This week I attended a hui in Otaki organised by Hands Off Our Tamariki about the proposed reforms to the Child Young Persons and their Families Act. Moana Jackson and Paora Moyle spoke. They expressed deep, profound concern about the proposed changes to Child Youth and Family. Paora Moyle said that when she heard Anne Tolley […]
The Government talks about investment but there is no investment. It is not investment if it isn’t over the whole of life and if there is no new money — Shamubeel Eaqub Investment sounds like adequate resourcing but this is cost cutting — Prue Kapua, President of Maori Women’s Welfare League The MSD Investment approach […]
This morning there have been reports in the media about community budgeting services caught in limbo as MSD delay over the review of services.
For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of coercion and control that may or may not use physical or sexual violence. Just one […]
In Part One, I critiqued the government’s domestic violence justice reforms. However, we will not get the results that we need unless we take a whole of society/government response to this problem. The justice system is an essential component of our response to domestic violence but it is only one part of the puzzle. As […]
I want to acknowledge that I respect Minister of Justice Amy Adams and I think she genuinely wants to improve outcomes for victims of domestic violence with recently announced reforms. I also want to be clear though that unless there is systemic change to the Government’s response to domestic violence, we will not get the […]
I was really honoured to be invited, along with Catherine Healy (NZ Prostitute Collective), Inspector Jason Hewett (Area Commander Counties Manukau West from NZ Police) and Dr Annette Nesdale (Medical Officer of Health in Wellington) by the United Nations Family Planning Association to go and present at a high level conference on the NZ experience of the decriminalisation of prostitution.
It is disturbing to see that the Government continues to say they will work in partnership with Māori while they fail again and again to involve Māori in what could be argued are the most important changes for Māori in government legislation and practice in decades.
Councils around the country should be representative of the communities that they work for. In order for this to happen, the voting systems that elects councillors and community board members needs to be improved.
The National Government widely promotes their investment approach, saying they’ll redirect their funding to what works and those who need it most. I’ve written about this more broadly but today I want to talk about this specifically in relation to child abuse and child sexual abuse. Today the Government is going to pass a piece […]
Yesterday I visited the Wellington Women’s Boarding House (WWBH) and met with their manager Margaret and board member Belinda Sharp. The WWBH provides a safe place for women to stay in difficult times. They have low-cost, temporary housing for women on low incomes and women in transition. The house was set up by members of […]
We have a very long history in Aotearoa of technical and process innovation, and gutsy small and medium-sized businesses contributing in a range of ways to strong communities . I’m concerned this Government’s reform may value scale over expertise and community.
I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet sadly, despite having epidemic levels of sexual and domestic violence, we have a justice system […]
The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply concerned about what the Government is doing. The legislation will give the non-elected Local Government […]
This week’s revelations about the abuse of women and children on Nauru are horrifying, but sadly are not new issues for refugees and asylum seekers trying to reach Australia. Three weeks ago I tried to meet a Tamil woman, Malarvily Thevaparan, who sought find asylum in Australia from the sustained sexual abuse and other forms of torture […]
All children deserve to be safe, free to play and learn. New Zealanders are rightly upset that we have the fifth highest rate of child abuse rate in the OECD and so many children going without the absolute basics because their families don’t have enough to cover costs. Currently, Child, Youth and Family (CYF) is […]
I’ll admit it. I’m not usually a rugby viewer (except when my brother insists). Watching the NZ Women’s sevens final though – wow! If you didn’t watch it, you sure missed out. They play a beautiful game and it’s something that all New Zealanders can be proud of. The final itself was nail-biting. I was […]
Yesterday I heard submissions on the Social Security Rewrite Bill. We heard from a range of organisations working with people needing income support, and people who have had to or have to use income support. There were some very emotional moments and I want to pay tribute to those telling their own stories; firstly for their survival and secondly for summoning up the hope to share that experience and give us the opportunity to create a better system.
The gender pay gap in the public service is worse than in the private sector. I’ve always found this particularly galling because I expect our Government to provide an example to the private sector on things like human rights, rather than lag behind it.
