpline and work with providers and users of sexual harm services to strengthen the referral pathways before ‘Safe to talk’ goes live nationally in April.

Navigating the justice system

The Ministry of Justice is developing new online guidance and information so that victims of sexual violence and their supporters can easily access information about what to expect in the court process.

The guide is intended to reduce the trauma and secondary victimisation associated with the judicial process, as recommended by the Law Commission’s 2015 report The Justice Response to Victims of Sexual Violence.

The Ministry is working with other government agencies, with organisations who work with victims, and with victims themselves to ensure the resource meets the needs of people who will use it. Victims’ voices will be included by way of quotes and links to other websites.

For information please contact:

Two billboards inside Wairoa

Billboards featuring members of E Tū Wairoa, the home grown, whānau-first movement to rid Wairoa of violence, stand at either end of the town’s famous bridge.

E Tū Wairoa is a network of local whānau and community leaders committed to building a community that encourages and supports people from all backgrounds to live violence free lives. Members came together two and a half years ago, inspired by E Tū Whānau and supported by a small team at MSD, to encourage a collective stance against violence based on the unique cultural strengths of Te Ao Māori.

E Tū Wairoa is a great example of the way E Tū Whānau’s kaupapa is adopted, adapted, and used to influence and encourage positive change within communities. A marae-based tāne group is run by the participants themselves, with the support of Oranga Tamariki. Its success, is generating conversation around town, and is driven by the men deciding how they will work together to change their own attitudes and violent behaviours.

E Tū Wairoa has a similar group for wāhine. It holds community events and actively promotes the E Tū Whānau Charter of Commitment.  The Charter has scores of new signatories, and information on the kauapapa is currently on display at the Wairoa Council offices. Flags carrying E Tū Whānau values fly along Wairoa’s bridge.

They and the billboards, have encouraged conversations about the way individuals and their families can make positive changes, in ways big and small, that reverberate throughout their communities.

More information on the E Tū Whānau movement can be found on link)

Justice & Corrections align contracting

As part of the cross-agency work to join up the family violence system, the Ministry of Justice and Department of Corrections are aligning their procurement and contracting processes for specialist perpetrator interventions (family violence programmes) and safety programmes for adults and children. Streamlining these contracts will help reduce providers’ compliance costs, allowing more time with the people who need support.

All contracted providers have now been offered contract extensions until 30 June 2018 to allow for procurement to take place, with new aligned contracts to begin on 1 July 2018.

In roadshows around the country in late 2017, providers were able to ask questions about what the alignment of contracts would entail. Alignment means service delivery, pricing, and contract administration will be consistent.

The joint MOJ and Corrections Request for Proposal was published on GETS on 23 January 2018 and is open for responses until 27 February 2018.

Progress in support of sexual harm services

The Ministry of Social Development is making progress to stabilise specialist sexual harm services to better support victims and prevent sexual harm.

The Ministry of Social Development has been working closely with providers in the sexual harm sector to develop:

  • Sexual harm crisis support services
  • Harmful sexual behaviour services for non-mandated adults
  • Services for male survivors of sexual abuse.

One of the important achievements over the past year has been the roll-out of three-year contracts to all 33 existing specialist sexual harm crisis support service providers.

These contracts, as well as the introduction of new service guidelines and reporting measures, are helping to stabilise the sector and build capacity and capability. Work is currently underway to fill the remaining geographical gaps in services.

Harmful sexual behaviour

A kaupapa Māori pilot aimed at addressing harmful sexual behaviour for non-mandated adults (adults not in the criminal justice system) started on 1 February in Te Atatu, Auckland.

The provider, Korowai Tumanako, will work holistically with Māori men who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour and their whānau support network. The aim is to prevent sexual harm, increase safety, and restore and enhance the mana of whānau and communities.

Services for male survivors

Consultation has been underway with the male survivor sector to develop services to support male survivors of sexual abuse. Further work will continue this year.

