Ko te noho haumaru o te tangata me ngā hapori te tino o a mātou whakaarotau The safety of people and communities is one of our top priorities

Contributing to the government response to family violence and sexual violence

We are one of ten agencies who are collaborating with communities throughout New Zealand to build a stronger response to family violence and sexual violence, as part of the Joint Venture on Family Violence and Sexual Violence . The Joint Venture provides strategic policy and funding advice to the Government on behalf of all agencies involved in the response to family violence and sexual violence. Part of our role in the Joint Venture is funding three national family violence prevention initiatives – E Tū Whānau, Pasefika Proud, and the Campaign for Action on Family Violence.

E Tū Whānau

Our E Tū Whānau mahi has included working closely alongside whānau and communities in community-led responses to the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19. We have also invested in research and evaluation activity to better understand what supports and sustains whānau and community wellbeing and change. 

Pasefika Proud

This year Pasefika Proud funded partner organisations to undertake a wide range of work to increase access to services to prevent family violence. This included building a website, creating social media content (including a TikTok video competition), videos on cultural values, enewsletters, preventing gang recruitment of young Tongan men, developing and launching the National Niuean Wellbeing Plan, and promoting and launching the National Fijian Wellbeing Plan.

Pasefika Proud also funded nine Pacific workshops and gathered key Tokelau community leaders to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the Islands of Tokelau and MSD to design and develop family violence prevention initiatives in Tokelau .

Campaign for Action on Family Violence

The Campaign for Action on Family Violence encompasses two campaigns: It’s Not OK and the new youth-focused campaign #LoveBetter .

It’s Not OK continues to work with community partners to reach men and promote non-violent relationships. These partners provide safe spaces for men to gather, understand their own victimisation and engage in their own healing, both formal and informal, to end intergenerational violence. Two large community discovery projects are under way in Tauranga and Tairāwhiti to learn more about what men using violence require from their communities in order to be successful in their change journeys. Insights gathered from these projects will inform future community initiatives.

Court Support Service

Using a model developed in consultation with sexual violence agencies and stakeholders, the Court Support Service focuses on victims’/survivors’ mental, spiritual and physical support needs while they are going through the criminal justice process, to reduce the severity and longevity of trauma. The service is currently delivered by Sexual Harm Crisis Support Service providers in Whangārei, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, and will continue to be rolled out across the country over the next two years. 

Developing kaupapa Māori sexual violence services

We completed the first phase of a work programme to develop kaupapa Māori sexual violence services.

Phase 1 of this mahi is the establishment of a kaupapa Māori Mahi Tūkino/Sexual Violence Capability Building Group, Rōpu Te Pou o Te Rarama. The Group is made up of nine te ao Māori leaders in the sexual violence sector, who produced a report outlining recommendations to improve outcomes for Māori individuals and their whānau who have been impacted by sexual violence. These recommendations will inform the next phase of work.

As a further part of this work programme we provided grant funding to identified kaupapa Māori providers in rural and remote communities, and supported them to build their capability to deliver services.

Case study:
Kaupapa to be free of violence

Manaia Cuthbert was looking at a prison sentence when he first encountered the kaupapa of E Tu Whānau through Taupo-based Te Hapori Ora – The Village of Wellbeing.

Read Kaupapa to be free of violence

Whānau Resilience services

We worked with service providers to support the regional design and implementation of Whānau Resilience services, which will provide long-term healing and recovery support to people affected by family violence. The design process involved 13 regional designs, 114 kaimahi and 20 pouwhakataki. We have commenced a formative evaluation of Whānau Resilience services, which will evaluate impacts on the sector, and we will release the findings later in 2021. 

Addressing historical abuse in State care

Our Historic Claims Unit provides an alternative disputes resolution process for people who were abused or neglected in the care, custody or guardianship of, or who had come to the notice of, Child, Youth and Family or its predeccessors before April 2017 . We work with claimants to understand their experience in care, and we acknowledge and recognise harm done.

