September 14, 2016
Stronger whanau needed to tackle violence.
The chair of the North Island Whanau Ora commissioning agency Te Pou Matakana says the government’s new domestic violence strategy overlooks the role whanau must play in addressing the issue.
Merepeka Raukawa Tait welcomed the changes flagged by Prime Minister John Key, including new domestic violence offences, putting more police on the job, and making protection orders easier to get and enforce.
But she says domestic violence doesn’t happen in isolation.
"I mean the victims and perpetrators live in whanau. There is a role for whanau to play and that can be strengthened and enhanced by the support provided by Whanau Ora providers and navigators. That's where we are going to be concentrating and putting up our hand to say we can assist in this area, we can do better, we know may of the whanau, we can get a foot in the door as soon as possible and we want to be supported to do that work," she says.
Merepeka Raukawa-Tait says factors like financial stress, overcrowded housing and addiction can lead to violence, and they need to be addressed as part of any overall strategy.
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