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Claire Trevett

Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

Labour promises more cash for Women's Refuge

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Labour has pledged to increase funding of Women's Refuge by $700,000 a year, saying funding cuts by National was setting back family violence help.

Labour's social development spokeswoman Annette King said National talked about increasing the "front line'' but had cut $382,000 from the funding for the Women's Refuge safe houses. It also cut $300,000 in contracts some refuges had to deliver family violence and child advocate work, she said.

"We keep hearing Paula Bennett talking about 'wrapping' support around people. If she is so serious about keeping this country's most vulnerable citizens safe, cutting funding to crisis refuges is hardly the right way to go about it.''

Ms King made the announcement during a visit to the Women's Refuge headquarters in Wellington.

She said running safe houses cost $30,000 a day.

Social development minister Paula Bennett has previously argued that it gave extra funding to the centres for front line services.

Refuge head Heather Henare said although the National Government gave $1.6 million for centres to apply for to run programmes. However that funding was only for a year and was separate from the baseline funding to cover the costs of running the centres.

National had cut that.

"We would support any Government that was to consider our situation at the moment and look at the needs of refuges throughout the country. Those refuges are really struggling."

- NZ Herald

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