Tangata Whenua Ministerial Advisory Group for Family Violence and Sexual Violence Announced

Fri 08 Jul 2022

Eleven experts in whānau Māori wellbeing have been appointed to provide the Government with independent advice on shaping family violence and sexual violence systems and responses that uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

The group will advise the Government directly on best-practice solutions and approaches for working with, and for Māori whānau.

In announcing the group, the Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence, Marama Davidson commented:

"As we were developing Te Aorerekura, tangata whenua made it clear that Māori needed an enduring, authentic and direct relationship with the Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence and a way to offer clear and unfiltered advice.

We have listened and the new advisory group will build on the progress we are making to establish an effective and trusted mana ki te mana Māori-Crown relationship in this space.

The willingness of the appointees to take on this huge kaupapa is further evidence of our shared vision and purpose to eliminate violence in our whānau and communities,"

The Tangata Whenua Ministerial Advisory Group members are:

  • Dr Maria Baker
  • Dr Moana Eruera
  • Kim Eriksen-Downs
  • Lorraine Hawke
  • Denise Messiter
  • Katie Murray
  • Amokura Panoho
  • Whaea Hera Pierce
  • Poata Watene
  • Professor Denise Wilson
  • Tā Mark Solomon

The advisory group will meet for the first time in July.

See the Tangata Whenua Ministerial Advisory Group for more information.

Other updates from the Joint Venture and ministerial agencies

Joint Venture adopts new name - Te Puna Aonui

The government's Joint Venture Business Unit (JVBU) has adopted a new name, Te Puna Aonui. The Ministry of Justice provides background about the new name:

"The name was gifted to government by tangata whenua and draws on wānanga, including kōrero about light and māramatanga; a place of calm such as an oasis; a place of learning and reflection; and a repository of knowledge.

The new name also recognises the star, Aonui, which represents a path of enlightenment creating markers on the journey from te kore (darkness) ki te ao marama (into the light)."

There is also a new website www.tepunaaonui.govt.nz which replaces violencefree.govt.nz.

First Annual Hui for Te Aorerekura

The July 2022 Te Puna Aonui e-update included details about the first Annual Hui for Te Aorerekura. The Hui will take place online from 27-28 July 2022. To register your interest email contact@tepunaaonui.govt.nz.

New app for victim survivors

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) partnered with Te Rourou - Vodafone Foundation Group to launch the Bright Sky App in Aotearoa New Zealand. The Bright Sky app provides support and information for people concerned about family violence, or worried about the safety of themselves, or someone they care about. The app was first launched in the UK by the Vodafone Foundation Group in collaboration with a range of family and sexual violence service providers. It is now available in 11 countries including New Zealand.

Results from New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey

The Ministry of Justice has published findings from the 4th cycle of the New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey. The results include findings related to family violence and sexual violence. See the full list of New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey reports and resources.

More information

To subscribe to the Te Puna Aonui e-update mailing list email familyandsexualviolence@justice.govt.nz or view past updates on the Te Puna Aonui website.

The June 2022 Family Violence and Sexual Violence Service Provider update from MSD had a number of updates including E Tū Whānau Ann Dysart Kahukura Award, Child Advocates Pilot Site Visit and Family Harm Support Fund Relaunched. To subscribe to the updates email community_information@msd.govt.nz or see past updates.

Related news

UN Report on violence against Indigenous women and girls

Reem Alsalem, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, has released a report on Violence against indigenous women and girls (2022). The report presents an overview of the main causes and consequences of gender-based violence against indigenous women and girls. It also highlights good practices and challenges to access to justice and support services. The report includes 23 conclusions and recommendations for States. These include:

"83. All stakeholders must, rather than continuously perceiving and portraying indigenous women and girls as primarily victims or vulnerable groups, recognize them for being resilient, survivors, change makers and important leaders in the movement and struggle for the rights of indigenous peoples."

And the following:

"91. States should ensure that indigenous women of all ages and stages of the life cycle, including older women, are included in prevention and response policies related to gender-based violence. Indigenous women exercise a role as knowledge keepers, counsellors, healers, community leaders and decision makers, which should be appropriately acknowledged and supported by States, through, for example, the provision of funding and their effective inclusion in and consultation on all processes that affect them."

In announcing the report, the UN Rapporteur said:

“This violence is rooted in historic and unequal patriarchal power structures, racism, exclusion, and marginalisation enabled by a legacy of colonialism."

And she also said:

“The level of impunity that perpetrators, both State and non-State actors, enjoy is alarming, and the scale and seriousness of violence experienced by indigenous women and girls are inadequately reflected in data collection, legislation, or public policies.”

For related information see this list of UN publications on Indigenous Women.

Auditor-General annual plan includes sexual violence and family violence

The Annual plan 2022/23 for the Controller and Auditor-General | Tumuaki o te Mana Arotake includes sexual violence and family violence. For 2022/23 the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) plans

"...to complete an audit that focuses on how well government agencies are working together, with non-governmental organisations, and with others to understand the needs of those affected by family violence and sexual violence.

This work will include how well agencies are working with organisations to understand the needs of Māori communities and other population groups (for example, Pasifika, disabled people, and migrant communities) that can find accessing family violence and sexual violence services difficult." (see page 12 of the Annual plan)

This work is part of a multi-year programme of work to examine what public organisations are doing to reduce family violence and sexual violence. As part of this Annual plan, the OAG will also look at sexual harm in the workplace, specifically the New Zealand Defence Force’s progress on eliminating sexual harassment and bullying in the armed forces as part of Operation Respect. The OAG previously completed an audit of how well the joint venture on family and sexual violence had been set up.

Related Media

Te Aorerekura aiming for high-trust funding model, RNZ, 27.07.2022

Stand back, Māori coming through, Waatea News, 22.07.2022

Māori advisors steer violence strategy, Waatea News, 05.07.2022

Tangata Whenua Advisory group to combat family & sexual violence, RNZ, 02.07.2022

New advisory group provides enduring Māori expertise for Te Aorerekura delivery, Beehive, 30.06.2022

New tangata whenua group to hold Government accountable for family and sexual violence prevention, Stuff, 30.06.2022

Image: Sid Mosdell

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