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Source: New Zealand Government

A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility houses representatives of 13 agencies from central government, Maori and the community sector who are tackling the causes and impacts of family harm.  

“This region is already under pressure, with over 23,000 Police call outs to family harm incidents in Counties Manukau each year. We know the impact of COVID risks increasing the pressure on families,” said Jacinda Ardern.

“Our special COVID Response and Recovery Fund put aside almost $35 million in new support for family violence services in May. It targets children and families through the work of Police, Oranga Tamariki, MSD, Justice, and the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuge.

“The special COVID fund was on top of Budget20 funding of $203 million for specialist family violence, sexual violence and elder abuse services. It targets victims, survivors and perpetrators of family harm to ensure safety. We are putting people at the centre of our recovery.

“The new shared working space at Te Taanga Manawa means multi-disciplinary teams can better collaborate. They are focussed on the best way to support whanau and their children who are experiencing family harm. Tackling family violence and sexual violence is a crucial opportunity to improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders,” said Jacinda Ardern.

“Family harm is responsible for about 25 percent of all Priority 1 or critical incident calls to Police,” said Stuart Nash. “In a typical week Police attend more than 2,500 family harm events.

“But Police do much more than just respond to crime and Te Taanga Manawa showcases their efforts in crime prevention and early intervention, especially where family harm is concerned,” said Stuart Nash.

“Reducing the impact of family harm is a priority for Police. But it takes a community working in partnership to address the issue, and that’s what this hub provides. It is a chance for Police, the community, and specialist partners and agencies to integrate their work to find the best solutions for children and families,” said Mr Nash.

Justice Under-Secretary Jan Logie says the specialist teams and expert providers in the hub all bring something different to the table.

“By working together under one roof, Te Taanga Manawa promotes collaboration and the blending of ideas and viewpoints.

“Specialist family violence services such as Te Whare Ruruhau o Meri provide whanau centred approaches with their Te Ao Māori lens. As we realise the potential of Māori for Māori services, and leadership by Maori to eliminate family violence and sexual violence, whole communities will be healing their whanau for generations to come.

“The opening of Te Taanga Manawa is a strong statement of hope for a violence-free future for New Zealand,” said Jan Logie.

MIL OSI