Find out more about the Ministry of Social Development’s work programme(external link)

Workforce capability

The Multi-Agency team (MAT) is responsible for a cross-government work programme to reduce family and sexual Violence. An important element of its work is supporting organisations to build the capabilities of their staff to prevent, recognise and respond to family violence.

In collaboration with sector leaders, the MAT has already developed a Workforce Capability Framework and the Family Violence and Risk Assessment and Management  Framework. In support of this work, the MAT is working with early adopters of the frameworks to develop guidelines for users. It is also developing proposals for ongoing support for organisations to build their capabilities, through:

  • Partnerships with organisations to enable the development of training materials, qualifications, practice guidelines, organisational policies and other ‘infrastructure’ necessary to build the capability of their workforces in support of an improved family violence system.
  • Support for platforms, resources, and networking initiatives to connect organisations and workers to share best practice approaches
  • Practical advice and support to organisations and FV networks for them to build organisational and workforce capability.     

One example of building workforce capability is the Ministry of Justice work to enable safe responses to staff and customers who may be affected by family violence and sexual violence. The Ministry has developed a workplace family violence policy and is implementing it through training for managers, information sessions for all employees, an online training module, and the appointment of family violence Contact People who will provide support to staff. The second stage of this work is focused on training and supporting frontline staff with their responses to customers who are affected by family or sexual violence.  

To make contact with the MAT please contact

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16 June 2017

Research on family violence services starts next week

The multi-agency team has commissioned research to help improve understanding of the depth and breadth of family violence service needs. Research consultancy Allen + Clarke, supported by specialist researchers Devon Polaschek, Sue Carswell, Hector Kaiwai and Louise Dixon will examine the range of services needed by family and whānau affected by family violence, and identify and asses options for people to get timely access to this help and support.

Over the coming weeks, the research team will be interviewing providers from around the country, and across all types of services including both family violence specialist and general (such as mental health and AOD). They will also be speaking to victims and perpetrators who have been appropriately and ethically selected by providers. Naturally, the researchers can’t speak to everyone, but if you’d particularly like to take part, you are welcome to email us a few lines about the service you provide, where you are located, and who your clients are, and we will pass those on to the researchers. They can then make some additional selections, in keeping with the sampling methodology.

Summit survey closes today

So far 81 people have given their views on the topics discussed at last week’s Family Violence Summit 2017. The most frequently commented on topic has been ‘helping children and their whānau to live without family violence’ with 62 responses. The survey closes at midnight tonight. You can make a submission here. Analysing of the submissions will start next week, and once complete, we’ll share the results online and through this newsletter.

The outcomes from the Summit and the online survey will feed into the work of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence.

Watch Summit speakers online

Replays of speeches from Ministers, the chair and the keynote speakers are now available at link). Copies of Frameworks Minister Adams and Minister Tolley launched two frameworks at the Summit that were developed with the sector. The Workforce Capability Framework outlines the competencies, knowledge, skills and organisational structures that support the workforce to recognise and respond to family and sexual violence. The Risk Assessment and Management Framework outlines how to screen, assess and manage family violence risk, so that people get a consistent, effective response wherever they go for help. More practice guidance is also being developed. Both documents are available online for you to read, and begin thinking about how they fit with the services you provide. They are designed to assist and support you.

If you’d like copies sent to you, email us at

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9 June 2017

Family Violence Summit concludes

This week’s Family Violence Summit, hosted by Justice Minister Amy Adams and Minister for Social Development and Children Anne Tolley, brought together 120 people from across the sector, and so far 56 people have also made an online contribution to the discussion.

Watch and comment

You can view replays of the talks given by Ministers, keynotes speakers and chair Sir Wira Gardiner from Monday next week. They will be online at link).

We are continuing to collect thoughts, ideas and suggestions from anyone with an interest in combating family violence until next Friday (June 16). Make a submission.

