Violence in Context

By Parentline, 12 July 2010

Violence in Context DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION

Behind us, the shadow of history.

Ahead, an enlightened future.

Today there is much to do…

Safe children. Safe families. Safe communities. Safe cities.

To better understand what it is that prompts violence and what might stem the current high tide, we present the following scan of history.

This is diary of snapshots, a compressed record of events and incidents, laws and public policy. It reflects the deeply imbedded culture of violence within humankind, in context, across the years, and according to the times. As well as the never-ending efforts by governments and communities to encourage change and make a difference.

We are a small nation, grown by 50percent in the past 35years, but with 34,000 fewer children in 2010, a shrinking childhood sector, and a similar pattern for the past decade.

Statistics New Zealand estimates we have 894,400 children under 15 years, 20.5percent of the nation’s almost 4.4million people or one out of five (31.3.2010). Back in 1976, the official national census disclosed a record 928,200 children, 30percent or one in every three people, with almost 3million in the total population. (

  • 2010 – 894,400 children, 20.5% of population
  • 1976 – 928,200 children, 30% of population

The world’s electronic commons, the Internet, has enabled us to explore history through their open portal. We are particularly indebted to the many agencies and individuals whose knowledge we have shared, and we have signposted them whenever possible.

The subject is huge. A Google search for Family Violence research pops up over 4million entries. We begin 500 years ago at the 16th century. Scroll down to the end for 2010.

We can and should learn from our past. Our hope is for a better future. We note the United Nations definition of children is 0-18years.

Additions and/or amendments to this database can be offered to Parentline by email

Some useful websites

NZ Family Violence Clearing House

Australia’s Clearing House

NZ’s Family Violence strategy

NZ research

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC)

UN Study on Violence Against Children

NZ Children’s Commissioner

NZ Families Commission

16th century – 500 years before today and about 20 generations ago.

The Age of Exploration & Discovery. The Ottoman & Muhgal empires (Suleiman the Magnificent & Akbar the Great) & Spain, Portugal & England explore the seas (Columbus, Magellan & Francis Drake), the protestant reformation & religious conflicts in Europe, & the great minds of Leonardo de Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo, Copernicus, Nostradamus & Shakespeare etc. The time of Britain’s Henry VIII & Elizabeth I. Women & children considered chattels. The slave trade, 15 million slaves out of Africa 1540-1850.

1509-1547 – The reign of Henry VIII & an estimated 72,000 people executed. Various capital

offenses included marrying a Jew, not confessing to a crime, and treason. Major increase in number of crimes carrying capital punishment throughout the next two centuries in Britain. Common methods used during this time included boiling, burning at the stake, hanging, beheading, and drawing and quartering.

1530 – Britain, Whipping Act, penalty for thieves, blasphemers, poachers, men, women & children

guilty of minor offenses. Flogging with cat o’ nine tails, whipping with rod.

1578 – Inquisitors’ handbook spelled out the purpose of inquisitorial penalties, “… for punishment

does not take place primarily and per se for the correction and good of the person punished, but for the public good in order that others may become terrified and weaned away from the evils they would commit.” (Inquisition, Wikipedia, )

17th century

The Ottoman, Persian & Mughal empires. Struggles for the Americas & British colonies there. The Black Plague in Europe & the Great Fire of London. Religious intolerance & conflicts. Ancient slave trade expands out of Africa, millions to Americas, & British ‘sea dogs’, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch slave traders/business interests supported by their rulers.

1619 – 1st African slaves taken to the Americas to new colonies

1640 – Britain, torture outlawed as a judicial practice (in law)

1641 – Britain, death penalty introduced for the crime of witchcraft

1642 – Dutch navigator Abel Tasman sails from Jakata, then Batavia, with the Heemskerck & the

Zeehaen to explore the Pacific for the Dutch East India Company, sights NZ & anchors in Taitapu, now called Golden Bay.

1652 – Britain, torture of accused witches outlawed

1692 – US, Salem witch trials. Witches burned/killed throughout Europe.

1694 & 1695 – Britain, Marriage Duty Acts, requires church banns to be read for previous 3 Sundays

& marriage licences. Monogamy, consenting parties, age restrictions – boys 14yrs, girls 12yrs.

18th century

By the 1700s, over two hundred crimes were punishable by death in Britain, including cutting down a tree, robbing a rabbit warren, attempting suicide, being in the company of gypsies for one month, vagrancy for soldiers and sailors, shoplifting goods worth five shillings (£0.25) or less, letter-stealing, sacrilege, and “strong evidence of malice” in children aged 7–14 yrs old. New sentences will include transportation to the new colonies of America & Australia.

1717 – Britain, Piracy Act 1717, An Act for the further preventing Robbery, Burglary, and other

Felonies, and for the more effectual Transportation of Felons, and unlawful Exporters of Wool; and for declaring the Law upon some Points relating to Pirates, established seven-year penal transportation to North America as a possible punishment for those convicted of lesser felonies, or as a possible sentence that capital punishment might be commuted to by royal pardon. Fears over rising crime and disorder… inappropriate punishments for lesser felonies (misdemeanours), concern over crowd behaviour at public punishments… (Penal Transportation, Wikipedia)

1753 – Britain, Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act, aims to stop clandestine marriages with stricter rules.

Abolishes common law or ‘de facto’ marriage & ensures illegitimate children (born outside of marriage) could not inherit property. Set procedures, formal ceremony required. Under 21yrs required parental consent & had to be over age of sexual consent (boys14yrs, girls12yrs).

1769 – Capt James Cook on the Endeavour & Jean-Francois-Marie de Surville on the St Jean-

Baptiste find NZ

1776 – American independence revolution stops penal transportation to colonies from Britain. Total

estimated at 50,000, mostly from Ireland & Scotland, some sold as slaves to southern states.

  1. Britain, final occasion execution by public hanging, drawing & quartering as penalty for treason

Scottish spy David Tyrie. Penalty dates back to Kings Henry III & Edward I (13th C, 500 years earlier) & includes William Wallace & Guy Fawkes. Condemned prisoner lightly hanged or strangled but not dead, emasculated & disembowelled & genitalia & entrails burned before them, body divided into four parts, then beheaded.

1787 – Britain, Penal Transportation of criminals begins to Australian colonies (until1868).

1788 – (January 26) The ‘First Fleet’ of 11 ships with 759 convict transports arrives in Port Jackson,

now Sydney Australia, to establish 1st penal colony, then in March also on Norfolk Island. Joseph Banks recommended this site in Australia in preference to NZ.

Britain, House of Commons committee on slavery & the case of the slave ship ‘The Brookes’.

15 million slaves out of Africa 1540-1850.

1790 – Britain, Treason Act 1790 abolishes capital punishment of burning at stake for women &

replaces this with hanging.

Due to the severity of the death penalty, many juries would not convict defendants if offenses were not serious. By the end of the century the execution rate had steadily declined, with less than one-third of the death sentences pronounced in last decade carried out (L. Radzinowicz & G. Scott). Out of this came growing doubt over the appropriateness of capital punishment, with nearly 90% of capital sentences being commuted to lesser punishments, leading to reform of Britain’s death penalty.

19th century

British Empire’s interests span the world. New settlements in Australia and NZ. Slavery abolished. Social conditions encourage laws to protect women and children. First official attempt to ensure fathers are financially liable for their children – 150 years ago. Compulsory primary school education 7-13years. Universal suffrage 21years & over. Age of sexual consent 12 years. Flogging and whipping legal punishments. Public executions abolished.

1807 – Britain, Abolition of Slave Trade Act targets slave ships

1814 – Britain, Treason Act 1814 abolishes penalty of hanged, drawn & quartered for high treason

(men only).

1823 to 1837 – British Parliament abolishes death sentence for over 100 offenses, half the crimes

previously punishable by death (including “strong evidence of malice” in children 7–14 yrs).

1831 – US, Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith’s revelation from God, promotes polygamy

(for men).

1833 – Britain, Slavery Abolition Act gives freedom to all slaves in British Empire & government

offers compensation to slave owners

1835 – (October 28) Declaration of Independence signed by 34 chiefs at Waitangi (James Busby)

1840 – (February 6) Treaty of Waitangi, Maori translation signed by 43 chiefs & William Hobson.

Introduction of British law into Colony of New Zealand

1842 – Ordinance to Render Certain Marriages Valid in NZ

NZ’s 1st public execution in Auckland, Maketu – death penalty by hanging

1846 – (Oct 26, No IX)) Ordinance for the Support of Destitute Families & Illegitimate Children,

making relatives & putative (reputed or supposed) fathers liable to financially support deserted wives, children under 14yrs, any ‘European and Half-caste illegitimate child’, & destitute person’s ‘not able to support himself by his own labour’

1847 – Ordinance for Regulating Marriages in the Colony of NZ

1852 – (June 30) NZ Constitution Act passed by British (imperial) Parliament to replace 1st earlier

one), Legislative Council appointed by crown plus House of Representatives elected every 5 years by male British subjects 21 years or over who own, lease, rent property of a certain value (most Maori excluded because of property qualification). Six provinces.

1853 – (October 1) 1st elections for 1st House of Representatives completed

1854 – (May 24) 1st House of Representatives has 1st sitting in Auckland

Marriages Act 1854

(December 31) English Acts Act,1st act of 1st NZ Parliament adopts imperial statutes (British)

1858 – (July 8) Registration of Births, Deaths & Marriages Act

Execution of Criminals Act, death penalty by hanging for murder, treason & piracy

1861 – Britain, Offences Against the Person Act 1861 raises age of sexual consent to 12 years,

felony to have unlawful carnal knowledge of girl under 10yrs, & misdemeanour with girl of10-12years. This began 25year series of legislative changes aimed at protecting women & minors, raised age of sexual consent, set penalties for sexual offences, strengthened provisions against prostitution, tackled contagious diseases, & re-criminalised sexual activity between males.

British Parliament reduces number of capital crimes to four– Murder, Treason, Arson in Royal Dockyards, Piracy with violence – down from 200plus of previous century.

1862 – NZ’s final public execution (hanging, death penalty in future away from public gaze)

1862 – 1867 – US President’s Proclamation (1862) freeing slaves in Civil War rebellious states, 13th

Amendment (1865) freeing slaves everywhere in the US, 14th Amendment (1866) granting freed slaves citizenship & protecting civil liberties, & Reconstruction Acts (1867) proclaiming universal manhood suffrage (males 21 years & over).

1865 – (November 26) Native Rights Act, declaring Maori to be British subjects

1866 – Britain, Amendment to Offences Against the Person Act 1861 criminalises abortion

1867 – (September 20) Native Schools Act enabling primary schools teaching in English to be

established at the request of Maori communities.

(October 10) Maori Representation Act – 4 Maori seats, only adult Maori males of 21 yrs & over able to vote but universal suffrage (12 years before pakeha men), 1st indigenous people to gain vote in neo-European country.

NZ ratifies British Offences Against the Person Act 1861 (age of sexual consent 12 yrs)

Provision for whipping of boys under 16 as punishment on conviction for certain offences.

Divorce & Matrimonial Causes Act

1868 – (April 15)1st two Maori elected to Parliament, Frederick Nene Russell & Tareha Moananui

Britain, Penal Transportation to Australia officially ended. And Public hangings.

1870 – British Parliament formally abolishes the hanging, beheading and quartering of traitors.

1873 – Employment of Females Act (& girls), labour law re hours/times etc

1875 – Britain, Age of consent raised to13 years, amendment to Offences Against the Person Act

1876 (November 1) Abolition of Provinces Act, structure of central govt plus boroughs & counties

1877 – (November 29) Education Act provides for free, secular, compulsory primary school

education for boys & girls 7-13years, Standard 1-6 plus universal voting for school committees NB this acted as child labour law – requirement to be at school.

1881 – (December 9) 1st general election with universal male suffrage with property qualification

lifted (also parliament now three year term)

Employment of Females & Others Act, labour law re hours/times etc

  1. Married Women’s Property Act

1885 – Britain, Age of consent raised to 16 years with Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885. Public

concern over child abuse, maltreatment & neglect. House of Lords Select Committee investigation (1882-83) confirmed an increase in child prostitution & white slavery & recommended raising age of sexual consent to 16 years. Pall Mall Gazette Editor WT Stead & “The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon” & the case of Liza Armstrong (age 13).

1889 – NZ Offences Against the Person amended, age of consent 14 yrs, unlawful carnal

knowledge is misdemeanour with girl 12-14yrs, defence of reasonable cause if believed girl 14 or over.

1890 – Mormon ‘Manifesto’, official discontinuance of polygamy (in US)

1893 – Electoral: Women’s Suffrage Act, giving women aged 21 years & over the vote

Criminal Code Act (1893) gave statutory recognition to the long established English common law principle that parents and schoolteachers could use reasonable chastisement to correct the behaviour of children under their authority. Also confirmed the right of employers to hit their servants and apprentices, and increased the number of crimes for which flogging and whipping could be given as a judicial punishment. Under 16s could be whipped with a rod for 30 criminal offences. Over I6s could be flogged with a cat of nine tails.

Age of consent for girls remained at 14 years.

1896 – Age of consent raised to 16 years. NB British reform to 13yrs in 1875 (21yrs earlier) & to

16yrs in 1885 (11 yrs earlier)

1898 – Old Age Pension Act, means tested & 20years NZ residency, no ‘undeserving poor’ or

Asians, & Maori only 2/rds of non-Maori. origins of NZ’s international reputation for progressive social policy.

20th century – 100+ years before today and about four generations ago

The 1900s in NZ continued the wave of social policies bringing protective laws as well as monetary benefits known as ‘social security’. Flogging was outlawed as a criminal sentence, but whipping & birching of boys continued as justifiable corporal punishment. The 1960s brought abolition of the death penalty, the 1970s the universal Family Benefit & legalised abortion, & in the 1980s it finally became illegal for men to rape their wives.

The last two decades of the century brought the nation’s signature to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and formal government response to family violence. The official goal was to reduce the incidence of family violence, women’s refuges and other community support services sprouted, and the first multi-million dollar television campaigns to ‘change attitudes’ were launched – ‘Not Just a Domestic’ & ‘Breaking the Cycle’. Police training included the subject of family violence.

1901 – Factories Act consolidates labour law restrictions re hours etc women/boys & girls

1904Old Age Pensions Department established.

1908 – Crimes Act confirms the right of parents and teachers to use corporal punishment

Infants Act for protection of children

1910 – Destitute Persons Act, provision for deserted wives & children & illegitimate children

1911 – Widows’ Pension Act

1913 Pensions Department established (previously a division of Post &Telegraph Department

1920 – Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Act, introduced ‘no fault’ grounds.

1925 – Child Welfare Act for maintenance, care & control re State wards, & protection & training of

indigent neglected or delinquent children

1926 – Family Allowance Act

1935 – Abolition of flogging as a court sentence (judicial). (UK Cadogan Report urged repeal of

laws allowing the birching of young people, not suitable or effective method of punishment)

1936 – Deserted wives become eligible for Widow’s Benefit.

Report on Septic Abortion – in response to an estimated 4000 illegal abortions annually, &

hundreds of women dying of sepsis.

Sex, Hygiene & Birth Regulation Society launched in Wellington (Elsie Freeman) – in

1939 changed name to NZ Family Planning Association.

