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Budget Special: Family and Sexual Violence Work Programme Update

May 18, 2018 at 1:11 PM

From the Family and Sexual Violence Work Programme




Nau mai, haere mai.

Welcome to this special Budget edition of the e-Update from the Multi-Agency Team on Family and Sexual Violence. The Multi-Agency Team is leading government efforts to create a coordinated, cross-government approach to preventing and responding to family and sexual violence.

Dedicated body to lead and coordinate family and sexual violence system


The Government has announced funding for a dedicated body to lead the transformation of the family and sexual violence system.

Budget 2018 invests $2m in the establishment of the body, which will provide a single point of leadership and accountability for the whole-of-government response to family and sexual violence. It is responsible for improving the way in which Government agencies work together to reduce family violence and sexual violence, and how they engage meaningfully with service providers and the wider sector.

Jan Logie MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence), said, “An effective family and sexual violence system requires sustained leadership and coordination. It’s clear the current system is failing to prevent violence or provide the integrated responses people need. That’s why we’re creating a dedicated body to transform and lead the system.”

The body will set a clear direction for the Government’s commitment to prevent and reduce family and sexual violence, with a collective strategy designed in partnership with the sector, Māori and other stakeholders. The body will identify gaps in the system, inform the allocation of family and sexual violence investment across agencies, facilitate solutions by Māori, for Māori, and lead the system transformation needed so that we can reduce family and sexual violence.  

The form this body will take will be confirmed in due course, but this initiative is consistent with recommendations made by recent reviews, including the Family Violence Death Review Committee, the Law Commission, the Productivity Commission, and the People’s Blueprint.

Significant funding boost for family violence services

In pre-Budget announcements, the Government announced an additional $76m over four years in Budget 2018 for front line social services working directly with families impacted by family violence.

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni, said, “The 30 percent increase in funding is critical to the Government’s efforts to begin to turn around New Zealand’s tragic family violence record. Additional funding in 2019/20 will enable these critical front line agencies to expand into areas where there isn’t currently any support or start addressing over demand in existing services. This funding will provide a boost to around 150 providers of family violence services nationwide.”

Through Budget 2018, the Government is allocating an additional $76.157 million over four years to support the delivery of Ministry of Social Development-funded family violence services for victims, perpetrators and their families.

Jan Logie MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice, said, “As we get started on the broader work of challenging and responding to family and sexual violence, it’s crucial that victims and their families are able to get the support they need now. Because they can’t wait.”

Minister for Children Tracey Martin said Budget 2018 funding would have an impact right across New Zealand.

“The announcement delivers on the Coalition Agreement between Labour and New Zealand First to increase funding in this area,” Tracey Martin said.

Whānau Protect – Safety at Home receives additional funding

Whānau Protect, a service which helps high-risk victims of family violence who want to leave violence behind, will receive more than $7.5m over the next four years in Budget 2018.

The funding will ensure the continuation of a service that reduces future victimisation and minimises social disruption by allowing victims to safely remain in their own homes.  Whānau Protect provides increased security features, such as monitored alarms. This initiative has been operating since 2008 in pilot locations (Christchurch, Tauranga and Auckland). It was expanded from June 2015 and achieved full nationwide delivery in March 2016, supporting around 400 high-risk victims each year.

Much-needed support for sexual abuse survivors

Survivors of sexual abuse will receive much-needed support with increased funding for sexual abuse assessment and treatment services in Budget 2018.

Sexual abuse and treatment services will receive $7.5 million over four years to provide help that is desperately needed by many New Zealanders. These services deliver acute and non-acute medical treatment, forensic services and referrals, which are important in helping prevent long-term effects such as ongoing distress and compromised wellbeing.

The Minister of ACC, Hon Iain Lees-Galloway said, “ACC works to reduce sexual assault in New Zealand and Budget 2018 has increased funding to services that work to prevent sexual abuse, and support victims through treatment.”

Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Justice Jan Logie, who has the first dedicated role in the Executive focused on family and sexual violence in New Zealand’s history said, “This Government is committed to ensuring people are supported and violence is prevented. Our plan includes properly resourcing sexual abuse assessment and treatment services, so I’m pleased that these crucial services are receiving the first significant funding increase from central government since 2008. It has been long overdue.”

Increased funding for Victim Support Services

Victim Support Services will get more than $13.5m extra over four years to ensure victims of crime and trauma have access to crisis response and long-term social support services. There will also be some financial assistance to help people with costs associated with being a victim of crime.

Through this newsletter you will receive updates on current work, including the implementation of the Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill. We welcome your feedback so please email us at


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