Frameworks launched

Minister Adams and Minister Tolley launched two frameworks on the day that were developed with the sector. The Workforce Capability Framework outlines the competencies, knowledge, skills and organisational support needed by the workforce to recognise and respond to family and sexual violence. It sets the benchmark expected of the workforce. The Risk Assessment and Management Framework outlines how to screen, assess and manage family violence risk, so that people get a consistent, effective response wherever they go for help.

We invite you to read and reflect on these documents. They are available online, and if you’d like a copy, email us at

Over the next few months, the Risk Assessment and Management Framework will be tested by sector organisations, and at the same time supporting codes of practice, guidance and training will be developed. The Workforce Capability Framework is ready for everyone to test on the ground.

Summit outcomes

We’re collecting and analysing the views raised at the Summit and online, and once that’s done we’ll share them via this newsletter. In the meantime, here are a couple of thoughts from two of the day’s keynote speakers.

Senior Lecturer at Otago University’s Sociology, Gender and Social Work department, and Chair of the Social Workers Registration board Shayne Walker says there were “at times some fantastic korero”, but it’s got to be “beyond a talkfest”.

“Please have a good, in depth read of the Workforce Capability Framework. Chew it, swallow what you can and interpret it so you can use it now. I apologise if we have not included all of your dreams and aspirations within its pages, but as a framework it becomes transformative as everyone knows clearly what their job is and how to do it. In this sense we can respect each other more and work from an agreed set of principles, knowledge and actions.

“Once you have started using the frameworks, we need to create a new narrative about Family Violence 6 months out, 12 months out and 2 years out. Those who came to this event and all of those they work with require us to do this so we can have a different conversation in 3 years’ time.”

Sue Hobbs, who has worked in family violence prevention for over 30 years, and who developed the Safeguarding Adults Against Abuse (SAFA) integrated safety response, says the Summit was significant in that it raised the profile of older adults, disabled people, and adults with complex care and support needs.

“The invisible community is not recognised well in the system. It was good to be able to highlight before Ministers and participants the reality of adults who (in the same way as children) are often not able to remove themselves from risk of serious harm.”

A challenge for us all

As part of his personal reflection on the day, Shayne has thrown down a challenge he calls ‘Potential of the Present’ – an idea for a ground swell movement based on a simple, spreadable action.

“What if we all went home from the Summit to our families and whanau and called a family gathering / meal to clarify our own beliefs and actions regarding family violence. The agenda could be:

  • What is violence and is it ever acceptable?
  • What is a coercive relationship?
  • If we see it or are affected, who do we agree to talk to and what do we agree to do?
  • How can we spread this conversation into each of our wider circles of friends and acquaintances?

“With some simple maths, 10 people can become 1,000,000 people. We can create a movement of discussion, knowledge and action. Let’s ask ourselves as leaders in the field – am I prepared to have this conversation in my own family and whanau?”
Shayne says if you like the idea “or want to talk about a better one”, please get in touch at

The outcomes from the Summit and the online survey will feed into the work of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence.

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May 2017

We want to hear from you

On June 7 a Family Violence Summit will be held in Wellington, bringing together people from across the sector to build on the conversation to date about breaking the patterns of family violence and working together effectively.

The Summit is being hosted by Justice Minister Amy Adams and Social Development Minister, Anne Tolley, and chaired by Sir Wira Gardiner.

Although not everyone could be invited, we very much want to gather views from as wide a cross-section of the sector as possible.

We’ve created a web page, on which there’s an online survey so you can comment on the Summit themes, or any other aspect of family violence, and can also watch live-streaming of the Ministerial and keynote addresses, and the Chair's summary from 8:20am to 10:00am and from 4:20pm to 4:50pm on June 7.

After the Summit, we will publish the key points and issues raised on the day, as well as those raised online. The results will feed into the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence.
The Summit themes are:

  • Helping children and their whānau to live without family violence
  • Kaupapa Māori whānau-centred approaches
  • Taking opportunities to intervene earlier
  • Supporting seniors, people with disabilities and migrant communities

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April 2017

Family Violence Summit

A national summit on family violence, hosted by Justice Minister Amy Adams and Social Development Minister, Anne Tolley, will take place in Wellington on June 7.

