Domestic violence survivors call for an inquiry into the NZ Family Court

By Ani-Oriwia Adds

A letter calling for an Inquiry into the NZ Family Courts has been presented to Parliament. Domestic violence survivors say whānau aren't getting the support required by the system in order to address abuse and affect positive change.

Spokesperson for Community In Action Maria Huata says, “Kids are still dying, women are still being beaten, kids are still being taken away from their homes and their families like they're just numbers, just names on a piece of paper. Where is the relationship, the understanding of where this child is from.’

The letter is a grassroots initiative devised to support the existing demand for an Inquiry into the NZ Family Courts. Over 2,500 people have signed the letter.

Community In Action spokesperson Ninakaye Taanetinorau says a huge safety concern is children have limited to no access to safe parents after an abusive parent has manipulated the system accordingly.

Huata says “What we want is for an inquiry into the system that is suppressing us so that we don’t drown in the bureaucracy. Yes, it is on the paper but is what’s on paper being followed through in person? We need to really look into that because the statistics are there and Māori are still troubled by it."

Taanetinorau says we urgently need an effective, supportive, and consistent integrated Family Court response system.