In 2020 we provided evidence at the State Redress Hearing of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, and continued to support the work of the Inquiry by providing information to support its investigations into abuse in care .

In 2020 we began to review progress in relation to improvements made to our claims process in 2018. We are testing some new ways of working to address claimants’ needs more effectively and to make the process more internally efficient, so that more assessments can be completed and wait times for claimants reduced. What we learn through this work will help us improve our process for claimants.  

Though the numbers of claims completed have increased since the introduction of the new streamlined assessment in 2018, the number of assessments completed during 2020/21 has been lower than anticipated. Several external factors have impacted our ability to complete the numbers of assessments we expected to: the resource required to respond to the Royal Commission, disruptions caused by changes in COVID-19 alert levels, and recent work that considers aspects of the resolution process. So we have refocussed our measure to reach the same goal of assessing 1,864 claims, but extending the time for achieving this target by 12 months to 30 June 2023 (rather than committing to a fixed number of assessments per year).    

To ensure that claimants have access to any additional support they may need, we contracted Emerge Aotearoa to pilot a service to support claimants in the greater Wellington region on their journey to achieving their self-identified goals. This often includes overcoming barriers such as financial stress, family and relationship issues, housing needs, alcohol and/or other drugs and lack of mental health support. The lessons learnt from this pilot will inform our next steps in terms of how we extend services to other parts of the country.

People have been able to lodge claims of historical abuse since 2004, with:

  • 2,055 of 4,742 historic claims resolved
  • more than $32 million paid as part of redress.

Setting up independent monitoring of the Oranga Tamariki system

The Independent Children’s Monitor was set up in 2019 to monitor the Oranga Tamariki system following the passage of new legislation. Until that happens, its current role is to focus on agency compliance with the Oranga Tamariki (National Care Standards and Related Matters) Regulations 2018 (the NCS Regulations), which provide standards for agencies caring for children and young people in State care.

In 2020/21 the Monitor completed two reports outlining how the four agencies who have custody of children are performing against regulations 69 and 85 of the NCS Regulations. These reports were presented to the Minister for Children, and published on the ICM’s website .

The Monitor is currently part of MSD until it is fully established. Cabinet decided in May 2021 that once the new legislation has been passed, the Monitor will become a departmental agency in its own right, hosted by the Education Review Office.


  1. Full member agencies of the Joint Venture: Accident Compensation Corporation Te Kaporeihana Āwhina Hunga Whare, Department of Corrections Ara Poutama Aotearoa, Ministry of Education Te Tāhuhu o Te Mātauranga, Ministry of Health Manatū Hauora, Ministry of Justice Tāhū o te Ture, Ministry of Social Development Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora, New Zealand Police Nga Pirihimana o Aotearoa, Oranga Tamariki, Te Puni Kōkiri.

    Associate member agencies of the Joint Venture:  Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Te Tari O Te Pirimia Me Te Komiti Matua, Ministry for Women Manatū Wāhine, Ministry of Pacific Peoples Te Manatū mō ngā Iwi ō Te Moana-nui-ā-Kiwa.

  2. See https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/work-programmes/initiatives/family-and-sexual-violence/ministerial.html

  3. http://www.pasefikaproud.co.nz/stories/maopoopo-family-violence-training-launches-in-tokelau/

  4. #LoveBetter promotes safe, positive and equal relationships among young people. Based on evidence and using best practice methodology, the campaign will be launched later in 2021.

  5. Claims arising after this date are the responsibility of Oranga Tamariki.

  6. The Royal Commission released an interim report in December 2020. This provides a progress report on the Inquiry’s work to date and some interim findings about abuse in care and the state’s redress processes. We continue to work with other Crown agencies and Ministers to address issues raised through the work of the Royal Commission.

  7. To read all the reports prepared by ICM, see https://www.icm.org.nz/reports/