1938 – Social Security Act ‘for such other benefits as may be necessary to maintain and promote

the health & general welfare of the community’. New benefits include:

  • Means tested Age Benefit begins (replaces old-age pension)
  • Unemployment Benefit (replaces sustenance payments)
  • Invalid’s Benefit (replaces invalidity pension)
  • Sickness Benefit
  • Widow’s Benefit (replaces widow’s pension)
  • Emergency Benefit (replaces deserted wives’ pension), noting that solo parents could apply for this or widow’s benefit (since 1936).

1939 – (April 1) Social Security Department under control of Social Security Commission

established (Social Security Act 1938), replaced former Pensions Department and absorbed major portion of Employment Division of Department of Labour.

1940 – Universal Superannuation begins, from 65years, to rise until parity with Age Benefit (in

1960), & an individual could not receive both.

1941 – Crimes Amendment Act, abolished whipping of boys as a court sentence (judicial). Death penalty abolished (capital punishment)

1946 – Universal Family Benefit starts, to support the education & maintenance of children.

1948 – In UK Corporal punishment as a judicial penalty abolished but continued as a punishment in

prisons and approved schools.

1950 – Death Penalty restored (capital punishment)

1957 – Final death penalty execution, hanging (Walter Bolton)

1959 – UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child (UNROC) – to become history’s most ratified

human rights treaty, and one of the United Nations’ core human rights instruments, it states that children should enjoy special protection including legal safeguards and protection from all forms of cruelty.

An overview

UNCROC is about protecting children and young people. It is also about making sure that the voices of children and young people are heard in all matters affecting them.The rights set out in UNCROC apply to those aged 17 years and below.UNCROC is comprised of 54 articles of different kinds that set out a range of human rights standards for the treatment of children and young people.

1960 – Universal Superannuation increased to same rate as age benefit.

Barry Report (UK) unanimously opposed the reintroduction of corporal punishment as a

judicial punishment finding no evidence that it was an effective deterrent

1961 – Crimes Act (1961) introduced Section 59 defence of reasonable force/purpose of correction,

parents, care providers and schoolteachers can use force to correct the behaviour of children. Confirms1908 Crimes Act. Also 16yrs as age of sexual consent

Abolition of ship captains’ right to flog their seamen

Abolition of death penalty (capital punishment) except for treason

1964 – Social Security Act

1968 – Guardianship Act

Discretionary domestic purposes benefit established, as part of Emergency Benefit

Crime in New Zealand Justice Department Report, concluded corporal punishment

objectionable because ineffective as a deterrent and degrading and unsuitable as a means of punishing juveniles.

1969 – Status of Children Act, abolished illegitimacy (Justice Minister Ralph Hanan), ‘turning point

for family law’, core concept previously based on marriage & illegitimate children seriously disadvantaged unless adopted.

1970 – Abortion debate results in SPUC (Society for the Protection of the unborn child), and the

following year ALRANZ (Abortion Law Reform Association of NZ).

1972 – Department of Social Welfare established, amalgamated Social Security Department &

Child Welfare Division of Department of Education.

1973 – McCarthy Royal Commission on social security

Domestic Purposes Benefit starts, focus on separated mothers whose marriage had broken down & needed state support, & that they should have a benefit sufficient to enable them to “belong and participate” as full members of society. Term ‘solo mum’ introduced to NZ society.

The passage of the Social Security Amendment Act introduced the Domestic Purposes Benefit to New Zealand’s social welfare system. Paid out from 1 May 1974, the DPB was set at a level that enabled sole mothers to stay home to care for their children without relying on paid employment.

The introduction of the Old Age Pension in 1898 and the landmark Social Security Act of 1938 saw New Zealand earn an international reputation for progressive social policy. The concept of state care from the ‘cradle to the grave’ became an established part of New Zealand life.

Prior to 1973 the government supported families by supplementing the wages of widows and sole mothers who worked. The 1972 Royal Commission on Social Security recommended a new benefit which was to be set at a level high enough to allow sole mothers to stay home to care for their children.

The aim of the Domestic Purposes Benefit was to help women with a dependent child or children who had lost the support of a husband, or were inadequately supported by him. It was also available to unmarried mothers and their children, and to a father who was the sole parent of one or more children. Women who were living alone and cared for incapacitated relatives could also claim the DPB.

The traditional image of the nuclear family had begun to change. The idea of the father going out to work while mum stayed home was not relevant to an increasing number of New Zealanders. Attitudes to marriage in general were changing and statistics indicated a rise in the number of sole parents. These changes had forced a re-think of how sole parents were supported when relationships ended. (The Act treated de facto relationships as marriages.)

Critics complained that this benefit would lead to an explosion in the numbers of sole parents. It was argued that it would be too easy for men to simply walk away from their responsibilities and that this new benefit would place an unfair burden on the taxpayer. The DPB was seen as encouraging sole parents to opt out of the workforce.

While men could claim the DPB, the vast majority of those claiming the benefit were women, leading to the creation of a new class of New Zealander, the ‘solo mum’. During tougher economic times solo mums became synonymous with what critics complained was wrong with the welfare state. Those receiving the DPB were somehow ‘ripping off the system’.

Others argued that the DPB was an important right for women. It gave them and their children some protection from failed relationships that were potentially harmful. They also argued that the amount paid was barely enough to provide the basic necessities for them and their children so was hardly an incentive for anyone to give up work without needing to.

1974 – Local Government Act

Children & Young Persons Act

Auckland Medical Aid Centre opens to offer abortions. National survey estimated 11,000 women attempted abortion annually, with 6,500 successful (NRB – 1972). About 1,000 legal abortions in public hospitals.

1976 – Matrimonial Property Act (1975 Bill included provisions for de facto relationships, but

deleted in Act following change of government)

Universal National Superannuation. 60% of average ordinary wage for couples, at age 60.

NZ Census – number of children 0-14years (under 15) reached peak of 928,200, 30% of total population (numbers then reduced until 1991 & then climb again)

1977 –Contraception, Sterilization & Abortion Act – abortion law reform

NZ Superannuation replaces Universal Superannuation & Age Benefit, universal but taxable, age reduced to 60 years, married person rate 70% of average ordinary before tax wage rising to 80% from 1978, with single rate 60% of married rate. (revised to post-tax in 1989)

1978 – Parliamentary Select Committee on Violent Offending decided that legislation should not

be used to change parental attitudes to smacking despite a submission by the Justice Department that “alleged special potency of corporal punishment was a myth.”

1979- Sweden prohibits all corporal punishment of children, 1st country in world. Since followed by

Finland, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Cyprus, Latvia and Croatia.

Penal Policy Review Committee of the Department of Justice advise that the reintroduction of corporal punishment as a judicial penalty would damage New Zealand’s international reputation. (‘Bring back the birch’)

International Year of the Child – at conference on Rights of the Child and the Law, James & Jane Ritchie argued strongly for repeal of s59 of Crimes Act to mixed response (including a teacher’s representative supporting the continuation of corporal punishment in schools.)

1980 Family Proceedings Act, creates new Family Court. Grounds for divorce consolidated into

one no-fault ground, irreconcilable breakdown proven by two years living apart. Grounds such as adultery, cruelty and desertion removed. Divorce, now called dissolution, became a very straightforward matter.

1982Domestic Protection Act (1982) re Protection Orders

1983Maatua Whangai begins

New Zealand Child Abuse Prevention Service formed – association of loosely linked nationwide, regional, & community-based groups, to ‘advocate against all forms of child harm and neglect, and family violence’.

1984 – Labour Government elected (David Lange PM) – begin historic reforms & restructuring

1985Crimes Amendment Act (1985) abolishes spousal immunity from rape charges (becomes

illegal for husband to rape wife). Also removes ‘Morgan principle’ for rape defence of honest, mistaken belief that consent was given.

Adult Adoption Information Act – enabled people over 20yrs who had had closed adoptions to receive information about their birth parents, with provisions for parent consent.

1986Puao-Te-Ata-Tu Report of Ministerial Advisory Committee on Maori Perspective for DSW

(John Rangihau)

  • Abolition of corporal punishment in all Social Welfare institutions
  • Homosexual Law Reform Act (1986) legalises homosexual acts, uniform & equal age of consent for heterosexual, lesbian & homosexual sex (16yrs).

1987Ministerial Enquiry into Violence, Roper Report – Family Violence ‘the cradle for the

perpetuation of violence in the community’, & reducing its level seen to be an effective long-term means of reducing all forms of violence.

NZ Family Violence Prevention Coordinating Committee (FVPCC) set up with government & community representatives, developed intervention model that led to HAIP, Hamilton 1991, based on Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Model (Minnesota, USA), power & control.

Our Common Future’, aka the Brundtland Report, from the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) published. also

Its targets were multilateralism and interdependence of nations in the search for a sustainable development path. The report sought to recapture the spirit of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment – the Stockholm Conference – which had introduced environmental concerns to the formal political development sphere. Our Common Future placed environmental issues firmly on the political agenda; it aimed to discuss the environment and development as one single issue.

The publication of Our Common Future and the work of the World Commission on Environment and Development laid the groundwork for the convening of the 1992 Earth Summit and the adoption of Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration and to the establishment of the Commission on Sustainable Development. An oft-quoted definition of sustainable development is defined in the report as:

“development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” It contains within it two key concepts:

  • the concept of ‘needs’, in particular the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and
  • the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs.”

In addition, key contributions of Our Common Future to concept of sustainable development include recognition that the many crises facing the planet are interlocking crises that are elements of a single crisis of the whole [1] and of the vital need for the active participation of all sectors of society in consultation and decisions relating to sustainable development.

The Brundtland Commission, formally the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), known by the name of its Chair Gro Harlem Brundtland, was convened by the United Nations in 1983. The commission was created to address growing concern “about the accelerating deterioration of the human environment and natural resources and the consequences of that deterioration for economic and social development.” In establishing the commission, the UN General Assembly recognized that environmental problems were global in nature and determined that it was in the common interest of all nations to establish policies for sustainable development.

The Commission’s TOR were

(a) To propose long-term environmental strategies for achieving sustainable development to the year 2000 and beyond;

(b) To recommend ways in which concern for the environment may be translated into greater co-operation among developing countries and between countries at different stages of economic and social development and lead to the achievement of common and mutually supportive objectives which take account of the interrelationships between people, resources, environment and development;

(c) To consider ways and means by which the international community can deal more effectively with environmental concerns, in the light of the other recommendations in its report;

(d) To help to define shared perceptions of long-term environmental issues and of the appropriate efforts needed to deal successfully with the problems of protecting and enhancing the environment, a long-term agenda for action during the coming decades, and aspirational goals for the world community, taking into account the relevant resolutions of the session of a special character of the Governing Council in 1982;”[1]

1988 Royal Commission on Social Policy, involved extensive consultation & concluded that

(New Zealanders) have said that they need a sound base of material support including housing, health, education and worthwhile work. A good society is one which allows people to be heard, to have a say in their future, and choices in life…. they value an atmosphere of community responsibility and an environment of security. For them, social well-being includes that sense of belonging that affirms their dignity and identity and allows them to function in their everyday roles.

August, ‘Tomorrow’s Schools, The Reform of Education Administration in NZ, launched by

PM David Lange, based on ‘Picot Report – Administering for Excellence’ earlier in the year.

Education Department, Education Boards and School Committees replaced by an autonomous Ministry of Education, Education Review Office to monitor schools, the NZ Qualifications Authority, and a Board of Trustees to govern each school.  The change also included new functions and responsibilities for school principals. In 1989, parents at every school elected boards of trustees who were made responsible for operational management. Board members included the principal, a teacher, parents and other people from the school community. Schools also wrote their own school charters. These charters had to include equity objectives.

The reforms focused on individual units – schools – acting autonomously. But there was also a desire to increase the home-school partnership, and to improve educational opportunity and achievement for disadvantaged groups, particularly Māori children and children from low-income homes.

1989 Children, Young Persons, & Their Families Act (1989), dealt with family violence, child

protection & youth justice. Best interests of child paramount & most often within their family or family group plus age restrictions re youth offenders, police, courts & youth justice system. Retained s59 Crimes Act. Family Group Conference (FGC). New processes for contracting with community service providers. Establishes Children’s Commissioner.

Dalley characterises the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 as a remarkably progressive and effective piece of legislation, a model for other countries; and she makes a strong case for regarding the Act as the culmination of long-term developments. Social workers were now to ‘play the role of assistant, facilitator or coordinator’ and to avoid ‘disruptions to families’; the Act abandoned the ‘welfare approach’ to juvenile delinquency as ‘intrusive and coercive’, prefering to make young people’ accountable for their offending’ and to replace juvenile court proceedings with family group conferences; it closed institutions and offered home help, parenting classes, and recreation programmes instead; resources were shifted to subsidising private groups, rather than funding public programmes. And yet, as David Thomson might point out, the ideas on which the new approach was founded echo the terms of the liberal world-view of the nineteenth century: it aimed to reduce costs by passing responsibility for maintaining social order back to the family, reduce state involvement in social relations, foster individuals’ sense of their own responsibility for their fate, support charity rather than create entitlement. Re- Bronwyn Dalley, Family Matters: Child Welfare in Twentieth-Century New Zealand (Auckland: Auckland University Press/Historical Branch, Department of Internal Affairs, 1998)

1st Commissioner for Children appointed ( Dr lan Hassall)

Abolition of the Death Penalty Act, abolishes capital punishment for treason

Local government reformLocal Government Act (1989) merges 800plus units into 85 councils – 12 regional councils (for environmental management), & 73 TLAs (territorial local authorities = city and district councils, & with Gisborne, Nelson, Tasman & Marlborough, & Chatham Islands as unitary authorities combining TLA & regional council responsibilities). (Labour Minister Michael Bassett & Local Government Commissioner Brian Elwood). Policy changes include requirements for public consultation to enable local democracy through the annual plan process & long-term planning (community accountability & citizen participation), plus a primary CEO role. Purposes (Sect 37K) recognise local-ness as well as community ‘identities and values’. Margaret Evans elected mayor of Hamilton.

[37K. Purposes of local government—The purposes of local government

in New Zealand are to provide, at the appropriate levels of local


(a) Recognition of the existence of different communities in New


(b) Recognition of the identities and values of those communities:

(c) Definition and enforcement of appropriate rights within those


(d) Scope for communities to make choices between different kinds of

local public facilities and services:

(e) For the operation of trading undertakings of local authorities on

a competitively neutral basis:

(f) For the delivery of appropriate facilities and services on behalf

of central government:

(g) Recognition of communities of interest:

(h) For the efficient and effective exercise of the functions, duties,

and powers of the components of local government:

(i) For the effective participation of local persons in local


1990Education Amendment Act abolishes corporal punishment in state and private schools,

Private Member’s Bill passed on conscience vote of MPs.

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC- 1959) signed (ratified in 1993)

Independent Youth Benefit for emergency assistance to 16-17year olds, & Unemployment Benefit no longer available to them.

October, Central government elections.

1991Child Support Act (1991)

NZCensus – 783,600 children 0-14years (under 15) – reduced from 1976 high of 928,200.