The Summit will bring together people from the sector to continue the conversation about how we work together and make change to break the pattern of family violence and reduce harm. Invitees will cover a broad cross-section of interests and views including NGOs, support workers, victims, former perpetrators and government agencies.

It supports the work already underway as part of the Government’s family violence reforms, which includes the introduction of the Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill to overhaul the Domestic Violence Act and strengthen family violence laws.

Although numbers are limited for this event, the Summit is one of many opportunities there will be to engage with the sector.

Any further questions, feel free to contact

New multi-agency team to drive Family Violence and Sexual Violence work programme

A new multi-agency team has been established to co-ordinate and drive the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. The multi-agency team is made-up of officials drawn from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Social Development, Corrections and Police.

Bringing together the various agencies under one team reflects the need for a joined up and integrated response to family and sexual violence, by Crown agencies and across the sector. As the work programme has progressed we have found it increasingly important to ensure that all the connections between the work are being made at every level. The multi-agency team is an efficient and effective way to achieve that.

Government agencies will continue to deliver many major aspects of the work programme individually, whilst the overarching strategy will be co-ordinated through this team.

More information about the work programme

Any further questions, feel free to contact

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December 2016

In this update you’ll find:

Programme overview

The Government is committed to reducing family violence and sexual violence and keeping victims safe. A cross-government work programme is dedicated to addressing this challenge.

The programme focuses on preventing violence, reducing the harm it causes, better supporting victims, and holding perpetrators to account and helping them change their behaviour. It brings together a wide range of government agencies including the ministries of Social Development, Justice, Health and Education, NZ Police, ACC and Department of Corrections, among others. The programme is overseen by a ministerial group, co-chaired by the ministers of Justice and Social Development – that’s why these efforts are officially referred to as the Ministerial Work Programme on Family Violence and Sexual Violence.

We’re aiming to create an effective, integrated system by working closely together with government agencies, NGOs, service providers, community providers and people who need support from the system.

We know people and organisations across the family and sexual violence sector are working hard – especially at this time of year – and are committed to addressing violence. We’ll continue to seek their input and draw on their expertise so we can collectively develop a system that works well and makes a difference.

For more information about the programme, go to:

Family violence and sexual violence work programme

Risk Assessment and Management Framework

The Risk Assessment and Management Framework (RAMF) is a project led by the Ministry of Justice. The RAMF will support a shared understanding of family violence and its dynamics and help establish a consistent and integrated approach by agencies and services to screening, risk assessment and risk management.

Consultation feedback and next steps

During the consultation in August and September, we received substantial and really useful feedback from a wide range of family violence stakeholders. We’re very grateful for their insights on how to strengthen the framework.

There was overwhelming support for what the RAMF is trying to achieve and there’s clearly a need for it. However, based on the feedback, we also have a lot of work to do to develop a RAMF that’s fit for purpose. With this in mind, we’ll develop and implement the RAMF in 2 phases.

In phase 1, the original draft RAMF is being comprehensively reworked. It will now provide an overarching framework containing principles and expectations for organisations and individuals that work with people affected by family violence. It will include a whānau-centered kaupapa Māori approach, strong recognition of children, and practices for responding to diverse population groups (for example, different ethnic communities, refugees, LGBTI peoples). We’ll continue to refine the overarching framework into 2017, to allow more sector engagement and to ensure it aligns with other work that’s going on, especially the Workforce Capability Framework being led by the Ministry of Social Development (see below).

In phase 2, we’ll develop sector-specific practice guidance, risk assessment tools and training material. From early 2017, we’ll work with ‘early adopters’ to develop this content.  This will help ensure everyone adopts a common and widely accepted approach, with guidance and tools tailored to specific sectors. This process will also respond to consultation feedback which highlighted a need to work more collaboratively, sector-by-sector and with Māori to develop practice guidance for the RAMF. As with phase 1, we’ll closely cooperate with the Family Violence Workforce Development Project.

