Maori much more likely to be killed by partner

Service manager Ruahine Albert, from Te Whakaruruhau Inc, a Maori women's refuge. Photo / File
Service manager Ruahine Albert, from Te Whakaruruhau Inc, a Maori women's refuge. Photo / File

Maori are three times more likely to be killed by a partner than non-Maori, according to figures obtained under the Official Information Act.

The figures, released to Newstalk ZB and covering the years between 2009 and 2013, show Maori are almost three times more likely to be killed by their intimate partners than non-Maori or non-Pacific peoples. They're also two and a half times more likely to be offenders in intimate partner homicide cases.

The Waikato Women's Refuge, Te Whakaruruhau, blamed the over-representation of Maori in domestic violence figures on family separation.

Waikato refuge CEO Ruahine Albert said she was not surprised at the statistics.

She said the refuge worked with 95-100 cases a week, and of that 60-70 would be Maori.

She says traditionally Maori families were very close but families were now scattered and didn't have the same support networks they once did.

Meanwhile, Women's Refuge is supporting a pilot scheme in Christchurch that will improve information sharing around family violence.

The police and 12 other agencies will take a more collaborative approach towards tackling abuse, increasing support to high-risk victims and creating a better integrated response.

Women's Refuge chief Ang Jury said the pilot should make services more seamless through a quicker and easier flow of information.

She said unlike other ideas being tried, this will have a centralised information portal, bringing together the different information and figures from police and the Refuge.

It was one of the most ambitious and promising schemes yet to tackle violence, the Refuge said.

Canterbury police said the scheme will help with risk assessment work in family violence cases.

District commander John Price said Christchurch was ideal for the programme because of its strong networks and partnerships.

He believed Christchurch was also more innovative because of its experiences after the earthquake.

Mr Price said understanding why people hurt each other could help prevent violence.

The collaborative approach will give a clearer picture about what's happening in households, he said, rather than just what police see when they respond to incidents, and will allow future anti-violence initiatives to be put in place.

- NZ Herald

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