New Minister for Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence, other ministerial positions announced


Thu 05 Nov 2020

Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern has announced Ministerial portfolio responsibilities in the new Government.

The announcement includes a new ministerial position: Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence.

The position is a Ministerial position outside of Cabinet under the Cooperation Agreement Between the NZ Labour Party and the Green Party of Aotearoa NZ. The Agreement States "The Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence will be the lead Minister for the whole of government response on family and sexual violence with the mandate to coordinate Budget bids in this area. The Minister will also be a member of the ad hoc Ministerial group on the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy."

Marama Davidson, Green Party Co-leader, has been appointed to this position. Marama Davidson previously worked as the Chief Panellist for the Glenn Inquiry into Domestic Violence and Child Abuse. She actively supported the work of Jan Logie in her role as the former Parliamentary Under-Secretary on Domestic and Sexual Violence between 2017-2020.

Posting on social media, Marama Davidson said:

"And tonight it was confirmed that I will become the Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence. I am acutely humbled and aware of the massive shoes I have to fill. And I am relieved Jan will be there to guide me into this role and remain committed to work that has been lifelong for her.

We are pleased to see this portfolio given higher level status as fully Ministerial. This role will see me remain as the leading Minister on the National Strategy, as well as lead the integrated community response. This is a huge responsibility and honour."

Posting on social media, Jan Logie said

"I am so stoked to see this work elevated to Ministerial status and to be led by a Co-leader and, as importantly, by a Māori woman. It has become very clear to me in this work that te Ao Māori provides our best possible chance of helping make gender based violence the aberration not the norm it is now. Having an inspirational Māori woman, with a background in this work, lead it gives us our best possible chance of success. 

The next term will be pivotal. We need to formalise the partnership with tangata whenua, and formalise a mechanism for victim and other voices into the work. We also need to transform our community response, so it keeps women and children and other victims safe, and supports people using violence to change. We need to connect and build our prevention and early intervention and rehabilitation response. There is soo very much to do."

Women's Refuge, Te Ōhaakii a Hine | National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together (TOAH-NNEST) and Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga | Network of Family Violence Services welcomed the news.

Dr Ang Jury, CEO of Women's Refuge, said "We are delighted with this decision as it makes clear the commitment of the current Government towards addressing one of New Zealand’s largest and most shameful issues. For organisations like Women’s Refuge, having a designated Minister is a source of real optimism and a huge step forward."

Joy Te Wiata from Ngā Kaitiaki Mauri, the Māori whare of TOAH-NNEST, said “we are at a critical point in transforming the sector and a genuine partnership with tangata whenua is key to achieving this. Marama Davidson has the work of Logie and Te Rōpū to draw on and will bring her experience and passion for the well-being of whānau, hapū and iwi, to guide her in this role.”

Other key Ministerial positions related to family violence, whānau violence and sexual violence include:

 Minister for Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti
 Minister for Children
 Minister of Corrections
 Kelvin Davis 
 Minister for Social Development and Employment
 Minister for ACC
 Minister for Disability Issues
 Carmel Sepuloni
 Minister of Justice  Kris Faafoi
 Minister of Police  Poto Williams
 Minister for Women  Jan Tinetti
 Minister for Whānau Ora  Peeni Henare
 Minister for Courts
 Minister for Pacific Peoples
 Aupito William Sio
 Minister for Māori Development  Willie Jackson
 Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector
 Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities
 Minister for Youth
 Priyanca Radhakrishnan
 Minister of Health
 Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations
 Andrew Little
 Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety  Michael Wood
 Minister for Seniors  Ayesha Verrall
 Minister for COVID-19 Response
 Minister of Education
 Minister for the Public Service
 Chris Hipkins 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Kelvin Davis has been re-elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party but turned down the role of Deputy Prime Minister. In her speech announcing the Cabinet positions, Jacinda Ardern said:

"I respect his decision. Kelvin reminded me recently that his driving force in parliament is twofold, he wants to improve the outcomes for Māori and will do so in his roles as Minister for Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti. He also has a passion for ensuring our families are safe, and will take on the role of Minister for Children with responsibility for Oranga Tamariki. He will also remain Corrections and Associate Education Minister."

In an interview with RNZ, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke about the increase in diversity in the Cabinet and the thinking behind her decisions. For more information see the full Ministerial List.

The National Party has released its new shadow cabinet.

Related news

The Human Rights Commission has issued a call to action for the new Government to keep its human rights and Te Tiriti promises.

The Commission has published Ko Ō Tika, ko Tō Reo: Your Rights, Your Voice outlining 39 issues under the areas of responsibility of the four Human Rights Commissioners.

Several of the issues identified by Paula Tesoriero MNZM, Disability Rights Commissioner and Saunoamaali’i Dr Karanina Sumeo, Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner address violence, abuse and harassment including Saunoamaali’i Dr Karanina Sumeo's call to Develop a national strategy to deal with family violence and Paula Tesoriero's call for disabled people to have Better services for those experiencing violence and abuse.

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Image: Michal Klajban on Wikimedia

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