Tauranga MPs from both sides of the political divide are praising the government for a ‘significant funding boost’ for family violence services.
Social services dealing most directly with the harm caused by family violence will get much needed support as funding to front line agencies increases for the first time in nine years.
“Nearly half of those receiving the increase are women’s refuges who provide vital support keeping women and children safe,” says Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.
“The 30 per cent increase in funding is critical to the government’s efforts to begin to turn around New Zealand’s tragic family violence record.
“Additional funding in 2019/20 will enable these critical front line agencies to expand into areas where there isn’t currently any support or start addressing over demand in existing services.”
Through Budget 2018, the government is allocating an additional $76.157 million over four years to support the delivery of Ministry of Social Development-funded family violence services for victims, perpetrators and their families.
Bay of Plenty Labour list MP and former Tauranga Women’s Refuge manager Angie Warren-Clark says in the past nine years the refuge had to operate ‘24/7, 365 days a year on just $21.25 per hour in base line funding’.
“I’m immensely proud and thankful that our government has listened and put money into front line services for family violence. Those of us who have worked in the sector have spent the last nine years desperately fundraising to meet the needs of our community in helping children and families live their lives free from family violence, this boost to funding will allow agencies to put a greater focus on providing frontline services to those who need it the most.
“As Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a Salvation Army event this morning, ‘women, children and whanau have the right to be free from violence’.”
Bay of Plenty National MP Todd Muller has also praised the funding boost and acknowledges the important work Women’s Refuge does in the community.
“Our local Women’s Refuge is an important social service working with some of our most vulnerable. They deal with situations that most would struggle to confront and I have nothing but admiration for their commitment to our community.
“Domestic violence is not a party political issue. It’s a challenging community issue that requires us all to stand together and say ‘it’s not OK’. That’s how we make progress.”
He says family violence has a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities, and the government needs to be doing what it can to help turn family violence around.
“I’m pleased to see the Labour government is continuing to build on the work the previous National government carried out to ensure victims of domestic violence are safer, sooner.
“I have no doubt this will have a positive impact and I look forward to working constructively across the House with all parties to address this important issue.”