The Government's significant investment in family and sexual violence support services isn't intended to cut across the work already being done by community agencies in places like Whanganui.
On May 19 Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues) Jan Logie announced a major feature of the Wellbeing Budget would be a package totalling $320 million over four years for preventing family and sexual violence and improving responses, services, leadership and the criminal justice system.
Logie, a Green Party MP, was in Whanganui on Sunday for the local Green Party annual meeting and to speak at a public meeting.
She told the Chronicle Whanganui had "some amazing community-based organisations and a strong network" working in the areas of family and sexual violence and the new government initiatives were not intended to override or replace them.
"The budget lays the foundation for a whole of government and a whole of society response," Logie said.
"When I talk to people in communities, they want to see us doing more to stop violence before it happens. I want to see us helping babies and children affected by family and sexual violence so they get the help they need so they don't go on to commit the same violence in the future.
"This budget starts that work. The more we talk about this work, the more people come forward so we need to have services in place for them.
"We're trying to get a really good risk assessment tool and case management. The eventual goal is for it to be easy and simple for people to get the help they need. I'm well aware it's not going to happen straight away. I want people to know that this is a plan."
Better crisis responses and building consistency in responses around New Zealand was another focus, so people knew what services were available and which would work best for them.
The budget also included increased funding for services for people who had caused harm, and those who were having thoughts about hurting someone, to be able to get help.
The funding package crossed eight government portfolios and laid the foundation for a violence-free New Zealand, Logie said.
She said she wanted violence to become a rare event that shocked people in New Zealand whereas currently they may be angered, saddened or upset, but not surprised, by violence.
Days after the budget package announcement, the Francis report into workplace bullying and harassment at Parliament was released.
It detailed multiple behavioural issues, including allegations of sexual assault.
The report highlighted the seriousness of the culture of bullying and harassment in Parliament, Logie said.
"I'm grateful to the people who were brave enough to share their experiences so we can take action to change it," she said.
"That's what I'm now focused on. I hope every other Member of Parliament and employee is reflecting on what we all need to do differently to create a safe and positive workplace.
"Everyone has the right to come to work and feel safe and valued."