MP proposes agreement with Australia to save victims of domestic violence

By Ripeka Timutimu

Labour MP Louisa Wall is proposing an agreement with Australia that could save victims of domestic violence.

Last week, Queensland Police issued a statement confirming Tara Brown had died allegedly at the hands of her former partner Lionel Patea, spurring Wall into action.

At just 24 years old, Tara Brown has become a face of domestic violence.

Wall says, “Both sides of our countries have examples of where domestic violence is translated into a woman being killed because her partner, for whatever reason, just can't move on without them.”

Her death has motivated Labour MP Louisa Wall to canvas parties across parliament to back an agreement with Australia that has the potential to save lives.

“A reciprocal immigration process where women that need to leave Australia can come back to New Zealand and their partners can't leave that country,” says Wall.

Manager of Māori Women’s Refuge Ange Chaney says they help around two women per year get out of Australia.  But she adds there are many more women who need help.

She says, “The situation is Australia is severe.  You have women that have to get out of these relationships for safety reasons.”

Māori Women’s Refuge will be backing the agreement Wall is proposing.

Chaney says, “I think it would be helpful if the government got behind these women who are often feeling isolated and helpless in these situations.”

Wall says, “It’s something we've been working on in a cross party women’s group and Women’s Refuge.  This isn't an isolated phenomenon.  Actually our women have been fleeing and our refuges working collaboratively, and this is the government’s responsibility.”

Despite the unfortunate loss of Tara Brown, it's hoped that her death can bring about change and save lives in the future.