We’ll work on both phases concurrently, although the latter work will run for longer. How and when the RAMF will be rolled out more widely hasn’t been decided yet, but this will be informed by our ongoing work with the sector.

For more information on the feedback we received, including a summary of submissions and the consultation workshop summary report, see:

Risk assessment and management framework consultation(external link)

Workforce Capability Framework

The draft 'Family Violence, Sexual Violence and Violence within Whānau Workforce Capability Framework' sets a vision for excellence in the family violence and sexual violence workforce.

Co-designed by a sector-led Expert Design Group, the draft framework identifies the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for a safe and competent family violence and sexual violence workforce. It covers all people, organisations and communities that work with family and sexual violence in New Zealand.

The framework poses questions through its 6 ‘domains’ to prompt members of the workforce (at every level) to reflect on their practice and opportunities for improvement. When we initially consulted, the reflective question sections were well received by the various sectors; people told us they were a practical tool to lift capability.

Send us your feedback

We’re now consulting more widely on the draft framework. To join the conversation, go to the consultation and ‘ask to join group.’

Workforce Capability Framework consultation(external link)

The consultation is open until 7 February, 2017. If you’d rather give your feedback or ask questions in confidence, you can email

As well as considering your feedback, we’ll use insights gained from working with Integrated Safety Response sites (see below) to inform the final version of the framework.

Paper focuses on positive change

The latest issues paper from the Family Violence Clearinghouse, ‘Responding to perpetrators of family violence,’ focuses on how New Zealand can achieve positive change with perpetrators of family violence.

One of the paper’s key findings is that integrated response systems are the best way to respond to family violence in New Zealand. According to researcher Devon Polaschek, the essential components of such systems include coordination between crisis response and immediate containment, criminal and civil court proceedings, sentences or order compliance, risk monitoring and behaviour change components, and providing services based on risk and need.

Polaschek argues these systems offer more opportunities to hold perpetrators to account and, in turn, will result in better outcomes for keeping victims safe. To read the full report see:

Responding to perpetrators of family violence(external link)

New campaign highlights danger signs

A new 'It's not OK' campaign launched this month highlights the signs that a woman is in danger of being killed by her partner or ex-partner.

This project was developed in response to a request from the NZ Death Review Committee to increase New Zealanders’ knowledge of coercive control and the lethality indicators. These danger signs are often missed by friends and family who don’t realise the behaviour they’re seeing is serious.

New resources (including ‘Know the danger signs’ posters and brochures) are available via a dedicated section on the It’s not OK website. You can also view videos featuring real people who lost a loved one because of family violence on the It’s not OK YouTube channel.

Through this project it’s hoped that more New Zealanders will know the danger signs, know they’re serious and take action to protect people in danger.

It’s not OK website(external link)

It’s not OK You Tube channel(external link)

Enrol now for postgraduate violence prevention course

Enrolments are now open for the University of Auckland’s Postgraduate Violence Prevention Studies 2017. The course is designed for practitioners, health promoters, researchers, policy analysts and managers to increase knowledge and understanding of intimate partner violence, child abuse and neglect, and other forms of family and whānau violence.

For more information about the course, see:

Postgraduate Violence Studies 2017 [PDF, 87KB](external link)

Stay informed

Family and Sexual Violence Work programme updates

If you know anyone who might like to subscribe to these updates, they can email

Integrated Safety Response (ISR) pilot - newsletter

The ISR is a key initiative under the work programme and ISR team produces a regular newsletter. See the December 2016 issue:

ISR newsletter December 2016(external link)

Sexual violence service development update

Several key initiatives in the work programme are focused on reducing sexual violence and better supporting victims. The team working on these initiatives also produces a regular update. If you want to subscribe, or have any questions or feedback on these projects, please email

Contact us

If you have any questions about the work programme or this newsletter, please email us at

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