New funding for violence in Budget 2021 and other key funding announcements
Tue 25 May 2021
Budget 2021 was announced on 20 May 2021. The Budget included new funding for family violence and sexual violence and a number of related initiatives.
The Wellbeing Budget 2021 includes $131.9 million of new funding over four years for family violence and sexual violence. The funding is focused on three key elements:
- ongoing funding for existing place-based, multi-agency safety responses
- strengthening the system response
- investing in community-led, whānau-centred services.
This includes $81.3 million for ongoing funding for existing place-based, multi-agency safety responses. This includes the two Integrated Safety Response sites in Canterbury and Waikato and three Whāngaia Ngā Pā Harakeke sites in Whiria Te Muka (Te Hiku), Tairāwhiti and Counties Manukau. Of this funding, $48.5 million is for community services and flexi funds and $32.8 million is for community-based teams. The funding replaces time-limited funding for these services.
Additional initiatives included in the Family Violence and Sexual Violence Package include:
- $7.9 million for "Māori-Crown partnership arrangements to enable Māori to lead in the transformation of the family violence and sexual violence system"
- $9.2 million for additional resourcing for the Joint Venture - this includes funding the Joint Venture to support delivery of the National Strategy and Action Plans
- $1.3 million for strategic coordination of data and insights including a review of how the government contracts family violence and sexual violence research
- $12.0 million to expand Whānau-Centred Facilitation initiatives that fund kaupapa Māori providers to work with whānau experiencing family violence and sexual violence
- $8.0 million to increase the SKIP (Strategies with Kids, Information for Parents) Local Initiative Fund to provide grants for community-led projects, increase community capacity and build evidence for community-led prevention
- $12.2 million to provide ongoing funding for existing services in five sites that provide access to 24/7 accommodation and wrap-around support services for people using violence - this includes three Auckland sites run by Gandhi Nivas and two Integrated Safety Response sites in Canterbury and Waikato
For more information see the Joint Venture's Budget 2021 Summary of Initiatives: Family Violence and Sexual Violence Package and one page summary. The Joint Venture 21 May e-Update also provides an overview of the budget package.
“Together, these initiatives take important steps towards strong nationally enabled community-led responses to family violence and sexual violence in our country. It ensures that Māori leadership, Te Ao Māori thinking and an inclusive Te Tiriti framework play a pivotal part in transforming the family violence and sexual violence system to the benefit of everyone.”
Other Budget 2021 announcements
The Wellbeing Budget 2021: Securing Our Recovery includes a number of other key initiatives related to family violence and sexual violence.
- $15 million over 4 years to establish a Family Court Associate role. The Safeguarding Child Wellbeing and Building a Strong Foundation for Change in the Family Justice System initiative is listed under the Courts initiatives where it states: "This initiative will safeguard child wellbeing when parents are separating or unable to agree caregiving arrangements by establishing a Family Court Associate role. The role will enable faster resolution of disputes in the Family Court by reducing the administrative burden of judges and registrars." See the Budget 2021 Summary of investment in Votes: Courts and Justice for more information.
- Justice initiatives include additional funding to cover increasing costs and demand for accessing legal aid; increased funding for the Victim Assistance Scheme "to fund more applicants eligible for the Sexual Violence Grant, and will provide funding to victims of serious crime which is being prosecuted by regulatory agencies." See the Budget 2021 Summary of investment in Votes: Courts and Justice for more information.
- A number of initiatives are listed under Oranga Tamariki including funding related to the pay differential between Oranga Tamariki and non-governmental organisation partner social workers; funding "...for Oranga Tamariki to enable Māori partners to lead a shift in the way that Government supports tamariki and whānau with the greatest needs" and funding related to the Crown response to the Abuse in Care Inquiry.
- $108 million to support Pacific people’s wellbeing including support to establish the cross-government Pacific Wellbeing Strategy.
- Women initiatives include funding for Manatū Wāhine Ministry for Women to continue work in the gender pay taskforce and funding to supporting engagement of Mana Wāhine Kaupapa Inquiry claimants/witnesses.
- Internal Affairs initiatives include funding to address the findings of the Francis review of harassment and bullying in Parliament; continued funding of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse; and funding for the new Ministry for Ethnic Communities "...to maintain engagement capacity in the southern region and begin developing system leadership capability."
- Other significant announcements included funding to establish the Māori Health Authority, increasing main benefit rates, improving childcare assistance, investing in access to information and advocacy for people with disabilities, continued implementation of the Better Later Life Strategy and funding for an additional 12 Te Pae Oranga (Iwi Community Panels).
For all Budget 2021 initiatives see the Summary of Initiatives to find a list of Budget Initiatives by area. For a brief overview of the budget see the Treasury's Budget at a Glance 2021. Also see key announcements from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) media releases.
Responses to Budget 2021
Social Service Providers Aotearoa (SSPA) said the Budget was a "...a step in the right direction for children and whānau most in need, but more is needed for both families and whānau and Aotearoa’s NGO social services." Dr Claire Achmad, SSPA Chief Executive said:
"Investing in fair funding and fair pay for NGO social services is desperately needed. They must be funded to be sustainable to prevent harm from occurring and to keep serving the children, whānau and communities who trust them every day. Sustainable funding for our NGO social services will help to alleviate the pressures they currently face on multiple fronts. We know that the Government is committed to improving child wellbeing in Aotearoa. Investing in our NGO social services is an interrelated investment that the Government must choose to make."
NZ Council of Christian Social Services Executive Officer Nikki Hurst said "While the funding being made available to close the pay gap between Government and NGO-employed social workers sound great, not closing the gap for all workers within social service providers could create a very real impact on equity within our services." She also noted the budget could have offered more for older persons and people with disabilities.
Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt said "It is particularly encouraging to see investment in Tiriti partnerships and enabling Iwi and Māori to exercise rangatiratanga and lead solutions – for example, in the areas of Māori housing, the Māori Health Authority, Iwi community panels in the justice sector, and Kaupapa Māori justice and family violence initiatives." Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero and Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo welcomed Budget 2021 initiatives to address poverty, but highlighted areas where more could have been done for people with disabilities, women and young people.
ComVoices published their biennial report that summarises findings from a survey of community and voluntary sector organisations. The 2020 State of the Sector Survey found that the sector is 'generally more stable and viable than it was two years ago' but is continuing to experience challenges from increasing workloads and inadequate funding. The ComVoices media release stated:
"The sector contributes $12.1 billion to the national economy, of which $4 billion is attributable to volunteer labour. But in 2020, the community sector continued a long-term trend of doing more with less. 80% of surveyed organisations saw ongoing, increased demands in workload without corresponding funding – and 80% of those with government contracts were forced to over-deliver on the services and programmes they were funded to provide.
However, it also noted:
"And crucially, the community sector’s partnerships with Government became more responsive, flexible and sustainable than for many years before. 40% of organisations saw the value of government contracts increase, and greater flexibility in contact requirements, faster decision-making, and greater partnership was widely reported."
The May 2021 MSD Family Violence and Sexual Violence Service Provider Update included an update on MSD's work on the Family Violence Funding Approach. The update noted changes in contracts and increases in Full-Time-Equivalent (FTE) rates.