Equal Pay for Work of equal value might have taken another step forward after more than forty years. I will state the obvious fact that the 1972 Equal Pay Act has not delivered equal pay. There has been much analysis of why – the lack of transparency (it’s very difficult for most women to know […]
I’ve been hearing an increasing number of stories about how hard it has become for people to get the help they need, and are legally entitled to, from Work and Income. I’ve heard of people who are have become homeless because of Work and Income decisions, people who are homeless who are sent away without […]
The Government delivers a budget that they say prioritises health but actually delivers $300m less a year than is needed to maintain services at the current levels of delivery.
LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way to go to change this. In an ideal world, Budget 2016 would acknowledge we, LGBTQI […]
To paraphrase Justin Trudeau – “It’s 2016”. Money needs to be in the budget to deliver equal pay this year to caregivers at the very least and that may require widening the tax base, which in turn if done well would help reduce inequality in our society at the other end.
This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with Alfred Ngaro from National. It is important to celebrate our wins. This is a significant […]
This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts on children and it is very worrying to say the least. Making the connections are […]
I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work that has the potential to correct a real injustice in our system. Victims who kill […]
I wrote this blogpost sitting in Parliament listening to the Attorney General’s first reading speech on the Tauranga Moana Iwi Collective Redress and Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Ranganui Claims Settlement Bill. He has acknowledged the impact of colonisation that made it difficult for whanau and hapū to pass on language and culture and the profound […]
What has really led to the Government’s changing stance on funding for sexual violence services? People have been congratulating me on this news yesterday and I have to admit working with the sector through this process has given meaning to my time in Parliament and I am proud of the work we have done on […]
These caregivers are paid the bare minimum wage and it would be very easy for them to be grumpy and resentful. It is a testament to the good of people that after 16 years Dilani and others are still fully engaged and focused on caring for their “extended family”. They bloody well deserve to be paid and valued a whole lot more than they are now.
This Easter I’m at home reading papers on urban development and social development, in between trying to catch up on Masterchef and make up time away from my partner. It’s a peaceful time, but I know many people are spending this Easter waiting in trepidation to find out if they’ll have a job in a […]
Yesterday the Minister of Justice announced a new better public service target to reduce family violence. She has created two new supporting measures of violent crime namely “Violent offences in private dwellings (a proxy for family violence); and Violent offences in public places.” I applaud the Ministers focus on family violence but I have two […]
It is no surprise that mental health services in Christchurch have been under pressure, and I recently spent a day in Christchurch talking with groups. I used to work in a Women’s Refuge, and have concerns about strain on services that cater to women seeking help around Christchurch. A stressed population is more vulnerable, and […]
Yesterday the government released the summary of submissions to their consultation on family violence law reform. I was stoked to see domestic violence workplace leave in there because I have a bill that’s ready to go to deliver that. Domestic Violence leave and workplace accommodations are a simple way to support women in violent relationships […]
I met with Age Concern in Dunedin this week and the story they told was a worrying one. Age Concern are the lynch-pin in our response to elder abuse. They say the number of cases they are seeing is significantly increasing. They would typically work with around 150 people a year but already since returning […]
Yesterday the Office of the Commissioner for Children (OCC) appeared in front of the Social Service’s Select Committee to discuss their performance. The OCC has statutory responsibility for advocating for children and oversight of the Child Youth and Family Act. Understandably most of our discussion was about child poverty and the safety of children in […]
Several political commentators have commented on the rise of gender politics that has been evident this year – in truth this has been building over the last few years. My work, this year, has certainly been dominated by issues that impact most on women and gender minorities. It’s been a fraught year, here’s a selection […]
The Law Commission recommendations for improvements in sexual violence cases is a start but the Commission’s work was seriously compromised by the Government. The Law Commission’s released its report The Justice Response to Victims of Sexual Violence today and it highlights a broken system where 80 per cent of offences aren’t reported and less than […]
The Ministry for Social Development was in front of the Social Services select committee on Wednesday reporting on their performance for the 2014/15 year. I asked them how many people had claimed for the day owed due to MSD misapplying the law. They told us over 28,000 claims were made. They did note though that […]