Budget 2017 - Family violence funding focused on continuing pilots

Wed 31 May 2017

The NZ Government announced the 2017 Budget on 25 May. The budget includes $37.2 million in funding for family violence. The bulk of the funding, ...

The NZ Government announced the 2017 Budget on 25 May.

The budget includes $37.2 million in funding for family violence.

The bulk of the funding, $22.4 million, is allocated to extending the Integrated Safety Response (ISR) pilots for another two years.

Other family violence funding includes:

  • $9 million over four years through Vote Māori Development to support whānau-centred family violence interventions
  • $4 million over two years for continuing the E Tū Whānau Community Action Fund
  • $1.8 million in 2017/18 to extend the community-based Gang Action Plan pilots

Ms Adams says "I want to acknowledge Minister Te Ururoa Flavell for his hard work and leadership on this challenging issue. This $9 million will pilot the introduction of facilitators who will support whānau to access appropriate help to end violent behaviour and restore their relationships and cultural connections."

Overall, whānau-centred initiatives receive $28 million, including $10 million of new funding for Whānau Ora and $8 million over four years.

Funding is also allocated to Justice, Courts, Corrections and Police for implementation of a package of family and whānau violence law reforms.

Funding for Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki and children in state care

Minister for Children Anne Tolley announced funding for the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki, and initiatives to support children in the care and protection system, and their caregivers. A majority of the $434.1 million allocated to support children and young people in care is funding the development of the Ministry. Other initiatives included in this funding are:

  • Recruiting more caregivers and providing them with training and support
  • Extending the age of care for young people from 17 to 18
  • Feedback and complaint mechanisms for young people
  • Expansion of Family Start (part of the "social investment" initiatives)
  • Trial and evaluate community based remand placements
  • Continued support of the Children’s Teams
  • Increased youth justice residential beds for young people aged 14-16.

Ms Tolley states "This is part of a four to five year major transformation programme to build a more child-centred care and protection system, focusing on harm and trauma prevention and early intervention. The Ministry will be piloting a number of initiatives to ensure that future investment is focused on delivering the best outcomes for our most vulnerable children and young people."

Funding for social investment

Social Investment Minister Amy Adams had already announced that Budget 2017 would include a $321 million "social investment package." Ms Adams announced the 14 initiatives included in the package across seven portfolios are:

  • "$100 million for a mental health social investment fund to trial new innovative approaches to those battling mental health and addiction issues (Health).
  • $34.7 million for behavioural services for children with behaviour difficulties to improve their self-control and support learning (Education).
  • $32.9 million for burglary prevention and reduction to target offenders and reduce their motivation to commit burglary as well as provide support to victims (Justice).
  • $28.1 million for national coverage for Family Start, an intensive home visiting programme (Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki).
  • $19.5 million for intensive client support for clients aged 25-39 who entered the benefit system before the age of 20 (Social Development).
  • $18.6 million for enhancing industry, treatment, and learning interventions to reduce prisoners’ risk of re-offending and improving their broader social outcomes (Corrections).
  • $17.5 million for increasing long-term contraceptive access for low income women (Health).
  • $16.5 million to expand Housing First to provide social housing places and support services to address issues underpinning chronic homelessness (Housing).
  • $13.9 million for reducing youth offending through specialist services such as professional youth mentoring, cognitive behavioural therapy, and functional family therapy (Justice).
  • $13.1 million for creating positive pathways for people with a corrections history who are participating in an applicable reintegration programme (Housing).
  • $11.6 million for transforming intervention, support and care for at-risk prisoners (Corrections).
  • $6 million for early identification and removal of communication barriers to the curriculum to support three and four year olds with oral language difficulties (Education).
  • $4.2 million for the Incredible Years Programme to be delivered to children aged 2-5 on the autism spectrum (Education).
  • $4.1 million for individual placement support for clients with mental health conditions in Christchurch and Waitemata to find and maintain employment (Social Development)."

A fact sheet about the "social investment" initiatives provides more details.

The Beehive media release states the new standalone Social Investment Agency will receive $25.8 million operating funding over four years to deliver "social investment tools, analysis and advice to support the on-going implementation of the social investment approach. $12 million operating funding over two years and $4.8 million of capital funding will fund the new data exchange infrastructure, which will be a robust platform to provide a safe and secure exchange of data for agencies."

Ms Adams says "The new data exchange means using information and technology to better understand the people who need public services, and what works, and then adjusting services accordingly. What is learnt through this process informs the next set of investment decisions."

Funding for Justice and Corrections

Police Minister Paula Bennett, Justice and Courts Minister Amy Adams, and Corrections Minister Louise Upston announced $1.24 billion of new operating funding over four years and $785.6 million of capital funding in law and order initiatives. This includes $763.3 million in capital funding for increased prison capacity. $81.8 million of funding over four years will go to Community Corrections and prisoner rehabilitation.

In October 2016, $1 billion was committed for construction to increase prison capacity. Corrections was allocated a further $64 million for rehabilitation and reintegration programmes and more staff in February 2017.

Public services

One of the four fiscal priorities was funding public services. See a breakdown of all packages funded in the public services priority area on the Treasury website.

Increases in Accommodation Supplement and Working for Families

The Budget also included increases in the Accommodation Supplement and Working for Families tax credits and changes to income tax.


Budget 2017 mental health funding ‘boost’ - a cut in real terms, ASMS and NZCTU, June 2017

Half of lowest earners miss out on Budget perks, NZ Herald, 26.05.2017

More funding needed for Whānau, Press Release: Te Pou Matakana, 26.05.2017

Frustration, disappointment over health funding in Budget 201, Stuff, 25.05.2017

Fears billion-dollar prison Budget will blow out prisoner numbers, Newshub, 25.05.217

Budget 2017: 'Rinky-dink' and 'communism by stealth', Radio NZ, 25.05.2017

Budget 2017 partly delivers social investment in housing, Media release: Community Housing Aotearoa, Scoop, 26.05.2017

TAHUA 2017: Māori Party claims thin slice of Budget pie for ‘whānau’, Māori Television, 25.05.2017 

Budget "like giving a starving dog a rubber bone", Press Release: Public Service Association, Scoop, 25.05.2017

Budget 2017: A trickle not a tide, Press Release: Child Poverty Action Group, 25.05.2017

Budget 2017: What does "Social Investment" really mean?, Press Release: The Policy Observatory, 25.05.2017

Budget 2017 provides more assurance for kids in care, Press Release: Office of the Children's Commissioner, Scoop, 25.05.2017

Budget boosts family incomes and raises tax thresholds, Radio NZ, 25.05.2017

Budget 2017 - at a glance, Radio NZ, 25.05.2017

Image: Pixabay