2016 Budget: No new family violence money, Family Violence Networks refunded

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The 2016 Budget was announced on 26 May, with no new funding for family violence services. However funding for the Family Violence Networks (formerly Te Rito networks) was provided for another 12 months.

The Ministry of Social Development announced that the 2016 Budget would extend funding for Family Violence Response Coordination (FVRC) for another year.  The $2.8 million funding for FVRC supports the 40 family violence networks who coordinate family violence prevention and intervention initiatives regionally. In the next 12 months, the future of the Networks will be considered as part of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence Work Programme

The Networks support the delivery of community-based family violence prevention initiatives, recognising that halting family violence requires effective collaboration and strengthening communities' capacity to work together. Some Networks also coordinate government and non-government agency responses to family violence. A review by the Ministry of Social Development (2009) found the that the Family Violence Networks had contributed to greater leadership, more effective services, enhanced safety and accountability, changing attitudes and behaviours and sustained collaborations. The Expert Advisory Group (EAG) on family violence (2014) recommended increased support and an expanded role for the Family Violence Networks.

The final release of 2016 Budget confirmed concerns that no additional funding would be allocated to family violence. In the week prior to the release of the budget, Social Development Minister Anne Tolley had indicated that new money for family violence would not be included in the 2016 budget.

Green MP Jan Logie expressed concerns about delaying funding for family violence, commenting "If we are serious about keeping women and children safe, we have to fund the services to be able to do that. At the moment the Government is not funding those services and are putting woman and children's lives at risk."

Other 2016 Budget news

In the Budget, the government announced of $652.1 million for a Social Investment Package. The package includes funding for reforming child protection services, extending the MSD Youth service to 18 to 19 year olds, reducing barriers to employment, support for schools, prison reintegration services, data infrastructure for supporting better focused NGO service delivery, and healthy housing initiatives. The funding allocation is spread across several different government portfolios.

Funding announcements from relevant portfolios include:

Chief Executive of Women’s Refuge Dr Ang Jury said "While I am disappointed there is no additional funding for the family violence sector in the budget today, I eagerly await the outcome of the review of family violence being carried out by the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence." She also said "However I am pleased to see a realistic investment in the Child Youth and Family modernisation programme and also additional investment in Whānau Ora."
 
Finance Minister Bill English's press release provides a detailed overview of the 2016 Budget.

Selected media

Govt's $96m legal aid boost questioned, Radio NZ, 03.06.2016

Women’s Refuge on Budget 2016, Press Release: Women's Refuge, Scoop, 26.05.2016

Budget breakdown: What you need to know, Radio NZ, 26.05.2016

New Zealand Budget 2016: Vulnerable get $650m funding boost, NZ Herald, 26.05.2016

Budget focuses on social investment, infrastructure, Newshub, 26.05.2016

Budget 2016: Protecting children, reducing welfare dependence, focus of $652m spend, Stuff, 26.05.2016

Children's Commissioner mixed on Budget, NZ Herald, 26.05.2016

Opinion - Jan Logie: Govt delivers 'devastating news' to Moko marchers, on funding for family violence, Stuff, 24.05.2016