Today’s announcement of $10.4 million over two years to plug the funding shortfall for sexual violence services is too little, too late, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney.
“In April, Rape Prevention Education co-ordinator Kim McGregor told the select committee that the sector needed $10m right now just to keep going.
“The Government has responded by delivering $ 10.4 million over the next two years , after having ignored the plight of the sector which has faced an increased demand for services with less funding.
“National also ignored the 71 recommendations delivered to it by the Taskforce for Action on Sexual Violence in 2009. This taskforce was set-up by Labour in 2007, but it’s work was shelved by National who ignored its report and recommendations.
“Labour is working on a comprehensive and long term package aimed at making New Zealand a world leader in reducing sexual offending” , says Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont..
“There are however changes that can, and should, be made immediately. These measures are backed by hard evidence and are well overdue. They include changes to policing, the operation of the justice system and focussing on preventing sexual violence. The inquiry being undertaken by the Social Services Select Committee needs to be prioritised to deliver adequate and sustainable funding for sexual violence support services.
“National has responded by doing the least it thinks it can get away with. It’s better than doing nothing, but it won’t make up for the 5 years of neglect and inaction.”