Briefing to Incoming Minister outlines focus for family and sexual violence

Tue 12 Jan 2021

In December 2020, the Government released Briefings to Incoming Ministers (BIMs) following the formation of the new Government. This included the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence Briefing to the Incoming Minister, Marama Davidson.

Minister Davidson is the Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence, a new ministerial position.

The Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence Briefing to the Incoming Minister provides an overview of the government's cross agency work to eliminate family violence and sexual violence through the Joint Venture. 

The briefing highlights focus areas for the Joint Venture. It notes that the Joint Venture will provide advice and seek guidance from the Minister on key opportunities to progress and continue working towards a whole-of-government FVSV response. This will include: 

  • "National Strategy and Action Plan: stakeholder engagement across Government, the wider FVSV sector, whānau and communities. 
  • Developing an enduring Māori-Crown partnership, stakeholder advisory group(s) and the JV approach.
  • Providing better integrated local community responses to FVSV. 
  • Government priorities for Budget 2021, building on the past two Budgets that invested in the long-term sustainability of the FVSV system."

In relation to Māori-Crown partnership, the briefing states:

"For any response to be effective, an open, honest and equal partnership with Māori that upholds Te Tiriti o Waitangi is needed. Our engagements with Māori need to enable tino rangatiratanga/self determination by ensuring that Māori have the opportunity to develop their own responses." 

It also notes that:

"An Interim Te Rōpū (ITR) was established by Cabinet in 2018 to partner with the JV. Developing a Māori-Crown partnership was undertaken at the same time as growing a JV partnership. There are lessons from this to take into enduring forms of governance and advisory structures both with Māori and key groups in the FVSV system which are still to be established. These will solidify partnership with Māori and ensure the views of the FVSV sector and people with lived experience are embedded into the work of the JV."

The briefing provides a high-level overview of progress of the Joint Venture, highlighting areas that need increased focus, such as primary prevention:

"Programmes such as E Tu Whānau, It’s Not Okay, Pasefika Proud (MSD) and Mates & Dates (ACC) have laid the foundations for primary prevention and proven its overall effectiveness. However, there is still a lack of emphasis on primary prevention across the system, accounting for less than 1.9% of government FVSV expenditure in 2018/19. Stopping violence altogether will take time and require a significant collaborative effort along with a clear National Strategy and Action Plan to make this a reality."

It also provides examples of three system 'unifying factors' to support whole-of-system transformation: partnership with Māori, data and insights, and workforce capability. 

The final section of the briefing covers 'immediate opportunities to demonstrate real transformational change'. While some of this section is redacted, key areas listed include:

  • a national strategy 
  • interim advisory and governance arrangements for the Joint Venture to create a Treaty partnership and build relationships 
  • empowering community responses
  • translating priorities into action through Budget 2021 and future budgets.

See the Beehive website for all Briefings to Incoming Ministers. Many relate to family and sexual violence. The NZ Herald provided a broad overview of key BIMs.

Several organisations from the community sector have publicly shared their briefings to incoming ministers, including:

Related news

The December 2020 Joint Venture Work Programme Update included a welcome statement from Minister Davidson, saying:

"I am keenly aware from my conversations with the sector that Government cannot solve this problem on its own by imposing top-down solutions on communities. This approach has failed victims and survivors in the past, and in particular it has not worked for Māori. I hope to increasingly centre te ao Māori leadership in our response to family violence and sexual violence. Māori are far more likely to be harmed and far less likely to be able to access the support they need. A Crown-led response has not worked for Māori, but there are increasing examples of Māori-led responses to violence that are working to end the normalisation of violence while enhancing everyone’s mana.

To achieve a vision of people being able to access support when they need it it’s clear that we need crisis services, refuges and the many other organisations to be resourced and empowered to deliver high-quality frontline public services. Last term made significant progress in this area, but I am aware there is much more work to do."

Minister Davidson also spoke about her initial priorities:

"There are a number of clear priorities for me over the coming year. This includes delivering the national strategy, progressing the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill, supporting the sector to lift workforce capability, and supporting integrated community responses to family violence and sexual violence. A huge priority for me is to shift our focus to increasing and improving preventions and long-term restoration initiatives, designed and led by community and families."

Newsroom has previously reported that Minister Davidson has said she expected a national strategy on family and sexual violence to go to Cabinet for approval in February or March 2021, and out for public review by April 2021.

The Joint Venture update also included information on:

  • Work started on violence prevention for diverse communities 
  • Improving court experiences for people affected by family violence and sexual violence
  • Resources from E Tū Whānau.

You can view past updates or sign up to receive the email updates direct to your inbox by emailing the Joint Venture Business Unit:

The December 2020 Ministry of Social Development Family violence and sexual violence service provider update covers the following topics:

  • Family Violence Response Coordinators (FVRC) hui 
  • COVID-19 funds and support
  • Ministry of Justice work to improve the court experience for people affected by family and sexual violence
  • Holiday season — It’s not OK campaign
  • Safe Bubble campaign wins EFFIE impact award
  • Whānau voices — progress in building resilience
  • Elder Abuse Response Services — a proposed strategy
  • Nga Vaka o Kāiga Tapu train kaimahi

Read all past service provider updates and sign up to receive future updates on the MSD website. 

Related media

Sexual violence study prompts call for consent education for men, boys, RNZ, 15.01.2021

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