DSW restructures in response to fiscal pressures

Domestic Purposes Benefit (DPB) only paid to those aged 18years & over. Sole parents aged 16-17years only qualified if they had been married

HAIP (Hamilton Abuse Intervention Pilot) established – intervention model, ‘aimed to create a cultural shift from a community colluding with violence, to a community confronting violence’, interagency, developed system to track every FV incident known to police & courts. Pilot involved Women’s Refuge, Police, Family & Criminal Courts, Probation & HAIP.

Roma Balzar 1st coordinator. (NZFVCNewsletter, Vol 2, Issue 2, June 06). Women’s refuge study of women receiving refuge help suggests 90% of children had witnessed violence, 50% physically abused, 12% sexually abused.

1992 – DSW restructures into five business units in response to Kirkland Review – Income Support,

CYPs, CFA (Community Funding Agency), Social Policy Agency, Corporate Office

Mason Report – review of 1989 CYF Act, Social Welfare Ministerial Review Team

NZ Superannuation entitlement raised to 61years, & to raise a further year each year until 65years. 55+ Benefit introduced same terms & conditions as UB but relaxed work test.

Earth Summit , United Nations Summit on Environment & Development, at Rio de Janeiro, adoption of Agenda 21, & Rio Declaration. Introduces integrated policy development & ‘linked thinking’ across environmental, economic & social agendas (aka ‘the three pillars’, with cultural issues 4th pillar). Also climate change debate.

Refer following notes from

172 governments participated, with 108 sending their heads of state or government.[1] Some 2,400 representatives of NGOs attended, with 17,000 people at the parallel NGO “Global Forum”. Issues addressed included:

  • systematic scrutiny of patterns of production — particularly the production of toxic components, such as lead in gasoline, or poisonous waste including radioactive chemicals
  • alternative sources of energy to replace the use of fossil fuels which are linked to global climate change
  • new reliance on public transportation systems in order to reduce vehicle emissions, congestion in cities and the health problems caused by polluted air and smog
  • the growing scarcity of water

The Earth Summit resulted in the following documents:

An agreement on the Climate Change Convention in turn led to the Kyoto Protocol. Another agreement was to “not carry out any activities on the lands of indigenous peoples that would cause environmental degradation or that would be culturally inappropriate”.

The Convention on Biological Diversity was opened for signature at the Earth Summit, and made a start towards redefinition of money supply measures that did not inherently encourage destruction of natural ecoregions and so-called uneconomic growth. Both Convention on Biological Diversity and Framework Convention on Climate Change were set as legally binding agreements.

October, Local government elections. Margaret Evans re-elected mayor of Hamilton

1993 UNCROC ratified, government to take all legislative and administrative measures to protect

children from all forms of physical violence, abuse or maltreatment and to further protect them from cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.

Crime Prevention Unit established with Prime Minister’s Department, developed NZ Crime Prevention Strategy (1994)

Weeks Report (Andrew Weeks) to DG of SW – Review of CYPs Financial Management, $1.2million underspent, found DSW/CYFs focused on unemployment & benefits management & NOT social work. Report recommended improved staff professional training. Leads to total reorganisation in 1994.

Hamilton City Council adopts Agenda 21 (sustainable development & integrated policies that recognise the inter-connection of people, the environment & the economy) & joins ICLEI (International Council for Environmental Initiatives, renamed as Local Governments for Sustainability). ‘Many of the problems and solutions addressed by Agenda 21 have their roots in local activities. It encourages local authorities to work with their communities to adopt individual versions of Agenda 21, referred to as a Local Agenda 21 (LA21):By 1996, most local authorities in each country should have undertaken a consultative process with their populations and achieved a consensus on ‘a local Agenda 21’ for the community’(United Nations, 1992, p233).

EnviroSchools pilot project (Heidi Mardon)-

October, Central government elections, National elected. Jim Bolger PM.

In 1993 New Zealanders voted in a referendum to change their voting system from the traditional first-past-the-post (FPP) method to Mixed Member Proportional representation (MMP).

1994 – CYPFs Amendment Act (1994) gives Social Welfare Director General (CEO) new duties,

responsibility for child abuse education. Family Violence Advisory Committee (& focus group) established.

Transitional Retirement Benefit, income support to retired people not yet eligible for Super.

NZ Crime Prevention Strategy (1994) – seven goals, No 2 ‘to reduce the incidence of family violence’. Strategy implementation focussed ‘to coordinate government agencies & focus their activities on crime prevention’, & ‘to develop effective partnership between government & the community’, with partnership activities to ensure coordination.

Police campaign “Family Violence is a crime” launched (March) with song ‘Can’t Call that A Home’, two TV documentaries ‘Not Just a Domestic’, & ‘Not Just a Domestic: The Update’, national media advertising including TV, plus a Police training video ‘Family Violence is a Crime’. 5year plan proposed. Reported violence rose 20% in 1st year, male assaults women reports up 44%.

Bristol Inquiry (by Sir Ronald Davison) into the deaths of Tiffany, Holly & Claudia Bristol – influenced the 1995 Domestic Violence Act, & amendments to the Guardianship, Family Proceedings, & Legal Services Acts

Suzanne Snively report on Economic Cost of Family Violence – $1.2billion annual base line

Trapski Review of Child Support (Judge Peter Trapski)

Child Protection Studies (CPS Training) established in Hamilton

1995 Hamilton City Council’s ‘People, Partners, Progress 1995-2006’ – initial development of

20 year strategic plan, public/community involvement, holistic Agenda 21 overview, with ‘whole of council’ integrated policy. Mayor Margaret Evans & council team attend international training workshop (Hat Yai, Thailand). Tony Marryatt CEO.

Strategic Plan (confirmed 1997) recognised as an international model under ICLEI Model Communities Programme for its ‘people-driven’ development process.

More than 4500 citizens participated in consultation & workshops & the crafting of 16 visions (presented graphically as ‘The Cloud’ in December 1994).

Safe city for everyone, on the streets, in the homes, & in the community

Healthy city, physical, emotional & mental health as well as clean water, air & soil

Equitable & Caring city refers particularly to children, youth, families, older people

Community participation in decision-making & people-based planning

Economic development without compromising the quality of life

Vibrant CBD of quality design & linked through to the river

Partnership with tangata whenua

Environmental sustainability (taking account of global issues)

Attractive, clean & green

Compact form with efficient services & facilities

Good & efficient access, including public transport, cycleways/walkways

Variety of affordable housing

Heritage, cultural & human diversity, & spiritual values valued

More affordable and accessible recreation, arts & leisure opportunities

Life-long education valued

Brimming with neighbourhood pride & community spirit

HCC begins developing tools for monitoring & measuring progress towards stated visions.

In line with international methodology of Global Score Cards framework for national progress reports for UN conventions arising from global summits eg 1992 Rio Earth Summit on sustainability. Focus on key ‘outcomes’ using goal setting & measures (eg key performance indicators – KPIs) to chart progress across social, environmental and economic well-being.

Concept of integrated ‘suite of measures’ emerges to acknowledge inter-relationship of key issues & struggle against ‘silo’ thinking.

Domestic Violence Act (1995) to reduce & prevent DV, to provide greater protection for victims, & provide for educative programmes for victims & respondents – Protection Orders in cases of family or household violence whether physical, sexual or psychological. Parliament agreed that the definition of ‘violence’ should be subject to the right of parents in Crimes Act s59 to correct their children.

CYFs “Breaking the Cycle” national media campaign launched to ‘change abusive parenting behaviours’ to educate parents that there are better ways of modifying children’s behaviour than the use of corporal punishment – in response to ‘social marketing’ pitch. Public debate, cynicism & scepticism on value of such an expensive programme.

Research (Colmar Brunton) re attitudes towards child abuse – 1. 7% agreed physical punishment OK as long as child not hospitalised & further 12% neutral or didn’t know &

2. 17% agreed that physical punishment never did anybody any harm while further 24% neutral or didn’t know….

Hitting Home: NZ men speak about domestic abuse report for Justice Department.

When social expectations about ‘what it is to be a man’ cannot be met, there is distress, a sense of powerlessness and a wish to regain power.

Where a man cannot free himself from society’s expectations, alter the frustrating circumstances, or communicate and deal with his stress, he is likely to be abusive towards his partner’.

October, Local government elections. Margaret Evans re-elected mayor of Hamilton.

1996 NZ Census, 832,100 children 0-14 years (under 15), increase on 1991’s 783,600, but still

below 1976 record of 928,200, & 23% of total population from 30%.

Stage Two “Breaking the Cycle” media campaign re physical abuse

Government Policy Statement on Family Violence (June 1996, Crime Prevention Unit). DSW publishes good practice guidelines for coordination of family violence services.

Courts Department launch national publicity campaign to highlight Domestic Violence Act 1995 & wider definition of family violence & procedures for response.

Together we can Stop Family Violence’ published by Police Managers Guild , reference to HAIP study (Gabrielle Maxwell) that children witnessed 87% of violence against parent, plus Women’s Refuge study, that 90% of children of refuge women were witnesses of violence.

Mason Report recommends public awareness campaign on mental health, 5yrs, $11million

New Zealand Crime & Safety Survey (NZCASS – Justice Ministry). National surveys of Crime Victims and Women’s Safety.

October, Central government elections, 1st MMP. National elected, coalition with NZ First. Jenny

Shipley takes over as PM the following year.

1997 – Stage Three “Breaking the Cycle” media campaign aimed at encouraging target audience to

‘self-correct’ their behaviour. Follow-up surveys showed ads recall 79-91%, contemplated behaviour change 44%, action 16%. ‘Exciting’ results with Maori & Pacific Island audiences (Hall/Stannard. Social Work Now, December 1997)

Police terminate Not Just a Domestic’ media campaign, lack of funding

June, ‘Pathways to Sustainability’ Local Initiatives for Cities & Towns, International Conference,

Newcastle, Australia. Newcastle Declaration. Hamilton’s strategic plan presented as a model case. NZ delegates begin plans for ‘Sustainable NZ’.

United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. (1997). Concluding observations of the Committee on New Zealand. Geneva: United Nations.  Recommended that NZ develop a comprehensive policy statement with regards to the rights of the child.

1998 – Major DSW restructure begun. Department of Work & Income (WINZ) from merged Income

Support, NZ Employment Service, Community Employment Group and Local Employment Co-ordination. Ministry of Housing’s housing policy function transferred to the Social Policy Agency of Department of Social Welfare.

Inland Revenue (IRD) launches $3million child support media campaign (to encourage defaulting parents to pay up) – social marketing concept.

Family Start pilots launched – early intervention. (Hamilton included)

October, Local government elections, Margaret Evans retires. Russ Rimmington elected mayor of


Sickness Benefit rates reduced to same level as UB & renamed ‘Community Wage’. Rates for 18-19year olds living at home reduced.

1999 – Public Service restructuring continues. CYPFA & CFA merged into CYFS. Ministry of Social

Policy amalgamated Social Policy Agency & Corporate Office functions plus new Purchasing and Monitoring Group.

Social Workers in Schools (SWIS) pilot project (12 positions), model schools as sites for

social work interventions providing non-threatening access point for most families, social services respond flexibly and professionally to needs of children & families including assessments & delivering early intervention & preventative programmes to groups of children & their families.

May, New Zealand Now- Children (1998 Edition), Statistics New Zealand –

Children is one of the New Zealand Now series, a set of statistical studies which

introduces and discusses subjects such as Mäori, women, young people, families and

households, housing and incomes. Each report draws on results from the 1996 Census

of Population and Dwellings and other sources to build a picture of New Zealand in the

1990s. This report sheds light on the areas of children’s lives that are measured in official

statistics, such as their educational achievements, issues relating to their health and

well-being and their family circumstances. – Preface, Len Cook, Government Statistician.

‘Children’ defined as 0-14years (under 15). Numbers peaked at 928,200 in 1976, dropped back to 783,600 in 1991, then upturn again to 832,100 in 1996. Projections – to rise to 871,000 in 2001, down to just over 800,000 in 2011, then further down to 762,600 in 2021. Percentage of total population dropped from 33% in 1960s to low of 23% in 1996. (pages 12-13)

Hamilton City Council revises long term Strategic Plan (‘People, Partners, Progress’) & development of sector Action Plans & sustainability indicators.

Review of HAIP (Roma Balzar) Coordinating community responses to domestic violence-90percent of the women felt they and their children were safer since HAIP established.

  • Also (Neville Robertson) Reforming institutional responses to violence against women Interagency protocols need to be monitored to ensure each agency’s ongoing accountability to the needs of victims of violence.

  • Perpetrator arrests, convictions and sentencing all increased

NB government cut HAIP funding for monitoring following ‘new policy directions & inconsistent findings’ including re-offending rates similar to those areas with no programmes. (NZFVCNewsletter, Vol 2, Issue 2, June 06)

October, National elections – Labour-led government elected (Helen Clark PM). Labour policy

Statement indicated plans for a national policy conference & to ensure community & sector groups involved in ongoing policy development. Alliance Party also indicated that meeing the needs of children a high priority.

National Indicators Project begun by the councils of the six largest cities in NZ (through their managers/CEOs) – Auckland, Manukau, North Shore, Waitakere, Wellington, Christchurch. Hamilton subsequently joined in.

December, ‘Our Health, Our Future’, Hauora Pakari, Koiora Roa – The Health of New Zealanders 1999, Ministry of Health.

Overview of the health of NZers, forms part of the Ministry of Health’s population health monitoring and forecasting activity, intended to contribute to evidence-based policy advice. Also of use to wide range of stakeholders in health and social services sectors.
Our Health, Our Future includes a description of population health status in terms of the two dimensions of health: quantity and quality of life. Then integrates these two dimensions using both health expectancy and health gap measures. Finally, analyses remaining scope for health gain.
Variations in health outcomes between generations, genders, ethnic groups, and socioeconomic groups explored…. The report draws on recent national health, disability and nutrition surveys, as well as statistical collections managed by the NZ Health Information Service and Statistics NZ.

Since the mid 1970s many of NZ’s key health indicators have not improved as rapidly as those of other similar countries such as Australia and Canada. As a consequence, during the last 20 years, for virtually all of the health indicators considered in this chapter, NZ’s relative position has declined. By the mid 1990s, for many key mortality based measures – such as life expectancy at birth, infant mortality, female cancer mortality, male & female IHD mortality, female injury mortality, and make & female rates of potential years of life lost from all causes, NZ ranked below the median of the countries considered here… (page 311)

….it is clear that the Maori population…still experiences survival chances significantly below those enjoyed by most people in the OECD…

21st Century – the past Decade & the Current Era

As the new millennium begins…

More inquiries & reviews into family violence, more task forces, more research, more policy on family violence, more strategies to reduce family violence, more commitments to a coordinated whole-of-government approach and better partnerships with the community, more Ministry restructuring with many of the same officials found sitting around the same policy-making tables, more millions spent within government, more millions spent on television campaigns aiming to increase awareness and change attitudes, more and more words, more and more violence.

More public policy interest in the ‘outcomes focus’, developing ‘suite of measures’ for ‘Report Cards’ or ‘Scorecards’ to chart policy impacts…Currency includes ‘partnerships’ & collaboration, including PPPs (public-private partnerships), & ‘Whole-of Government’ approaches…

Violent behaviours showing up in younger children…

2000 – NZ has 878,700 children 0-14years (under 15) of total population 3,855,900. Remains below

1976 record of 928,200 children but steady increase.

