Māori MPs support overhaul of family violence laws

By Talisa Kupenga

Prime Minister John Key announced today that the government's plan to address family violence will see more support for victims and new violence offences introduced.

"All New Zealander's wish family violence did not happen," says Key.

The Prime Minister reveals the government's plan to address family violence that will cost around $130mil over the next four years.

"The sooner we stop it the better chance we have of lives being saved and injuries being avoided."

The announcement comes after a two-year review of violence laws. It will see more than 50 changes to the current Domestic Violence Act and will focus on faster more effective intervention.

Labour MP Kelvin Davis says, “non-fatal strangulation is a very prominent domestic issue within these families. So I am very pleased to see the government has addressed that issue in this bill.”

The government expects that the changes to protection orders and offences will mean 2300 fewer violent incidents each year.

Minister of Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell says, “It doesn't matter if it is only one woman or one child in these situations, at the end of the day, this is unacceptable and it needs to stop.”

Police respond to 110,000 family violence call-outs a year with children present at nearly two-thirds of these incidents.

“The content of this bill is a way to address these issues within our families. I really hope to see a decrease in the statistics,” says Davis.

The first round of legislation implementing these changes is expected to be introduced to Parliament early next year.