A Government discussion paper on tightening the law in response to family violence has been met with mixed views in Rotorua.

Justice Minister Amy Adams yesterday launched Strengthening New Zealand's Legislative Response to Family Violence which introduced ideas to better tackle the rate of family violence.

They include creating stand-alone family violence offences, making it easier to apply for protection orders, an arrest for all breaches of protection orders and making it easier for agencies, courts and police to share information.

Rotorua district councillor and former chief executive of Women's Refuge Merepeka Raukawa-Tait said it was a positive step to better protect victims of violence.


Mrs Raukawa-Tait is also part of the Maori reference group for E Tu Whanau, who advise the Ministry of Social Development on how to reduce offending, particularly violence towards women and children.

"Look at the protection orders, as far as I'm concerned a breach of a protection order is a jailable offence.

"There needs to be a strong signal that protection orders are not just something you play around with. We do know of women and children who have been killed."

She said she would be making a submission on the document.

Women Against Violence programme co-ordinator Paula Temple runs a 15-week course helping women who are either with abusive partners or who have escaped. The programme is offered through Rotorua's Family Works and currently has 11 women in Rotorua and 12 in Tokoroa taking part.

"I think more currently needs to be done because of the amount of breaches some of the men have had. I know women can be perpetrators too but men are still the lead in statistics," she said.

Mrs Temple said a multi-faceted approach was needed to help break a cycle that was inter-generational .

But a former Rotorua resident and domestic violence victim said legislation changes won't make any difference.


The woman said she'd tried for years through the legal system to stop her abuse. She moved from Rotorua to get away from her violent partner and has moved several times since.

" There's been breaches of protection orders, assault charges laid and he'll just get referred to anger management, drug and alcohol courses and home detention and it all starts again," she said.

-To read the discussion paper and make submissions go to https://consultations.justice.govt.nz/policy/family-violence-law