CYFs has 26,000 notifications, 7000+children needing alternative care

Report into death of James Whakaruru (OCC)

Social Workers in Schools (SWIS) expanded to 66.5 social worker positions in 171 low decile schools (1-5). Review says SWIS is an important government-funded resource that should ensure families better able to deal with children & reduce risks. High risk children reduced by 75%, noticeable improvement in children’s behaviour & school performance, elimination of FV as primary strategy for solving problems. Problems with isolation of SW, 29%/p/a staff turnover, need for more Maori & Pacific providers.

New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act (creating elected District Health Boards from 2001 ), NZ Health Strategy , Primary Health Care Strategy, Disability Strategy, & other strategies for Maori and Pacific peoples, plus Health needs assessment for NZ: overview and guide. Ministry of Health.

District Health Boards (DHBs), created by Public Health and Disability Act, required to assess regularly, and meet from their budgets, the health and disability service needs of local populations. Thirteen priority population health objectives were chosen.

Will involve ‘assessment of the population’s capacity to benefit from health care services, prioritised according to effectiveness, including cost-effectiveness, and funded from within available resources’. MoH overview and guide for DHBs on how to undertake health needs assessments of their populations. DHBs required to deliver first set of comprehensive health needs assessment documents to MoH by 1.11.2001. Intended that health needs assessments will provide DHBs, at least three-yearly, with information on health needs in districts, which can inform overall population-based priorities for services, strategic planning processes and annual plans.

February, Sustainable New Zealand – informal group of local government & community reps meet

to discuss promotion of sustainability/concept of sustainable development in NZ, in response to NZ ‘inertia’ at local & central government level & to follow on from Agenda 21 & Newcastle Declaration (1997 Pathways to Sustainability conference in Newcastle, Australia). Meet again in April, seek support & commission national ‘sustainability snapshot’ – current NZ status. (Group contacts Margaret Evans of Hamilton, Doug Gartner of Taupo District Council)

May, ‘Looking Past the 20th Century, report from Statistics NZ, identifies & explores issues likely to

have major impact on NZ in the future

One measure of the success of NZ’s public policy is how well we forsee society’s future shape & ensure that our policies, which impact on every aspect of our lives, fit in with global trends and local factors.’ (Len Cook, Government Statistician)

People & Well-Being 2000-2006’, Hamilton City Council’s Community Development Action Plan- (emerging from long term Strategic Plan)

…outlines ways in which Council will invest wisely in the community and work together with our partners to achieve an environment that will then give a secure, soundly-based framework on which the service and community agencies can develop and enhance their programmes… The plan assists Council and the Community to enact part of the Hamilton’s Strategic Plan vision and improve the well-being of Hamilton’s people.’ Mayor Russ Rimmington

…taken two years to produce…culmination of extensive community consultation & in depth local research…sets out the goals and strategies for the next six years to address the well-being of people in our growing city.’ Community Support Manager Donna Lewin

Community Development Goals to ‘enhance community & neighbourhood safety’ included ‘Council support for the Zero Tolerance to Family Violence project in partnership with central government and other agencies’. ‘Performance Indicators’ included

The overall incidence of domestic abuse is 10percent less than the national average – by June 2005 (Goal 2, page 26).

Other performance indicators included a ‘Social Policy Frame of Reference’ to be developed by June 2000, plus a new social policy ‘to support children & families’ by June 2002, by HCC Community Development Unit as well as biannual external evaluations on HCC social policies ‘to assess their effectiveness’ (in 2001, 2003 & 2005).

(NB 2000-2001 HCC Annual Plan provided for $3million for community development (excluding employment initiatives & housing) plus $1m for economic development (included $400,000 events fund, $350,000 Tourism Waikato),plus $370,000 for special&capital projects (including ‘community neighbourhood development $200,000)

July 19-2, Seminar on Children’s Policy. The social and economic position of children in New

Zealand, Ministry of Social Policy (2000), Background material for the Seminar.

Drafting a Research Agenda for Children for the Next Five Years, (MSD Smithies et al)

August, Benefit Trends in NZ briefing paper for Members of Parliament.

  • Spending on social security & welfare $12.9 billion (1999-2000) = 36% of all government expenditure, equivalent to 12.3% f GDP. Spending on the main benefits rose from 4.3% of GDP in 1940 to 10% in 1999.

  • About half of current spending on benefits goes to Superannuation. Other main benefit types are Domestic Purposes, Unemployment, Invalid’s & Sickness Benefits.

Includes Treasury’s Budget Economic & Fiscal Update 2000 graph – Health 19%, Education 18%, Law& Order 4%.

October, ‘Here Today, Where Tomorrow’ (by Dorothy Wilson, Catherine Syme & Stephen Knight), a

report for Sustainable New Zealand, the 1st ‘overview or snapshot of NZ sustainability, an historic initiative, provided to ‘stimulate discussion about how NZ can truly embrace the wider concepts of sustainable development & embed it into our social, environmental & economic futures’ – preface. (group contacts Margaret Evans of Hamilton, Doug Gartner of Taupo)

December, Brown Report – Care & Protection is about Adult Behaviour, Judge Mick Brown’s

Ministerial Review of CYF to Minister Steve Maharey.

Failure to invest in the health & moral welfare of our generation will inevitably create a tragic legacy for future generations… When we speak of a healthy society, I assume that means not only physical or economic health, but also moral, and dare I add, spiritual well being. In the appalling area of domestic violence we are creating negative role models for our future citizens while the violence being perpetrated on children must be unacceptable…

Family Violence is estimated to affect one in seven families or over 480,000 NZers. The economic cost has been estimated at $1.2billion dollars per year, more than our export receipts from wool…

We desperately need in this country to provide the inspiration and leadership to aspire to be a decent society. But in the end our future as a nation will not, cannot and should not, depend upon the future beneficence of the Social Welfare Departmental Structure, but rather on the resolve and character of each one of us as a citizen. (Brown, page 103)

December, Children in New Zealand. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Second

Periodic Report of New Zealand. December 2000. Wellington: Ministry of Youth Affairs.

2001 – NZ Census, 877,800 children 0-14years (under 15) in population of 3,876,900 (remains

below 1976 record of 928,200) & 30%.

March, ‘Here Today, Where Tomorrow’ International Summit, Hamilton, Asia Pacific

Preparatory Conference for UN Rio+10 Summit (2002) & ICLEI World Executive (Local Governments for Sustainability). 1st public presentation & release of Sustainable NZ report. [20 June 2002].

Ministry of Social Development established by amalgamation of Ministry of Social Policy

& WINZ. Housing Policy function moves to Housing New Zealand Corporation. Peter Hughes appointed CEO

The Social Report 2001 – 1st prototype report to monitor national social trends (MSD)

This report has three main purposes:

  • to provide and monitor over time measures of well-being and quality of life that complement existing economic indicators
  • to allow us to assess how New Zealand compares with other countries on various measures of well-being
  • to help identify key issues and areas where action is needed, which can in turn help with planning and decision-making.

There is an increasing recognition of the need to take an integrated approach to policies across the economic, social and environmental spheres. Existing sectorally-based outcome indicators – such as those reported by the Ministries of Health and Environment – aim to provide a comprehensive picture in particular spheres. Similarly, existing population-based monitoring reports – for example those produced by Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs – provide a detailed description of outcomes for particular groups. Recently cross-sector outcome indicators for children have also been developed, in the form of the Strengthening Families indicators of children’s outcomes.

The Social Report 2001 builds on this existing reporting by bringing together selected indicators across a range of sectors. This provides a high-level view of the overall social health of the nation, and recognises the cross-cutting nature of many social issues. Integration of indicators across the different dimensions of quality of life can assist judgements about priority areas for social action, and the overall coherence and sustainability of current policies.

Minister’s Foreword – Steve Maharey, Minister of Social Services and Employment:

The Social Report 2001 is a step towards assessing our country’s direction and well-being. It has been produced by the Ministry of Social Policy at the request of this Government and is a prototype for what is intended to be a regular publication on the social health of the nation, of value to ordinary New Zealanders as well as future governments. Regular social indicator reporting gives us something concrete against which to measure the nation’s progress over time on some key social goals and areas of well-being. This report provides a series of benchmarks for this purpose.

Social reporting is now internationally recognised. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations (UN), for example, report on a series of cross-country, cross-sectoral outcome targets. Most developed countries and some less developed countries already publish an annual statement of social outcomes.

This country has from time to time published reports on social trends, for example, the previous New Zealand Planning Council’s From Birth to Death reporting. Until now, however, there has been no public debate or agreement on what the key outcomes and indicators we wish as a people to measure ourselves against should be. This report intends to stimulate that debate.

The outcomes and indicators of outcomes used in The Social Report 2001 are based on an assessment of the characteristics of a good society. The assessment builds on international and national research about well-being and what defines quality of life. It reflects the findings of the 1972 and 1988 Royal Commissions on Social Security and Social Policy respectively relating to quality of life. It also reflects international conventions such as those relating to human rights.

The outcomes and indicators identified for social reporting need to reflect a broadly agreed understanding of how we define quality of life, in a way that recognises the aspirations of our many diverse communities….

This first report paints a mixed picture of well-being in New Zealand . As well as positive features such as increasing life expectancy, there are also some startling shortcomings. These occur in key areas such as the proportion of children living in poor households, literacy levels and child safety. There are also clear differences in the standard of living, level of qualifications, and health status for different groups within the population.

Some of the facts shown are not particularly palatable, but it is only by facing such truths that we can better understand where the concentration of effort and investment needs to go. The majority of areas that stand out in this report as requiring attention are areas that this Government has focused on since coming to office in October 1999.

CEO’s PrefaceDame Margaret Bazley DNZM, Chief Executive, Ministry of Social Policy:

Bringing together a range of information to provide a more comprehensive view of New Zealand and its people can assist governments in their development of integrated social policies.

There have been many changes in the social area over past decades, and, throughout, one thing is apparent above all. Social problems do not stand in isolation. They have complex and inter-related causes and must be dealt with in a co-ordinated way. The Social Report 2001 helps our greater understanding of this wider picture.


As in other countries, the choice of indicators is a matter of debate. In the coming months, the Ministry of Social Policy (and its successor the Ministry of Social Development) will be seeking opinions from a wide range of groups and individuals about this prototype report. Feedback will be sought about the overall approach taken, the nature of the indicators chosen, and areas where data and research could improve future social reporting….



All people have the opportunity to enjoy long and healthy lives. Avoidable deaths, disease and injuries are prevented. People have the ability to function, participate and live independently in society.

Indicators –

  • Life expectancy at birth
  • Dependent disability
  • Independent life expectancy
  • Youth suicide
  • Births to young adolescents
  • Prevalence of cigarette smoking

Knowledge and skills

All have the knowledge and skills that provide the opportunity to participate fully in society. Lifelong learning and education are valued and supported. New Zealanders have the necessary skills to participate in a knowledge society and to become global citizens.

Indicators –

  • Participation in early childhood education
  • School leavers with higher qualifications
  • Educational attainment of the adult population
  • Adult literacy skills in English
  • Participation in tertiary education

Safety and security

People enjoy personal safety and security. Society is free from victimisation, abuse, violence and avoidable injury.

Indicators –

  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Criminal victimisation
  • Road casualties

Paid work

Access to meaningful, rewarding and safe employment is available to all.

Indicators –

  • Unemployment
  • Employment
  • Workplace injury claims

Human rights

Civil and political rights, as well as economic, social and cultural rights, are enjoyed by all. The principles of the Treaty of Waitangi are recognised and incorporated into government decision-making.

Indicators –

  • Voter turnout
  • Complaints to the Human Rights Commission and Race Relations Office

Culture and identity

Cultural diversity is fostered. People have the right to express different cultural values and practices and to pass cultural traditions on to future generations. Our national identity reflects the values and aspirations of Māori, European/Pākehā, Pacific peoples and other groups and communities.

Indicators –

  • Participation in cultural and arts activities
  • Maori language speakers
  • Maori and Pacific children receiving Māori medium and Pacific medium education
  • Local content programming on New Zealand television

Economic standard of living

Everyone has access to an adequate income and enjoys a standard of living that means they can participate fully in society and have choice about how to live their lives.

Indicators –

  • Market income per person
  • Income inequality
  • Population with low incomes
  • Housing affordability
  • Household crowding
  • Food insecurity
  • Self-reported standard of living

Social connectedness

People enjoy constructive relationships with others in their families, whānau, communities, iwi and workplaces. They are able to participate in society and have a sense of belonging.

Indicators –

  • Unpaid work outside the home
  • Telephone and Internet access in the home
  • Participation in family/whānau activities and regular contact with family/friends
  • Membership of and involvement in groups

The environment

A clean and healthy environment is maintained, sustaining nature and meeting the needs of people now and in the future.

Indicators –

  • Air quality
  • Drinking water quality

Child Poverty Action Group voices concern ‘at the invisibility of children’ in the Report & in

policy & practice generally.’aims & purposes of the report are compromised by omissions and absences…Children comprise a quarter of the total population, and available data indicates that almost one half of all children are in the two lowest family income quintiles. The well-being of children is the most significant indicator of the well-being of society.’

March, The Quality of Life 2001, the 1st report from the six largest cities in New Zealand – Auckland, Manukau, North Shore, Waitakere, Wellington, and Christchurch. Covering around 40% of NZ population. (Hamilton subsequently joined in). NB NO REFERENCE to MSD’s Social Report

There has been growing acceptance during the last two or three years of the need for public policymakers in NZ to embrace a model of community involvement in decision making (community governance). One reflection of this is the strategic direction of the current Government in recognising the importance of an effective partnership between themselves & local government throughout NZ.

The outcomes sought by central & local government are common.They relate to a vision for high quality social, economic & environmental outcomes in our communities both today and for future generations. Furthermore it is evident that the outcomes will only be achieved if each partner contributes those elements which it is best placed to contribute…

In launching this report, the six cities invite central government to work with them on the ongoing development of these indicators & their use for improving the impacts of the programmes we deliver. This project provides an opportunity for looking jointly at the effects of the work of both central & local government on influencing the overall quality of life in NZ.

Issues & Indicators


  • Mental illness, infant mortality, GPs, Meningococcal disease & TB, physical activity, immunisation, birth weights, suicide


  • Home ownership, costs & affordability, Accommodation supplement, Central/local gov’t housing, crowded households, intensification


  • School decile ratings, early childhood education, suspensions & stand-downs, community education, qualification levels (NB no reference to literacy)

Employment & the Economy

  • Unemployment, jobs by industry, food prices & retail sales, occupational structure, regional economy, hourly earnings


  • Burglary, juvenile offending, unintentional child injuries, notifications to CYFs, Traffic fatalities, feeling safe (NB no reference to family violence)

Urban Environment

  • Noise, open space, city look & feel, air/beach water quality, mode of travel to work, access to recreation, public transport, graffiti (NB no reference to arts/culture)

Community Cohesion

  • Community strength, contact with neighbours, recognition of diversity, unpaid work


  • Representation, Councils & the Treaty of Waitangi, involvement in decision-making, election turnout


  • Income, migration, population growth, household composition, children in low-income families, social deprivation, age structure, ethnitiy

It is intended to host a workshop for interested government departments on data and technical issues as a follow up to the publication of this report. Identifying indicators that would provide relevant information on the six cities concerned has taken almost two years. The process involved research on similar work overseas & in NZ, identification of issues & areas of concern to cities to decide what would be monitored, selection of a set of appropriate indicators, collecting & analysing data based on these indicators, & finally, the writing of this report. (Introduction)

April, Agenda for Children. Discussion paper, April 2001. Wellington: Ministry of Social Policy.

