Joint Venture Budget 2021

Budget 2021’s $131.9 million family violence and sexual violence funding is across a range of initiatives to help communities prevent family violence and sexual violence from happening in the first place and help those using violence to stop.

Here’s how the funding all fits together:

Budget 2021 initiatives spend one-pager [PDF, 502 KB]

The Government is committed to reducing, and ultimately eliminating, family violence and sexual violence and Budget 2021 provides the next steps in transforming the system to achieve that.

Press release: Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence, Marama Davidson(external link)

Budget 2021 Family Violence and Sexual Violence Summary of Initiatives(external link)

Joint Venture Budgets – 2019 and 2020

Laying foundations for system transformation

The last three Budgets have collectively put over two thirds of a billion dollars of funding into addressing family violence and sexual violence.

Before Budget 2018, which funded the establishment of the Joint Venture in September that year, the family violence and sexual violence sector had been consistently underfunded, leaving it dogged with significant service gaps that limited the system and on-the-ground responses available to really improve the lot of victims.

Addressing that required substantial investment to in effect lay the foundations for change, including increases to baseline funding.

Budget 2019 focused on sexual violence service providers, and Budget 2020 on family violence service providers. The majority of funding to date has been to stabilise those specialist services. As Dr Ang Jury, CE of Women’s Refuge said, “the funding of family violence services… will help us to meet our costs, ensure safe practice, give our specialist staff manageable caseloads, competitive salaries and remove the need for unpaid overtime.”

Find out more about Budget 2019 here(external link)

Budget 2020 also invested in services focused on children affected by violence (and their families), reflecting cross-agency advice and initiatives developed by the Joint Venture. This included a joint initiative by Police and Oranga Tamariki, funded from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. Alongside this investment in sustainability of service provision, Budgets 2018-2020 invested in: 

  • Prevention: a significant increase in funding (albeit from a low baseline) for prevention campaigns including E Tū Whānau, Pasefika Proud, Campaign for Action on Family Violence, and new community-led initiatives in Christchurch, Tairāwhiti and South Auckland focused on children aged 0-6.
  • Integrated community responses: initial investments to develop and learn about how to connect services and support around people and families – at a local, community level – building on the immediate crisis response to provide more sustained support and help, and working together to intervene earlier.
  • System levers: initiatives to strengthen the system response, including legislative change and the establishment of the Joint Venture.

Read more about the Budget 2020 FVSV package here(external link)

Key FVSV legislation

New Zealand’s high rate of family violence is not acceptable. The Government wants to make sure family violence victims are kept safe and people who use family violence are held to account.

As a result, Parliament passed two major pieces of new legislation: the Family Violence Act 2018 which repeals and replaces the Domestic Violence Act 1995 and the Family Violence (Amendments) Act 2018 which amends the Bail Act 2000, Crimes Act 1961, Sentencing Act 2002, Evidence Act 2006, Criminal Procedure Act 2011 and Care of Children Act 2004.

Family Violence Act 2018

The Family Violence Act 2018(external link) took effect on 1 July 2019. The Act replaced the Domestic Violence Act 1995 and gives decision-makers in the family violence system better guidance about the nature and impact of family violence.

The Act enables the family violence sector to have a more consistent response to victims and those who inflict family violence. It also:

  • updates the definition of family violence to better reflect how controlling behaviour can be used over time to frighten a victim and undermine their autonomy
  • provides a set of principles to guide decision making and support a consistent, appropriate and timely response for all
  • names 10 government agencies and a range of social service practitioners as Family Violence Agencies
  • makes a range of changes to Protection Orders to improve uptake and effectiveness and increase the safety of protected people
  • clarifies that a carer can also be in a close personal relationship with the person they care for
  • increases the maximum duration of Police Safety Orders and increases support for bound people
  • removes legal barriers to information sharing between agencies to increase victims’ safety

Family Violence (Amendments) Act 2018

The Family Violence (Amendments) Act 2018(external link) makes changes to a number of Acts to improve responses to family violence in both the criminal and civil law. The Act:

  • ensures that the safety of victims, including children, is the priority when courts make decisions on bail
  • creates the new family violence offence of strangulation or suffocation
  • makes it an offence to force someone into marriage or a civil union in New Zealand or overseas
  • makes it a specific offence to assault a family member
  • makes a Protection Order being in place when an offence is committed an aggravating factor to be considered at sentencing
  • introduces a ‘family violence flag’ to make cases more visible in the system
  • gives family violence offending greater visibility in the court

Sexual Violence Legislation Bill

This Bill, being taken through Parliament by Justice Minister Kris Faafoi, amends the Evidence Act 2006, Victims’ Rights Act 2002, and Criminal Procedure Act 2011 to reduce the retraumatisation victims of sexual violence may experience when they attend court and give evidence.

The Bill passed its Second Reading on 25 February 2021

Other useful resources

You can also find help at the National Network of Family Violence Services(external link)

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