Minister for Family and Sexual Violence Marama Davidson is calling on communities across the nation to take the lead in preventing family and sexual violence, with hopes to eliminate it.
In an announcement today at Nga Whare Waatea marae in South Auckland, Davidson admits that the Government and past governments have been doing it wrong.
"We know as a Government that we need to change the way we have worked and the way we work with communities to address violence." Davidson said.
"Right now, the system we have got hasn't been inclusive for everybody – tauiwi (non-Māori) and Māori."
"The way we have been working has not worked. In many cases, it has perpetuated even further inter-generational harm."
Today Davidson launched a national engagement process where communities across New Zealand have their say so that the Government can better develop a national strategy and action plans.
"This is not and cannot be the traditional type of engagement hui that has tended to be undertaken by governments."
"We want to hear the voices of people who are seldom heard and those who are often marginalised. Victims and survivors, tangata whenua, people with disabilities, rainbow communities, Pacific peoples, tamariki, rangatahi and elders. We want to hear from our ethnic, migrant and refugee communities."
"I am urging people to participate and to encourage others also. What is it that you want me to hear? What is it that you need me to do?"
Davidson also called on those who have overcome using violence, asking what strategies they used to heal, so that the Government could apply methods of lived experience.
"A punitive approach to justice has not brought justice. This is where we are asking the community what has worked for them."
In support of today's launch, The Aunties member Jackie Clarke said she looked forward to what's to come, particularly as a Pākehā woman. The Aunties is an organisation which assist people suffering from domestic violence.
"Pākehā women are reasonably underrepresented in statistics, and yet the Pākehā community has the worst domestic and sexual violence in this country."
"It's never reported or taken to court, it's very rare that it's acknowledged."
Clarke says in her experience in driving change, Māori or whānau-led organisations have made the most effective change.
"We've tried the Pākehā way for 200 years and it doesn't work. It's never worked."
"It doesn't work for Māori women, Māori men, Pākehā women or Pākehā men."
Clarke believes community engagement will create the change needed.
"We don't get this from Pākehā-led organisations."
The Government's integrated approach to addressing violence involves 10 agencies that have come together in a joint venture.
They include: Police, Ministry of Social Development, Te Puni Kokiri, OT, ACC, Health, Education, Justice, and the Prime Minister's office.
"We can't keep putting fundings and resources into responding to violence. We need to focus on preventing violence in the first place and that is not how we've been operating." Davidson said.
The engagement process begins May 12 and will end on June 30. Between this time, the people of New Zealand are encouraged to make submissions through letters, emails or online tools available on violencefree.govt.nz.
Hui (meetings) are set to be organised within this timeframe for communities to come forward and share their thoughts, and those who wish to participate can ensure that their identity and privacy is safe.
Need to talk?
Text or call 1737 any time
Free call the Family Violence Information Line on 0800 456 450