New Zealand Crime & Safety Survey (NZCASS) – National survey of crime victims (Justice) indicates almost half of ‘violence’ reported to Police is family violence, & 75% involved people well known to the victim. About half of NZ murders are FV related, & most cases of child murder. 1/5 females had experienced sexual interference or assault, 26% of young women, 23% of Maori women.

Primary Health Care Strategy (Minister of Health)

Youth 2000, National Survey of the Health & Wellbeing of NZ Secondary School Students, 9699 year 9-13 students from 114 schools throughout NZ – ‘first nationally representative comprehensive student health & wellbeing information’. Youth2000, Auckland University. Series of reports.

  • Violence and New Zealand Young People: Findings of Youth2000’- This report aims to provide policy makers, educators, health providers and communities with information to support efforts to minimize violence and violence-related harm among young people. Other reports using Youth2000 data, include ethnicity-specific, regional, nonheterosexual and alcohol reports.

The key findings and recommendations of this report are:

1. Violence is a common experience for many young New Zealanders and is associated with many health issues.

2. Exposure to violence between parents or adults at home is particularly disturbing

to young people and is associated with serious health outcomes. Families need to be

supported to provide violence-free homes.

3. A significant number of young people experience regular bullying and feel unsafe at school. Schools need to provide safe environments for all students and provide accessible and supportive ways that help those students who are experiencing violence in their lives.

4. Many young people who experience violence do not access services or receive support to cope with this serious issue. Services need to recognize the significant role violence has in the lives of today’s young people and ensure staff are trained and able to identify and respond to the violence and violence-related problems of young people.

Government commits to Family Violence Plan (Te Rito)

Hamilton’s Inter-agency Family Violence project launched (HAIP, Te Whakaruruhau & Women’s Refuge, Parentline & Police) – begin working on POL400 project as a follow up initiative to daily notifications of Police callouts against reported incidents of domestic violence. Began process to identify every child present at family violence incidents attended by police. Participating agencies expanded to include CYFs, Courts & Probation.

October, Local government elections, & 1st District Health Board elections. David Braithwaite

elected Hamilton mayor.

Ministry of Social Development (MSD) set up, merges Social Policy & Department of Work & Income, to lead ‘a social development approach across government’, ‘to make more effective use of all the levers of government in a coherent way to improve the wellbeing of NZers’ – a whole of life, whole of government approach to improving the social wellbeing of NZers, ‘to move from social welfare to social development…’social policy & programmes are one of the key drivers for social & economic transformation. Strategic Social Policy Group set up within the new Ministry.

( Rob Brown, MSD Policy Manager,

December, Statement of Government Intentions for an Improved Community-Government

Relationship – signed by PM Helen Clark & Minister for Community & Voluntary Sector Steve Maharay. Confirmed ‘Whole of government’ approach, working together, ‘undertake a programme of work to address concerns about funding arrangements, effectiveness, compliance costs & related matters’, & government to work ‘alongside community, voluntary & iwi/Maori organisations to support & strengthen the community sector.

Property (Relationships) Amendment Act 2001, with accompanying measures dealing with maintenance and inheritance, comprehensive provision for de fact relationships.

2002 – NZ has 882,600 children 0-14 years (under 15), remains below 1976 record of 928,200

February 2, Growing an Innovative NZ – Growth & Innovation Framework.

Prime Minister Helen Clark releases the Government’s policy framework for economic transformation, (linked with move towards sustainable development)

The framework, Growing an Innovative New Zealand, has three key elements

  • Strengthening the economic foundations
  • Investment in innovation, talent and global connectedness
  • Sectoral policies focussing on the bio-technology, ICT and creative sectors.

GIF is designed to deliver the long-term sustainable growth necessary to improve the quality of life of all New Zealanders. It is a strategy based on a vision of New Zealand as:

  • a land where diversity is valued and reflected in our national identity
  • a great place to live, learn, work and do business
  • a birthplace of world-changing people and ideas
  • a place where people invest in the future
  • an environment people cherish and are committed to protect for future generations.

NB ‘The Government set out its economic objective as returning New Zealand’s per capita income to the top half of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) rankings and maintaining that standing.

February, Youth Development Strategy Aotearoa issued by government (for youth 12-24years) (Refer later to Agenda for Children issued in June)

The Social Report 2002 (MSD)

Te Rito: NZ Family Violence Prevention Strategy, development co-ordinated by MSD.

Family Violence identified as one of 5 critical social issues for NZ. Framework for 18 ‘Areas of Action’ to be implemented over 5 years

‘Given the indicative level and nature of violence in NZ families/whanau and the breadth and complexity of the problem, an integrated multi-faceted whole-of-government and community approach to preventing the occurrence and reoccurrence of violence in families/whanau was required. There was also a need to approach family violence in a more comprehensive and co-ordinated way, and to place greater emphasis on prevention & early intervention strategies.’

Family Violence Funding Circuit Breaker projectto improve coordination and alignment of government funding of family violence services. Involved 16 regional FVFC networks working with local funders & providers to identify local funding solutions & service gaps for FV service providers – lead to Funding For Outcomes & Integrated Contract in 2006 (Ann Pomeroy, Funding for Outcomes Project Manager). Now known as FV Funding Coordination Networks.

NZ Health Strategy, identifies reduction of interpersonal violence as a priority population health issue.

WHO ‘World report on health & violence’ (World Heath Organisation)

Reports into deaths of Kelly Gush & Tamati Pokaia (Chief Social Worker)

Local Government Act (2002) clarifies ‘purposes’ – Section 10 of the Act defines the purpose of local government, which is
(a) to enable democratic local decision making and action by, and on behalf of, communities; (b) to promote the social, environmental, economic, and cultural well-being of communities, in the present and for the future.

June, Agenda for Children launched by the government, ‘strategy aimed at improving the lives of children’ – ‘making NZ a great place for children’, raises children’s status in society, & promotes ‘whole child’ approach to developing government policy & services affecting children.

  • the Agenda for Children vision
  • a set of principles to guide government policies and services affecting children
  • a new “whole child” approach to child policy and service development
  • a programme of government policy and research initiatives to help achieve the vision.

The Prevalence & Persistence of Low Income among New Zealand Children: Indicative Measures from Benefit Dynamics Data, MSD, Ball et al. Follows children born in 1993. At least one fifth [20% or one in five] spent more than five of their first seven years with caregivers on low incomes, & ‘close to half’ included in DPB at first contact.

Analysis of factors that increase the risk of a long benefit duration highlight having contact with the benefit system at birth, & first appearing with a primary beneficiary who is female, Maori, aged under 20, or in receipt of the DPB. These factors are likely to be interrelated. (Abstract)

‘A number of recent studies highlight the impact of low income on children. The Child Poverty Action Group has drawn attention to adverse impacts of low family income on children’s well-being and rights (St John et al. 2001). Findings from the 2000 Survey of Living Standards confirm that New Zealand families with children on low incomes are more likely than others to report economising on basic items key to children’s well-being, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, visits to the doctor, and school books (Krishnan et al. 2002). Findings from the New Zealand Census-Mortality Study show that children in households with low equivalised income at the 1991 Census had higher-than-average mortality rates over the ensuing three years (Blakely 2002). (Introduction)…/prevalence-and-persistence-of-low-income18-pages92-117.html

Child & Family Policy adopted by Hamilton City Council, five year Action Plan, includes objectives’ to increase support to Hamilton’s children by advancing access to community services & activities, advocating children’s needs & issues, & the distribution of resources’.

August 5, Creating Our Future: Sustainable Development for New Zealand, report by

Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Morgan Williams. A review of NZ’s progress towards sustainable development with particular reference to environmental management performance since the 1992 Earth Summit. The report highlights the opportunities & challenges in maintaining a healthy environment, social well-being, & a strong economy’ – ‘NZ’s journey from 1992-2002 in the context of what has been going on in the rest of the world – particularly OECD countries’

The big gap in thinking, planning, & taking appropriate action until 2000 has been in central government. Our review concludes that New Zealand could have been a leading light on sustainable development by now – but we are not. However, I do believe we have many of the necessary ingredients to make the transition to a sustainable development pathway.’ (Morgan Williams)

August 28, Monitoring Progress Towards a Sustainable New Zealand (2002) – Statistics NZ, ‘an

experimental publication’, a 1st attempt’ to bring together information related to sustainable development in NZ & seek public feedback [forerunner to 2008 Measuring NZ’s progress’& Page 18 Reference to Here Today, Where Tomorrow’ Sustainable NZ Report, 2001].

Notes info & indicators selected by Sustainable Development Indicators Working Group, p 17.

Overview (pages 9-11) re safety & participation

reported criminal offence rate more than doubled between 1971 & 1991 from 586 offences per 10,000 people to 1284, but by 2001 it had dropped to 1106/10,000.

  • Child abuse and neglect (page 85)

The abuse and neglect of children can have long-term negative

effects on individuals, families and society. The number and

proportion of children aged under 17 years (per 1,000) who are

assessed as abused (physically, emotionally or sexually) or

neglected, following a notification to the Department of Child,

Youth and Family Services (CYFS) is one indicator of whether

children are safe. In the year to June 2000, 6,833 children, or

6.9 children for every 1,000 children aged under 17, were

assessed as abused or neglected.

  • Safety and security (page 87)

Young people aged between 17 and 20 years have the highest

rate of apprehension for criminal offending. The number of

criminal offences committed by young people aged between 10

and 16 rose significantly between 1991 and 2000, from 851

offences per 10,000 population in 1991, to 1,096 offences per

10,000 population in 2000.

Economic development is linked to social cohesion. Levels of unemployment and changes in labour market patterns, such as hours worked or the type of work available, have implications for family relationships and social cohesion.

Access to the natural environment and the design and form of public space can also support or hinder social cohesion. For example, levels of access to natural environments such as the coast, national parks and public walkways, can influence people’s perception of the natural environment and their ability to join together to protect it and to interact with each other. The way that public spaces are designed can also impact on people’s social interaction, for example public space allowing use by those with access needs (such as wheelchair and pram access), and allowing people to move around without threat of crime or injury.

The healthy development of children and support for effective parenting are also important to developing social cohesion and a sustainable society over time. If children are not valued, loved and nurtured, the costs and effects on society are likely to be significant and ongoing (in terms of related psychosocial problems, lower educational attainment, lower ability to form positive relationships and higher levels of crime).

The ability to take part in society depends on structures and processes that support participation (such as the voting and education systems) and on access to information. In the future, the opportunity to access new forms of technology for all who want it will be important to retaining social cohesion. (page 87)

Data gaps or issues

As with many other countries, New Zealand is in the early stages of developing its measurement of social cohesion. Current gaps in New Zealand’s national indicators include: those relating to people’s sense of belonging; sense of place; trust of others; trust in public institutions; tolerance of diversity; freedom of cultural expression; social support networks; social exclusion/isolation; and integration of new migrants into New Zealand life. Long, consistent time series are needed to monitor the progress towards sustainable development…

More information on the interaction among family/whanau, and on broader, different types of interaction is needed to provide better measures of social capital. Similarly, better information is needed to understand New Zealanders’ level of concern for and willingness to help support the wider community.

August, The Government’s Approach to Sustainable Development, NZ report for Rio+10,

UN Johannesburg world summit.

October, Principal Family Court Judge P D Mahony, Care and Protection of Children –

Contrasting Approaches, NZ Initiatives in Decision Making Around Child Protection Issues, Paper presented to Melbourne IAYFJM Congress –

The Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989 and the Domestic Violence Act 1995 are examples of contrasting pieces of legislation passed in response to different social pressures and needs within a six year period in one small country. The Acts embody two quite different approaches and reflect different societal expectations of Courts and the legal system.

On the one hand, the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act shows a confidence in the ability of the family to deal with care and protection issues, supported by the State, with the legal process being managed by the Family Court, i.e. minimal intervention. Does this place reliance on the family too far ahead of care and protection of children? Put another way, can care and protection issues be adequately addressed by this process? On the other hand, the Domestic Violence Act provides for legal intervention through Court orders, cutting across family connections and promoting children’s safety ahead of family relationships. In the past the law has tended to be more passive than this. Which is the right approach?

October, Making It Happen, NGO consortium, AUT Institute of Public Policy & UNICEF

Labour-led government re-elected (PM Helen Clark).

New set of goals to guide the work of the public sector in achieving Sustainable Development,’ issued by the government, provide a ‘frame of reference to focus policy & performance’, refer to sustainable development, emphasise need to see the goals as a whole…

Key Government Goals

Strengthen National Identity and Uphold the Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi

Celebrate our identity in the world as people who support and defend freedom and fairness, who enjoy arts, music, movement and sport, and who value our diverse cultural heritage; and resolve at all times to endeavour to uphold the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

  • Grow an Inclusive, Innovative Economy for the Benefit of All

Develop an economy that adapts to change, provides opportunities and increases employment, and while reducing inequalities, increases incomes for all New Zealanders. Focus on the Growth and Innovation Framework to improve productivity and sustainable economic growth.

  • Maintain Trust in Government and Provide Strong Social Services

Maintain trust in government by working in partnerships with communities, providing strong social services for all, building safe communities and promoting community development, keeping faith with the electorate, working constructively in Parliament and promoting a strong and effective public service.

  • Improve New Zealanders’ Skills

Foster education and training to enhance and improve the nation’s skills so that all New Zealanders have the best possible future in a changing world. Build on the strengthened industry training and tertiary sectors to ensure that New Zealanders are among the best educated and most skilled people in the world.

  • Reduce Inequalities in Health, Education, Employment and Housing

Reduce the inequalities that currently divide our society and offer a good future for all by better co-ordination of strategies across sectors and by supporting and strengthening the capacity of Maori and Pacific Island communities. Ensure that all groups in society are able to participate fully and to enjoy the benefits of improved production.

  • Protect and Enhance the Environment

Treasure and nurture our environment with protection for eco-systems so that New Zealand maintains a clean, green environment and builds on our reputation as a world leader in environmental issues. Focus on biodiversity and biosecurity strategies.

2003 – NZ has 888,700 children 0-14years (under 15). Remains below 1976 record 928,200. Total

population 4,013,300 – over 4m for first time.

Hamilton VIP Working Group established to review family violence interagency intervention,

Collaborative, reps from HAIP, Te Whakaruruhau & women’s refuges, Parentline, HCC & community. In response to funding concerns & increasing service demands.

Baseline Review of CYFs.

March, Children & Youth in Aotearoa 2003 Report (from coalition of NGOs) to the UN

Committee on the Rights of the Child on NZ’s compliance, & what needs to be done to effectively implement all the principles & provisions of UNCROC since NZ ratified the convention in 1993 & following on from UN recommendations in 1997.

