The government has announced today that chief executives from across the public service will be leading and taking collective responsibility to end family violence and sexual violence.
Speaking at the annual conference of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in Gisborne, Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence
Issues), Jan Logie, outlined the “joint venture” approach which will ensure
every part of the government is working together in a strategic, planned way.
You can view the announcement on the Parliamentary Under-secretary Jan Logie's facebook page(external link)
Integrated practice across government and in communities can reduce family violence and sexual violence, so government must do things differently to achieve that integration.
This new way of working will bring chief executives together in a joint venture to deliver an integrated, whole-of-government approach to family violence and sexual violence. This will create a single point of accountability and leadership, as recommended by the sector and experts such as the Law Commission and the Family Violence Death Review Committee.
This change is about creating a system that works for victims, rather than victims doing all the work. Changing the way government works will lead to improvements in victims’ ability to access support, and will increase our ability to hold people using violence to account, work collectively to stop their violence, and help people using violence to access support to change their behaviours.
“Everyone should be able to live free from violence, but too often people don’t know where to go for help, or don’t have the right kind of help available to them. As a society, we have tragically failed to provide sustainable support or put resources into preventing family and sexual violence from happening in the first place,” says Jan Logie.
“We have to stop splitting this issue up into half a dozen unconnected silos. Family and sexual violence are complicated, affect every part of our community and demand a coordinated, committed response.”
Previous attempts at creating a whole-of-government response to family violence and sexual violence have lacked the mechanisms for collective leadership and ensuring accountability. Cabinet has agreed that the joint venture will lead the preparation of a single, whole-of-government package for Budget 2019 to align and prioritise resources to reduce family violence and sexual violence. The joint venture will also lead the preparation of a collective annual report across all agencies to create a collective account of performance towards shared outcomes and a single point of accountability to Parliament and the public.
The joint venture’s work will be done by a business unit reporting to the chief executives on the Social Wellbeing Board: the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Oranga Tamariki, Health, Te Puni Kōkiri, Social Development, Education, Justice, with the addition of Police, ACC and Corrections because these agencies have a critical role in the family violence and sexual violence system.
The joint venture’s role is to lead, integrate, and provide support for everyone to ensure an effective whole-of-government response to family violence and sexual violence. Its first task will be to develop a national strategy and action plan to reduce and ultimately end family and sexual violence.
The joint venture will be informed by an independent Māori body (Te Rōpū) and wider external advisory group to support the government to work in partnership with the sector and to learn from the experience of victims, perpetrators, and children affected by violence. Building Māori partnership into the model, and ensuring those affected by violence are integral to our work, will help drive significant improvements in the system.
The joint venture will also work with existing advisory groups, reference groups, boards and panels to ensure wider stakeholder input. This will include groups such as Rainbow, disability, the E Tu Whānau reference group, and Pasefika Proud.
The Social Wellbeing Board Chief Executives are operating as the joint venture now. The Multi-Agency Team on Family Violence and Sexual Violence is transitioning to the business unit supporting the joint venture, with an acting Director. There will be a new identity for the business unit and a formal launch will take place before the end of the year.
The Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice will be the Lead Minister for Family Violence and Sexual Violence, responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the work programme for the joint venture.
The Lead Minister will be supported by a Ministerial group comprising the Minister of Justice, the Minister for Social Development, the Minister for Children, the Minister for Seniors, and the Minister for Māori Development.
Sector organisations are invited to stay in touch with the joint venture business unit via the current Multi-Agency Team email, until the new identity is confirmed: email@example.com
For more information about the joint venture: Q&A on the Joint Venture [PDF, 327 KB]
An interim Te Rōpū is being established to work in partnership with the Crown, Ministers, and the joint venture to help develop and shape initial work on a national strategy to prevent and reduce family violence, sexual violence and violence within whānau.
The interim Te Rōpū will be appointed by the Minister of Māori Development and the Lead Minister in consultation with the Minister of Māori/ Crown Relations. It will comprise up to ten members who bring appropriate skills and expertise and who can reflect communities, rangatahi and whānau, urban and regional Māori and wāhine Māori. The group will help inform the terms of reference of the permanent Te Rōpū, with advice due by April 2019.
Nominations to the interim Te Rōpū will be moving quickly. If you’d like to nominate somebody for the pool of potential appointees or want to know more about the Te Rōpū, please contact: Kim.Aiomanu@justice.govt.nz.
A draft strategy and action plan will be developed before the end of the year, through a design process that will involve victims, perpetrators and community experts. The interim Te Rōpū and a range of Māori experts will be invited to provide early advice on the design and development of the strategy. The Māori experts and wider stakeholder advisory groups will also have important roles in preparing the strategy, prioritising actions, informing effective responses, and holding government to account.
The strategy and action plan will also draw on the information communities have provided to government during past consultations on family violence, sexual violence and violence within whānau.
The draft strategy will be refined and developed through a formal consultation process early in 2019. New Zealanders will be invited to contribute their ideas and aspirations through an open and engaging process. This work will be cross-referenced with the development of the Child Wellbeing Strategy.
All New Zealanders have a part to play in preventing and reducing family violence and sexual violence. Everyone will have the opportunity to comment on the draft strategy and action plan, including identifying the actions that individuals, families/ whānau and communities can take.
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