Whanganui Police have seen a surge in domestic violence over the past month - although it is not unusual for this time of year.

Senior Sergeant Andrew McDonald said there had been a "significant increase" in family violence and the demand for police services.

He said it was up 40 to 50 per cent in Whanganui but, year on year, January was a busy month for police. "Predominantly it's the kids have been at home over the holidays, financial stress from Christmas is starting to bite."

Mr McDonald said good weather meant more social gatherings and more alcohol consumption. He encouraged people to seek help from agencies if they were stressed or needed budgeting advice.

Advertisement

"There are agencies or there are organisations in Whanganui that can help ... You don't necessarily have to deal with them [issues] on your own, but first you've got to ask. You don't want it to get to the point where it gets so bad that it ends with a call to the police."