Report representing NGOs through Action for Children & Youth in Aotearoa, ACYA. Includes section on protecting children from violence & neglect (Executive summary, pg xii) .

Attachments included ‘Making it happen: Implementing NZ’s Agenda for Children (2002) – AUT Institute of Public Policy, UNICEF NZ, & Children’s Agenda; When the invisible hand rocks the cradle: NZ children in a time of change – Blaiklock et al, Innocenti Working Paper No 93; Our Children: The priority for policy (2003) – Child Poverty Action Group and

UNICEF(2003) rates NZ poorly, & quotes Australian study that for every child death from maltreatment on average there are 150 substantiated cases of physical abuse & 600 cases if neglect & sexual & emotional abuse included.

Children’s Commissioner Act 2003, enables the Children’s Commissioner and staff to promote the rights, health, welfare, and well-being of children and young people between the ages of 0 and 18 years, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC). The purposes of this Act are—

(a) to continue, as the Children’s Commissioner, the office of the Commissioner for Children and to state the Commissioner’s functions and powers in a separate Act:

(b) to re-enact the Commissioner’s functions with modifications that are consistent with the Commissioner’s primary role as an advocate for children:

(c) to confer additional functions and powers on the Commissioner to give better effect in New Zealand to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child:

(d) to require the Commissioner to have regard to the Convention when carrying out the Commissioner’s functions and powers:

(e) to give the Commissioner express powers to obtain information and documents, and to apply for access to court records, in order to enhance the effectiveness of the Commissioner’s investigative and inquiry functions:

Families Commission Act 2003, sets up Families Commission.

‘Undertakes research, provides policy advice, consults the public and provides information to families and those who work with them. We do this to improve services, policies and support for all New Zealand families, and we look at these from a families’ perspective.’ Download our corporate profile [PDF, 1.1MB]

Commission’s main function
(1) The Commission’s main function is to act as an advocate for the interests of families generally.

(2) That function does not include acting as an advocate for the interests of a particular family or particular families in connection with a particular case or issue.

(3) In performing that function, the Commission must identify and have regard to factors that help to maintain or enhance either or both of the following:

(a) families’ resilience:

(b) families’ strengths.

Commission’s additional functions

In order to perform its main function stated in section 7, the Commission has the following additional functions:

(a) to encourage and facilitate informed debate, by any of the following persons, on matters relating to the interests of families:

(i) representatives of government, academic, and community sectors; and

(ii) members of the public:

(b) to increase public awareness and promote better understanding of matters relating to the interests of families, for example, the following matters:

(i) the importance of stable family relationships (including those between parties to a marriage, civil union, or a de facto relationship); and

(ii) the importance of the parenting role; and

(iii) the rights and responsibilities of parents:

(c) to encourage and facilitate the development and provision, by Ministers of the Crown, departments of State, and other instruments of the Executive Government, of policies designed to promote or serve the interests of families:

(d) to consider, and to report and make recommendations on, any matter (for example, a proposed government policy) relating to families that is referred to it by any Minister of the Crown:

(e) to stimulate and promote research into any matter relating to the interests of families, for example,—

(i) by collecting and disseminating information or research about families:

(ii) by advising on areas where further research or information about families should be undertaken or collected:

(iii) by entering into contracts or arrangements for research or information about families to be undertaken or collected:

(f) to consult with, or to refer a matter to, any 1 or more other official bodies or statutory officers, if the Commission considers it necessary or desirable to do so for the proper performance of any or all of its other functions.

Section 10 is headed “Diversity of New Zealand Families” and is symbolically redolent of a pluralist

and multicultural society:

(1) In the exercise and performance of its powers and functions, the Commission must have regard to the kinds, structures, and diversity of families.

(2) In this section, family includes a group of people related by marriage, civil union, blood, or adoption, an extended family, 2 or more persons living together as a family, and a whānau or other culturally recognised family group.

(3) However, persons are not members of a family for the purposes of this section solely because they have as their common objective or 1 of their common objectives the achievement of some outcome of a community, domestic, professional, recreational, social, vocational, or other nature (for example, the commission of offences against any enactment, whether to obtain valuable consideration or not).

(4) Subsection (3) is for the avoidance of doubt.

Professor Bill Aitken inaugural lecture, Law Faculty, Victoria University – .

This rare parliamentary attempt to define family is an inclusive, not an exclusive, one. The concept

of family is not narrow or restrictive. It does not depend on formal marital status nor on the legal

status of the child. Section 10 may well be designed especially for the research functions of the Families Commission and may not automatically translate to other contexts. Nevertheless, the diversity of families is a reflection not just of different cultures but also of the diversity of values and lifestyles –the way in which people actually live.

It is a truism to say that across the spectrum there has been very rapid change in attitudes, outstripping the conventional categories that churches, politicians and ethicists have relied on. It was only 20 years ago that homosexual practices were decriminalised. We now have civil unions and in some jurisdictions gay marriage. Could we have imagined this 25 years ago? It is hard to know what to expect in the next 25 years. How can we rationalise all this diversity now, let alone in a way that will stand the test of time?

February, Sustainable Development for New Zealand Plan of Action issued by the government as

3rd document ‘in order to focus & reorient government policy making & processes’ (previous docs were Growth & Innovation Framework, & set of Key Government Goals to guide the work of the Public Sector)

Sets out ‘A Vision for NZ’ (pg 9)

  • A land where diversity is valued & reflected in our national identity

  • A great place to live, learn, work & do business

  • A birthplace of world-changing people & ideas

  • A place where people invest in the future

And prospects for a future in which NZers

  • Celebrate those who succeed in all walks of life & encourage people to continue striving for success

  • Are full of optimism & confidence about ourselves, our country, our culture and our place in the world, and our ability to succeed

  • Know our individual success contributes to stronger families & communities and that all of us have fair access to education, housing, health care, & fulfilling employment… etc

The Social Report 2003 (MSD)

The Quality of Life Report 2003 (NZ’s 8 largest cities, Auckland, North Shore, Waitakere, Manukau, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin)

Community safety has improved in some areas, but further work is required on

  • Improving child safety …

  • & reducing incidence of violent & sexual offences (Executive Summary, pg 6)

September, Making NZ Fit for Children – Promoting a National Plan of Action for NZ Children

(Healthy Lives Section), UNICEF NZ.

October – ‘How can The Literature Inform Implementation of Action Area 13 of Te Rito?’

Davies et al from AUT Institute of Public Policy to MOH & MSD. Reviews research & evaluations of attitudinal change projects around the world & what seems to be effective.

November – POSS (Programme of Official Social Statistics) – led by StatisticsNZ to improve the

coherence of official social statistics across the government sector

Report into deaths of Saliel Aplin & Olympia Jetson (OCC, Nov)

December – Report into death of Coral Burrows (Duffy Review)

Age of sexual consent debate: The stark truth is this. Though the age of consent can frighten teenagers into not seeking help when they need it, it doesn’t stop them having sex. Cross-European comparisons of sexual health, carried out by Rox Kane and Kaye Wellings at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, show that the age of consent has no bearing on the age of first sex.

In Spain, the age of consent is set low, at 13: yet the average age of first sex for girls is 19 and for boys, 18. In Mali, the age of consent is 16, but most young people wait until a year later. In California, the age of consent is 18, but most have sex between 16 and 17. The age of consent in France, Sweden and Denmark is 15. In Italy and Canada, it is 14. In Japan, 13. In Chile, it’s 12. In Portugal and the Netherlands, teenagers between 12 and 16 can have consensual sex with their peers (often called age-gap legislation) otherwise the age of consent is 16. (Miranda Sawyer,The Observer, 2003)

2004 – NZ has 892,800 children 0-14years (under 15). Total population 4,078,700.

National Taskforce on Community Violence Reduction, set up under 2004 Safer

Communities Action Plan to reduce community violence & sexual violence.

Report on TV Violence to government, $3million

…early exposure to TV violence (between the age of 6-11years is assessed to be as powerful a risk factor as having a hyperactivity diagnosis, receiving harsh, lax, or inconsistent discipline, or poor school performance.’

…contributes to violent and anti-social behaviour’. – Dr Rajen Prasad (chair)

(Along with family violence & abuse, emotional & cognitive impairment, deprivation, poverty, gang sub-culture).

March, Hamilton’s VIP Report – Collaborative Violence Intervention Project (VIP) Plan of Action

seeks $1.1m for frontline services for FV interagency NGO agencies collaboration, HAIP, Te Whakauruhau & women’s refuges, Parentline child advocacy agency.

May, SKIP launched – Government allocates $10.8 million over three years for a parent support strategy Strategies with Kids – Information for Parents (SKIP). In 2003, Government decided that before a decision could be made about legislative change to Section 59 Crimes Act it was necessary to undertake a public education campaign on alternatives to the physical discipline of children.

Care of Children Act 2004 – ‘far reaching changes’ to way in which children are consulted and involved in Family Court process. Act also reinforces joint responsibility of parenting even after separation, and contains new enforcement provisions when parents frustrate orders and interfere with the other parents’ role’. The concept of guardianship is the cornerstone of the Act. Guardians have significant tasks (including duties, powers, rights and responsibilities) in relation to the child – daily care, naming, education, religion, residence, language, culture and so on. Section 5 states that “the child’s parents and guardians should have the primary responsibility, and should be encouraged to agree to their own arrangements, for the child’s care, development, and upbringing”

Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2004

Civil Union Act 2004

Government Budget provides for Justice/Police FV initiative (Family Safety Teams)

The Social Report 2004 (MSD) – sets out 10 areas of wellbeing including knowledge & skills, health, social cohesion, & safety.

Local Government Toolkit for Child & Youth Participation – launched by MSD

The Whole Child Approach – policy launched by MSD.…/about…childrenchild/whole-child-approach.doc

In policy and service development for children, taking a whole child approach means:

  • focusing on the big picture, on the child’s whole life and circumstances and the links between individual issues and other aspects of their lives
  • focusing from the outset on what children need for healthy development and wellbeing
  • looking across the whole public service at what can be done to support children’s healthy development
  • considering multi-level interventions in the settings of family/whānau, friends and peers, school and the wider community
  • viewing children as having valuable knowledge to contribute to developing and evaluating policies and services that affect them
  • considering ways in which children can be involved in decision-making on issues that affect them.

September, Family & Community Services (FACS) set up within MSD to ‘lead & coordinate

government & NGO services to families and communities’. ‘Families Programme of Action’ to be produced.

    September 30, UNROC Five Year Work Programme, NZ Plan of Action. MSD/Ministry of Youth Development & Response to UN Committee recommendations 2003 – 28 items…/uncroc-five-year-work-programme-in-publication-word-version-final.doc

    13 Assistance to child abuse victims

    The UN Committee recommended that appropriate mechanisms, programmes and services be established to ensure the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of child victims of ill-treatment and abuse. It recommended that New Zealand expand programmes and services aimed at preventing child abuse and assisting child abuse victims, and continue to improve the coordination of these services.

A number of initiatives have been undertaken in 2003 that are aimed at addressing these concerns. These include:

  • the Baseline Review of the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services
  • work led by the Ministry of Social Development to complement the implementation of the Baseline Review
  • the Care and Protection Blueprint 2003.

The Department of Child, Youth and Family Services, Accident Compensation Corporation and the Ministry of Justice (Courts) will continue to provide information updates on these initiatives as part of the UNCROC five-year work programme from 2004 to 2008.

The UN Committee also noted inconsistent use of age-bands, issues with definitions and differing

collection periods of data. Statistics New Zealand is currently leading two projects to enhance the quality of data on children in New Zealand. These projects are the:

  • Social Statistics Programme – a co-ordinated and integrated programme of surveys designed to improve the quality and scope of social statistics to allow better monitoring of outcomes for children
  • development of an indicator reporting framework to improve the quality and co-ordination of indicators and reporting in general, including those relating to children.

16 Child health outcomes

The UN Committee welcomed the introduction of the Child Health Strategy in 1998, but expressed concern over the immunisation coverage, the relatively high rates of infant mortality and injuries among children, and disparities in child health indicators between Mäori and the rest of the population.

  • Work is already being undertaken by the Ministry of Health to address these areas of concern. The New Zealand Health Strategy 2000 provides the overarching framework for improving the health of all New Zealanders, and includes the Child Health Strategy. The New Zealand Health Strategy has as a priority “ensuring access to appropriate child health care services including well child and family health care and immunisation”.  To assist in meeting this objective the Ministry of Health has developed a Child Health Toolkit.
  • Work on enhancing immunisation coverage and addressing infant mortality and injuries is undertaken intersectorally. Currently work is occurring within a number of Government agencies and strategies, including the New Zealand Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee and the New Zealand Injury Prevention Strategy.
  • This work will be included in the UNCROC five-year work programme from 2004 and monitored to 2008.

17 Adolescent health outcomes

The UN Committee expressed concern at the relatively high rates of youth suicide, teenage pregnancies and alcohol abuse by adolescents, and the availability and accessibility of youth mental health services for some groups.

  • Work is being undertaken by the Ministry of Health to address these areas of concern. In particular, Youth Health: A Guide to Action and the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy provide the framework for addressing the rate of teenage pregnancy. District Health Boards have a new teen pregnancy indicator for 2004 for reporting purposes. The Ministry of Education has also strengthened aspects of enforcement around sex education and health education components of the relevant national curriculum statements.
  • Mental health has been identified as a key area of investment by Government. In addition, the intersectoral strategy for children and young people with high and complex needs provides a vehicle for joint funding for some individual young people, and some joint service responses. A range of responses are being developed to address shortages of trained workforce in all areas of mental health, and particularly in the child and youth area.
  • This work will be included in the UNCROC five-year work programme from 2004 and monitored to 2008.

October, Local Government elections Michael Redman elected Hamilton mayor (member of

Violence Intervention Project VIP working group & deputy chair of Parentline).

December, Opportunity for All New Zealanders – government Social Policy summary

(‘overarching’ alongside Sustainable Development & Growth & Innovation Framework) to promote social wellbeing & reduce disadvantage, identifies five critical social issues for sustained interagency action over next 3-5years including ‘family violence, abuse & neglect’.

It shows how government agencies are working together to achieve and sustain improvements in social wellbeing…& …describes what central government is doing to promote social wellbeing & reduce disadvantage.

Social expenditure 2004/2005 = $37.4billion/78% of core Crown expenses (Minister Steve Maharey)

December, Children & Young People: Indicators of Wellbeing in NZ, MSD

WHO – ‘Preventing violence: a guide to implementing the recommendations of the World Report on Health and Violence [2002], World Health Organisation

2005 – NZ has 891,200 children 0-14years (under 15). Total population 4,126,600

CYF have 46,442 notifications for previous calendar year (almost double 2000 figures & 23%

up on 2004). 53,097 notifications for July04-June05. Completed 33,099 investigations (MSD stats, for Vulnerability Report).

Waikato Police record 2784 violent offences yr ended 30 June 05 (dropped that year but

ranged around 2900 per year since 2000 or 96+per 10,000 population, refer Police Stats)

Ministerial Task Force for Action on Violence within Families established to follow on from Te Rito 2002. ‘Leaders from government & NGO sectors’, committed ‘to work together & to provide leadership to end family violence & promote stable, healthy families’.

