A new tangata whenua advisory group has been created by the Government to provide independent advice and guidance on family violence and sexual violence.
It comes as part of the country's first national strategy, named Te Aorerekura, aimed at eliminating family violence and sexual violence.
Family Violence Prevention Minister Marama Davidson said the new tangata whenua advisory group would “provide independent advice and guidance to me as Minister on family violence and sexual violence”.
“This governance input is a crucial improvement to the system and will ensure that te ao Māori informs our implementation of the strategy,” she said.
Davidson described Te Aorerekura, as a way of "upholding our journey towards healing".
I really want to mihi to Brad Totorewa of Tuu Oho Mai Services in Kirikiriroa and the tangata whenua leadership who have gifted us this incredible name.
"Aorere talks about a cluster of stars and is basically a guiding light for safe journey as we navigate and reach into our humanity and our compassion on this journey. And kura refers to the transfer of knowledge both intergenerationally and also across our community."
She said the strategy was "different because we have to do things differently".
"Everything we have been doing so far has not worked.
"This is different because for the first time ever we have a clear explicit focus on prevention on primary prevention on making sure and changing the environment that allows violence to happen in the very first place."
The strategy was a plan for the next 25 years focusing on the wellbeing of all people in New Zealand, Davidson said.
The Greens co-leader listed eight goals the Government hoped would be achieved with the strategy:
- Children and young people understand healthy relationships, how to seek help and can access tailored services.
- Participants in the Justice system are safe, supported and do not experience further harm.
- Individuals and whānau are supported to heal and overcome the trauma of violence.
- Māori, Pacific peoples, ethnic communities, LGBTQIA+ communities, older people, male survivors and disabled communities can access safe, tailored services.
- Women, Māori women and trans women impacted by violence can access safe, integrated, trauma informed and inclusive responses to provide protection and support wellbeing.
- Those that use violence are accountable and supported to change and address past trauma.
- There is reduced tolerance for violence and inequity across Aotearoa New Zealand.
- Families, whānau and communities take action to prevent family violence and sexual violence.
“The new approach will mean trying things we have not done before," Davidson said.
"We all need to be open to learning new ways of working, and, crucially, being fully aware and accepting of the fact that not everything will work at first.
"We have not yet managed to eliminate family violence and sexual violence, so we have to try different approaches and the safety and wellbeing of people, whānau, children and young people impacted by violence will always be at the centre of what we do."
Te Aorerekura is available at violencefree.govt.nz.