Chaired by MSD CEO Peter Hughes & his Social Services Policy deputy, plus head officials of Health, Education, Justice, Police, Te Puni Kokiri, Women’s Affairs, Pacific Island Affairs, ACC, Chief District Court Judge, Principal Family Court Judge, Children’s Commissioner, Chief Families Commissioner, & CEOs of CCS, Jigsaw, Women’s Refuges national collective, Relationship Services, Tamaki Community Development Trust, plus reps from Maori Reference Group & Pacific Advisory Group. NZ Family Violence Clearinghouse (NZFVC) funded ‘to coordinate, collate & disseminate information on FV’- consortium of organisations.

WINZ – $18.9million programme to train Work & Income case managers ‘to better identify & support families affected by violence & streamlined referral processes ‘to make sure clients can more easily access community-based violence prevention services’. Also established 25 family violence coordinators nationally.

Implementing a Social Development Approach’, Rob Brown, MSD Policy Manager, at NZ Association for Impact Assessment conference

April, ‘Good Practice Guide for Working with Local Government: MSD’s Contributions to community outcomes processes’…/good-practice-guide-working-with-local-govt.doc

June, Judge Peter Boshier, Making Our Children Count – The new Care of Children Act 2004,

Speech to Save the Children New Zealand, Wellington (17.6.05)

Putting children first is really the most fundamental principle of Family Law in New Zealand. This direction is currently given by s23 of the Guardianship Act, which provides that the welfare of the child is to be the first and paramount consideration. The Care of Children Act reiterates and strengthens this guiding canon. The paramountcy principle is moved to the front of the Act in s4 to symbolise and remind that it is the pre-eminent matter to consider when making a decision under the Act. Along with the “welfare” of the child, one must now also consider their “best interests”, to better comply with international usage, and with the wording of UNCROC. Paramountcy means that the welfare of the child must guide the outcome. Other factors, such as the needs of the parents, can be considered but are restricted in the weight that can be given to them by the overarching consideration of the welfare of the child.[4] Decisions are then truly child centred.

The Care of Children Act gives guidance on what constitutes the welfare and best interests of the child. This is a major development. The Guardianship Act gave no express guidance, leaving the Court to decide on a case by case basis. It remains the welfare of each particular child that must be decided under the Care of Children Act[5] but there are now a number of factors to be considered as generally in children’s best interests, so these should be followed as far as practicable. These principles are heavily influenced by UNCROC, and can be summarised as follows:

(a) the child’s parents have the primary responsibility for the child, and should be encouraged to agree to their own arrangements;

(b) the child’s relationships with his or her family, family group, whanau, hapu, or iwi, should be stable and ongoing. In particular, the child should have continuing relationships with both parents;

(c) the child’s care should be facilitated by ongoing consultation and co-operation among the child’s parents and guardians;

(d) relationships between the child and members of his or her family, family group, whanau, hapu, or iwi should be preserved and strengthened, and those members should be encouraged to participate in the child’s care;

(e) the child’s safety must be protected and, in particular, he or she must be protected from all forms of violence;

(f) the child’s identity (including culture, language, and religious denomination) should be preserved and strengthened.[6]

The Care of Children Act reflects a different conception of children and their place within society than existed when the Guardianship Act was drafted. A child is now recognised as being a legitimate person in their own right, rather than becoming so on the attainment of adulthood. The terminology, along with the philosophy of the Act, reflects this. The terms “custody” and “access” are replaced by “day-to-day care” and “contact”, to reduce the image of children as the property of their parents. The way in which the Act functions also reflects this change in ethos, particularly with the role given to children in Family Court proceedings. It must also be kept in mind that children, while deserving respect of their rights, are not self-sufficient. This is recognised in UNCROC.[7] Dependence on parents and families is a strong element of children’s lives.

July 18, Family Safety Team pilot project launched by Justice Minister Phil Goff. Pilot over 3 yrs,

$14.9million. FV ‘serious social issue’.

Key objective ‘to reduce likelihood of repeat violence as well as respond to incidents of violence. The goal is to raise awareness that FV is a crime, improve current responses to FV, & take a proactive approach to prevent further occurrences of violence’.

The FST initiative addresses concerns raised by family violence service providers and practitioners about the fragmented and narrow nature of the response to family violence across government and non-government sectors. These concerns were highlighted in the reports into the death of James Whakaruru and the Commissioner for Children’s report into the death of Saliel and Olympia Aplin and Coral-Ellen Burrows.

Overarching objectives of the Family Safety Team are to:

  • Provide formal systems and structures to support more effective interagency co-ordination, communication and collaboration to respond to family violence
  • Provide comprehensive and integrated interventions (whether services or support) for families experiencing violence
  • Develop national best practice and promote a consistent application of such practice for agencies working with families experiencing family violence.

These are contributed to by the teams:

  • gathering information
  • monitoring and evaluating practice and systems
  • promoting systemic change
  • intervening proactively where necessary
  • advocating to ensure the voices of victims and children are heard across all systems and services (from Police review TOR, 2009)

Hamilton shares FST team with Auckland (as a result of strong lobby by VIP working group in response to initial exclusion). Moves from Justice & becomes joint initiative with Police, CYF & community sector. In Hamilton, one yr contract plus two rights of renewal. HAIP lead agency, Parentline & Te Whakaruruhau/women’s refuges. 2 FTE advocates (child plus adult/victim).

August,Beyond Zero Tolerance: key issues & future directions for family violence work in

NZ’, Janet Fanslow for NZ Families Commission.

If New Zealand wants to move beyond zero tolerance for family violence, we must actively foster and promote healthy relationships across all levels and sectors of society. To address this issue, the report provides an overview of:

  • definitions of family violence
  • the level and nature of family violence
  • the effects of family violence on individuals and the community
  • information on interventions.

It discusses these key issues in terms of

  • child abuse
  • intimate partner violence
  • elder abuse
  • linked issues.

The report suggests a conceptual model for future violence prevention activity. The model shows how all sectors have influence and responsibilities across all levels, and interact with other sectors. The report concludes with recommendations for research, policy and practice.

Fanslaw argues that in order to get started with co-ordinated violence prevention work, no further reviews of existing research or violence prevention strategies are needed. Instead, several practical actions such as

  • Developing a tool for measuring prevalence of FV
  • Promoting info about risk & protective factors
  • Providing more specialist programmes for victims & perpetrators, such as mental health issues as well as FV
  • Providing more programmes in schools and for parents
  • Ensuring gender & cultural perspectives are included in approaches to violence prevention
  • Supporting the field of FV research

NZFV Clearinghouse Newsletter, Vol 1,Issue 2, November 2005

Fanslow notes worldwide move to develop a co-ordinated community response to intimate partner violence. This involves all key agencies:

  • exchanging information
  • developing & implementing shared policies
  • resolving service delivery issues
  • committing to a common analysis of violence
  • promoting good practice through training & guidelines
  • tracking cases
  • auditing practice
  • promoting community awareness of prevention work

(Garth Baker, NNSVS, October 2006.

Creating a Culture of Non-Violence’, report by NZ Parliamentarians’ Group on Population & Development.

New Zealand study indicates that nearly 50percent of women presenting at one

abortion clinic had experienced a lifetime prevalence of violence (Whitehead A & Fanslow J. 2005.  Prevalence of Family Violence Amongst Women Attending an Abortion Clinic in NZ).

Australian review of attitudinal change campaigns by Victorian Health Promotion Foundation [VicHealth], Vichealth Review of Communication Components of Social Marketing: Public Education Campaigns Focusing on Violence Against Women by Rob Donovan, social marketing expert.

3rd & 4th Periodic Report (UNCROC) for UN and 2004-05 Cabinet Paper and

2006 – NZ Census, NZ has 888,600 children 0-14years (under 15). Total population 4,176,100.

CYFs received 55,291 notifications for previous calendar year (2005), 49,063 reports

of child abuse that required further action. CYFs becomes a service line of MSD. July, CYF report on ‘children at increased risk of death’ – ‘extremely hard to predict’.,,The numbers of children who die from maltreatment represent the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of children who are maltreated, neglected, or abused….’ 2003 UNICEF Report quoted.

Waikato Police record 3333 violent offences – year ended 30 June 06 &

Hamilton Police/FST record 1241 FV offences, 3214 FV reports, 45% involving children

MSD $12 million programme, Children and Young People who Witness Family Violence – provides for up to 45 full time equivalent child advocates to support children aged 0 to 17yrs who witness violence in their families.

Reducing Family Violence: Primary Prevention Awareness Raising & Attitude Change, literature review/ report for Auckland Regional Public Health Service to assist their planning of attitudinal change initiatives.

NZ Child Abuse Prevention Service renamed Jigsaw family Services. Focus remains advocating for children and supporting families. “Jigsaw believes that every parent and caregiver, grandparent and family/whānau member wants to be the best they can possibly be when given the awesome responsibility of the care of a child. We all have to take responsibility to guide, protect and teach our children, but sometimes that can prove very stressful.” – (Tau Huirama, CE)

In Hamilton, Mayor Michael Redman appointed council CEO & council appoints deputy Bob Simcock as mayor.

May, Government Budget provision $11.5m, 4yr Family Violence campaign ‘Attitude and

Behaviour Change Project’ – (NB this become the It’s Not OK campaign)

A project is underway within the Ministry of Social Development to change the public’s attitudes and behaviours in relation to family violence, at the direction of the Taskforce

for Action on Violence Within Families. The Attitude and Behaviour Change Project aims to address the high levels of tolerance for, and use of, violence in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The first objective of the Attitude and Behaviour Change Project is to focus on increasing the safety of women and children by using a social marketing approach to change the behaviour of men who perpetrate partner abuse. This approach to ending violence is a first for New Zealand. Initial research is funded to inform the project and to gain a better understanding of the attitudes and behaviours with different subgroups of violent male perpetrators, including

what motivates the perpetrator to stop using violence and, discovering what barriers exist to change behaviour. Gravitas Research and Strategy is undertaking the formative research.

This research will involve consultation with family violence service providers and experts; in-depth interviews with men, from across a range of ethnicities, who are or have been perpetrators of violence; and interviews with victims of violence, families and others. The research is expected to be completed by mid-2006.

In the 2006 Budget announced on 18 May, the Government allocated $11.5m over four years for the Attitudes and Behaviour Change project. The funding injection means that a prevention campaign can now be developed that will involve national initiatives and resource development, as well as support for local community-driven projects aimed at changing the public tolerance of violence and reducing abusive behaviour.

The Social Development Minister David Benson-Pope said, “There has been an increasing awareness within our communities of the number of families who are devastated by family violence. If we are to turn around the appalling statistics our country has for domestic and family violence then as a community our attitudes must change further.”

Additional 2006 Budget news

A pre-Budget announcement of $9 million over four years signalled increased funding for family violence prevention agencies, including funding for 24-hour crisis lines, counselling, social work support, safe-house accommodation, advocacy and information. Reaction from some community agencies however was muted. Some are saying that because the money

is spread over so many agencies over four years, in reality local organisations will be lucky to receive a few thousand dollars each. This would not address the critical under-funding

of over-loaded services. (from NZFVCNewsletter, June 2006, & Te Rito News June 2006)

NZ Crime & Safety Survey 2006 (NZCASS) – estimates that only 32% of offences are reported to the Police, & ‘significant under-reporting for sexual offences & family violence ( for key findings). Survey of crime victims estimates only 9% of sexual violence offences reported to police. (NB earlier NZCASS surveys 2001 & 1996)

June 18, Death of Kahui twins

July, Waikato Police statistics to 30 June 06 – 1241 FV offences (Hamilton/FST)

3333 violent offences (Waikato)

Analysis of Community Outcomes from Draft Long-Term Council Community Plans – Department of Internal Affairs. Reported that the ‘most common community aspirations for health – having access to quality, affordable health services, being healthy in general, living/being able to live health lifestyles(pg 4).

Most DHBs part of collaborative initiatives eg intersectoral forums, on community outcomes eg safe communities, healthy lifestyles & housing.

Barrier is MoH’s Public Health contract, oriented around programmes such as tobacco control or nutrition or physical activity. Funding for ‘social environments’ relatively modest. The Ministry’s response suggests prospect of greater focus on social and physical environments ‘without detracting from the Ministry’s targets, relating for example to healthy action and tobacco’. (pg 6)

NZ Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) assess progress in care & protection for NZ children. Barriers include ‘lack of understanding by government of how communities operate, bureaucratic patch protection, overemphasis on pilots & programmes, lack of investment in preventive work & a risk averse political climate’.

6th CEDAW Report on The Status of Women in NZ (to UN) from Ministry of Women’s affairs (pgs 49-52 re violence). ‘Family Violence is a serious social and economic issue’, & reference to the Crime Reduction Strategy, Te Rito Family Violence Prevention Strategy, Opportunity for All NZers ‘which identifies family violence as one of five critical social issues for NZ, and the NZ Health Strategy which lists reduction of interpersonal violence as a priority population health issue.

This report listed the following Government interventions ‘in place or being implemented to eliminate violence against women’-

Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families – to make recommendations by July 2006

National Taskforce on Community Violence Reduction – under 2004 Safer Communities Action Plan

Project Mauriora – building capability of Maori practitioners

Pacific Family Violence Prevention Strategy – increasing education & awareness & changing attitudes

Family Violence Teams pilot (FST?) – to ‘ensure full range of issues facing a family experiencing violence are addressed’

Family Violence Funding Circuit Breaker – collaborative initiative aimed at making things easier for community service providers

Family Violence Intervention Programme – to improve WINZ response to clients who experience family violence

Scoping of multi-year campaign to change attitudes & behaviours (‘It’s Not OK’)

Health Screening for family violence

This CEDAW report also notes-

Ministry of Health & Health Research Council sponsored research to evaluate health professional training projects re best practice procedures to improve response to victims of FV & to improve response of healthcare providers to victims of FV

Ministry of Health also funding number of public education projects including Violence free hapu – prevention & early intervention in traditional Maori communities Violence free marae/Maori workforce development – training Maori health & social service providers in FV intervention

DV Free Employer response – developing healthy workplaces by supporting victims & educating staff

Promotion of youth non-violence & healthy gender roles – promoting men speaking out against violence through the media & work with sporting & educational organisations to promote non-violence among young men

July 25, Harmonising Family Law, Professor Bill Atkin, inaugural lecture as professor

in Law Faculty, Victoria University, Wellington.

The Social Report 2006 (MSD)

Annual report on national & regional trends….

August, 1st annual review FST pilot scheme . Plans for year(Hamilton):

  • Conducting review of strangulation reports by collating Police reports over last 12 months
  • Establishing a feedback reporting format between the FST and CYF to identify repeat FV incidents
  • Formalising MOUs between community agencies and Government agencies regarding joint protocols to deal with emergency services and referral responses from the case management meetings
  • Developing liaison between current operating youth and cultural programmes
  • Developing collaborative presentations on the FST process
  • Establishing links and formal MOUs with local ethnic groups and programme providers
  • Contributing to the Hamilton Youth and Family Services project, looking at how families’ needs can be met in a more holistic way
  • Establishing monitoring processes for families referred through the case management process
  • Contributing to establishing and coordinating a local service for women to obtain protection orders
  • Working with Hamilton courts to establish a court advocate position to support victims and monitor court decisions and processes.

August, UN Study on Violence Against Children – provides a global picture plus recommendations to prevent & respond to this issue. & summary/recommendations

October, ‘How NNSVS can bring about attitudes and behaviour change’, for National Network

of Stopping Violence by Garth Baker. Refers to 2002 Te Rito: NZ Family Violence Prevention Strategy, & reviews range of reports re FV & in particular public education/awareness.

Hamilton City Council begins revamping strategies for the future (Mayor Bob Simcock & CEO Michael Redman)

December, Hamilton City Council Social Well-being Strategy Steering Group launched ‘to

acknowledge the programmes & projects happening in Hamilton…& also to discuss a new way of solving the problems & issues held in common’. Group members are Hamilton City mayor & CEO & CEOs/regional managers of ‘key social development agencies’ ( MSD, CYF, F&CS, Youth Development, Police, Te Puni Kokiri, Education, Housing NZ, Waikato District Health Board, Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa, & Social Services Waikato). (HCC Social Well-being Strategy 2007).

Our strategic intent is not to cover all social well-being issues and services. Rather, the strategy document targets the areas that will make a real difference on the ground.

Tangible on-the-ground results are all that matters and these results will come through joint flagship projects…

… this strategy describes our priorities for the city and how we will ‘turn the corner’ in these areas over the next five years. We will monitor progress annually.

Priorities for action/key priorities/shared outcomes

  • City leadership/collaboration – reinforcing city’s ’strong tradition of collaboration in the social sector

  • Quality of life – access to housing, personal security & income

  • Community capacity & pride – including ‘elders/kaumatua respected & valued’, children nurtured’.

  • Community safety – crime & fear-free, ‘children & young people free from abuse & neglect’, ‘right support there to prevent family violence & help people overcome destructive behaviours’.

  • Vibrant young people – ‘optimistic about their future’…

Current situation

  • 12,591 children reliant on person receiving a benefit

  • Violent crimes risen by 20% in past decade, also rise in burglary, theft, graffiti & drug abuse.

  • Youth apprehensions increasing

  • Child abuse notifications increasing, & abuse case substantiation (2005 = 4710 notifications to Waikato CYFS, 85% required further investigation.

We know that there needs to be a wider awareness of child safety. It is likely that many of the victims of child abuse remain undetected and that further effort is required to ensure that the health and safety needs of these children are met. (SWS, Community safety)

Community Safety flagship projects included

  • ‘One stop shop’ for families to access information & support, action plan to be developed by Regional Director CYFS (07) 9571304

  • Young people & gangs intervention project (‘long-term sustainable solution’) ‘to support young people involved in gang culture to transition into sustainable employment, training, or back into school, action plan to be developed by Youth Development Team leader HCC (07)8386497

  • Campaign for action on family violence to give ‘local dimension’ to national campaign, & to ‘complement and support existing local networks & actions to develop good outcomes for the city’, action plan to be developed by Community Development Unit HCC (07) 8386626. (HAIP only NGO among HCC & Crown ‘lead agencies’)

2007 – NZ has 887,900 children 0-14years (under 15). Total population 4,222,700.

CYFs receive 67,256 notifications for previous year 2006, up 22% (on 55,291 previous).

(also 68,819 – involving 50,301 children & young people, with 12,453 substantiated. 49% of children found to be neglected. For abused children under 5years – 48% emotional abuse, 23% physical, and 12% sexual abuse.

Police record 32,675 offences as FV related during 2006 – a 54% on the 2000 stats. Serious assaults 55% of family-related violent offences 2000-2006 ( FV Statistics Report, 2009, p 12)

In Waikato, Police record 2144 violent offences (Hamilton City), 3648 (Waikato) – yr to 30.6.7 & Hamilton Police/FST record 1473 FV offences, 3940 FV reports, 47% involving children

Child Poverty in Perspective, An Overview of child well-being in rich countries (2007) Innocenti Report Card No 7 – UNICEF/IRC analysis of available data for cross-country comparison. Notes ‘insufficient data’ from NZ & Australia to be included in overview. Followed in December by Measurement & Analysis of Child Well-Being in Middle & High Income Countries (Heshmati et al, December 2007) – further analysis of UNICEF study data base ‘much more sophisticated approach’. NZ in bottom five with lowest wellbeing, ranked with Lithuania, Estonia, UK & Russian Federation. Highest are Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Spain & Iceland.

May 21, Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 (aka Sue Bradford’s anti-

smacking bill but amended version on aim to ban physical punishment), supported by 113/120 MPs. Police/MSD to monitor police activity March 2007-June 2009 & public updates.

June 20-21, Community-Government Forum – national forum involving the community and

voluntary sector and government, in Wellington to address community concerns. Community Sector Taskforce funded by MSD’s Office for the Community & Voluntary Sector (Min. Ruth Dyson)

June, ERO Report on evaluation of Teaching of Sexuality Education in years 7-13 reports that ‘the

majority of programmes were not meeting students’ learning needs effectively.

Review of School-based Education on Alcohol & Drugs, and Mental Health/Suicide Prevention by Massey University’s Centre for Social & Health Outcomes Research & Evaluation (SHORE). Project initiated & funded by community trusts & philanthropic organisations concerned about effectiveness of externally provided education programmes in schools (Trust Waikato, ASB Community Trust, Bay Trust, Community Trust of Otago, Eastern and Central Community Trust, Tindall Foundation, JR McKenzie Trust, Whanganui Community Foundation . ‘Findings causing concern among both funders & outside providers delivering the programmes’.

Report Think PieceWhat to do now the evidence is in? Concludes class-room based programmes expensive, ineffective, & lack of info on long term beneficial effects. Some positive impact from both universal & targeted mental health programmes using CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) to enhance coping strategies, promoting positive mental, emotional & social wellbeing, & training parents how to communicate well with their children…


  • ‘Whole-school’ approach to health promotion & initiatives, with integrated strategies across school, home and wider community based on WHO model
  • School needs to create environment ‘conducive to learning’.
  • Better collaboration among programme providers & other community groups
  • Development of promising local initiatives (targeted = selected & indicated)
  • Programmes designed to meet specific cultural needs
  • Alcohol & drug/mental health education appropriately part of health & physical education curriculum.
  • Requirement for ‘significant commitment to extra resourcing & funding’

Included literature reviews to identify best practice principles re-

  • Evidence of effective strategies/policies in the wider social contexts
  • Systemic/effectiveness of school-based alcohol & drug education programmes
  • School-based mental health promotion & suicide prevention programmes
  • The whole-school approach to reducing harm from alcohol & drugs and promoting mental health

Family Planning NZ reports rates of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea have increased significantly in the last few years.  Incidence of Chlamydia considerably higher than in Canada, Australia and UK. Rates higher for Maori and Pacific people owing to a complex range of factors, many of them linked to social and economic disadvantage and disparity.

HIV and AIDS have been successfully managed but recent increases have included greater numbers of heterosexually transmitted infections, with increase of 49 percent between 2002 and 2003 (35 cases in 2002 to 52 cases in 2003). (from What is the state of sexual health in New Zealand?)

High number of unplanned pregnancies– 60% of women under 25. (Dickson N, Wilson M, Herbison P et al. 2002. Unwanted pregnancies involving young women and men in a New Zealand birth cohort. New Medical Journal 115: 115-9).

2nd highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the OECD (2006).

High rates of abortions compared to some other countries, particularly among Maori, Pacific and Asian women. In 2004, 20.5 per 1,000 women aged between 15 and 44 at higher end of scale along with the United States, Australia and Russia. Recent years – decrease in some ethnic groups and increase in abortion for Asian women.

For year ended 30 June 2007, Hamilton City Council’s Scorecard 2007 results –

‘Recorded violence, sexual, drugs & anti-social criminal offences = 1,362 reported offences/100,000 Ten Year Trend = ‘Getting Better’

NB – Waikato Police record 3648 violent offences– year ended 30 June 07 (2144, Hamilton City )

Hamilton Police/FST records 1473 FV offences, 3940 FV reports, 47% involving children

c/p previous 12 months – Waikato Police record 3333 violent offences, year ended 30 June 06

Hamilton Police/FST record 1241 FV offences, 3214 FV reports, 45% involving children

July, Victim Child – Shame on New Zealand, ACYA’s 2nd review of NZ’s Agenda for Children

(2002), Action Area 4 Addressing violence in children’s lives, & monitoring of NZ’s UNCROC compliance record. (Shuttleworth, 30 July, 2007)

    In the five years since the Agenda was launched there have been the inevitable ‘disappearing strategies’ & ‘new directions’ & tracking & reporting on the implementation and impact of the ‘actions underway is an enormous task. This paper simply identifies some of the action currently being undertaken by the government & society to address the protection of children…

    Surprisingly & somewhat shamefully, is the fact that the ‘look to the future’ section of the Agenda for Children concentrates almost solely on bullying. While bullying is important the lack of specific focus on other areas of violence to children was regrettable.’ (Introduction)

    UNCROC 2006-07 Summary Cabinet Paper & Appendices and

    Appendix 2: Detailed breakdown of government activity

July, ‘Leading Social Development in Waikato’MSD 2007-08 regional plan.

There is an emerging awareness of violence in the community among young people and families. During 2006, 6,298 women & children living in Hamilton were involved in Police-reported family violence incidents. This is an increase of 84% since 2001 [Hamilton POL400 statistics – HAIP]. We will continue to work closely with the New Zealand Police, Youth Justice and the community to build a more collaborative response to family violence within our region.

We must come together with the people, organisations and sectors in our communities to help our families both young and old, thrive and reach their potential. It is only through working in partnership that we will truly understand our region today, so that we can make an investment for tomorrow.’ (page 6)

Regional Commissioner Te Rehia Papesch –‘A key priority, as we look forward, is to help Waikato families to live free from violence. We will continue to lead a dedicated approach among our government partners and community organisations to address the issues leading to and arising from family violence.’ (page 7).

August 3, Abused Rotorua toddler Nia Glassie dies in Auckland’s Starship Hospital (NB In 2009,

five people convicted of various charges including murder, manslaughter, wilful neglect & assault).

The Social Report 2007

September 4, $14million FV ‘It’s not OK’ campaign launched by Taskforce for Action on Violence

within Families, original budget $11.5 + $3m from Families Commission. NGO lobby gained $3million in ‘Response Fund’. Survey result = 90% remembered ads, & 50%+ had discussed with others or taken action (Steve Chadwick, Minister of Women’s Affairs, 7.3.08).

Ministry of Health funds Family Violence co-ordinators in DHBs for Violence

Intervention Programme to train hospital staff to recognise abuse/violence.

Ministry of Justice sets up Task Force for Action on Sexual Violence

ACYA Review of Agenda for Children, Action area 6 Improving Local Government & Community Planning for Children

October 2, Hamilton City Council launches Social Well-being Strategy ‘a place called home’ –

Steering Group signatories Hamilton City Mayor & CEOs/regional managers of ‘key social development agencies’ (MSD, CYF, F&CS, Youth Development, Police, Te Puni Kokiri, Education, Housing NZ, Waikato District Health Board, Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa, & Social Services Waikato). ‘Will deliver real results on the ground over the next 1-3years through a suite of eight flagship projects’, $100,000pa until 2015/16 (pg 22, 2008-09 Annual Plan) NB 2002 Council’s Child & Family Policy/five year Action Plan replaced.

Local Government elections. Bob Simcock elected Hamilton mayor

November, Corrections (Mothers with babies) Amendment Bill (in prison)

December, Ministry of Social Development publishes the ‘Ongoing Programme of Action’

of the Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families’ outlining ‘some of the most important aspects’ of their plans ‘to eliminate family violence in all our communities’.

If we had any doubts about the need to mobilise so many government & non-government

organisations to act to eliminate violence within families, events throughout 2006 & 2007 dispelled them.

As at 19 October 2007, the police national homicide monitoring programme database recorded that 25 out of 53 cases investigated as murders in 2006 were recorded as family violence-related deaths. Of the 26 victims (one case included two victims), 12 were women, six were children and eight were men. Of the 12 women, 10 were killed by a male partner or ex-partner (six of these had protection orders in place). All six children were killed by their parents or caregivers. Of the eight men …one was killed by his female partner, the others by other men.

We know family violence prevents children who experience this violence as victims and witnesses from reaching their full potential as citizens of this nation. We know that those who suffer in violent relationships struggle to contribute fully to the social and economic fabric of the country. We know that those who inflict violence cannot fully engage as leaders, role models and caregivers in our communities.

There is no doubt violence within families is a significant problem in our communities.’ (pg 5)

The Campaign for Action on Family Violence mass media advertising campaign (along with engagement with ‘strategic partners, NGOs, Rotary, churches & mayors’, plus media training for community organisations) was launched in September 2007 ‘to change attitudes & behaviour around family violence’…with material developed for different communities & all material will reinforce the single unequivocal message that family violence is not OK. (page 18-19).

‘The development of the campaign was underpinned by formative research into male perpetrator attitudes towards family violence. A research & evaluation programme will inform the ongoing development of the campaign. A benchmark survey will provide a monitor for attitudes towards family violence.’ (page 19) (NB The report does not include campaign costs $14m – refer 2006 budget $11.5m + $3m from Families Commission)

The report confirms the Task Force 2005 vision, approach & guiding principles, referring to ‘sustained & collaborative effort over time’…. actions that will ‘make the most difference’ plus effective sustainable outcomes….and ‘learning as we go’ (page19)

Effective support services – ‘We will work with service providers in the area of family violence to ensure they have the capacity & capability to meet the demand for services’. (page 10)

Our focus will be on ensuring our prevention, early intervention, protection and accountability systems work together’. (page 12)

New ‘prevention & early intervention’ initiatives will include ‘developing a suite of services for children aged 3-7 years with conduct disorders/severe anti-social behaviour, and their families, to promote healthy emotional and social development. ‘We will also develop and support educational curriculum initiatives…’ (page 21)

Why we’re doing it: We want to support the campaign [the nationwide It’s Not OK campaign] by placing an emphasis on working with children; targeting their needs and teaching them how to keep themselves safe and how to mature confidently in a safe environment.

An estimated 5% of primary & intermediate aged children present with conduct disorder/severe antisocial behaviours. We want to develop & deliver a suite of services for these children to reduce the prevalence of children at intermediate schools with these problems. Without appropriate interventions, we acknowledge these children are more at risk of becoming perpetrators of violence.

We also expect to see a reduction in severe cases of family violence over time.’ (pg 21)

Chapter 6 – Action on Effective Support Services refers to a one-off $20.4m over the next two years ‘to build the capacity & capability of community-based child & family service providers’, to ’deliver services including but not limited to services in the area of family violence’ (page 28).

2006-07 achievements are recorded as $9m over four years for NGO sector, work started on a ‘long term plan’ as part of the Pathways to Partnership plus a new funding model & transparent costing tool. 2007-08 plans include training for ‘key contact’ professionals such as ‘teachers, nurses, doctors, sports coaches & Work&Income staff’ to identify victims, observers or perpetrators of family violence. Project Mauriora to train 60 workers in prevention, early intervention, protection & accountability. Also to develop strategy to guide Pacific communities & ‘quality training programme’. (page 29).

The needs of those affected by family violence, whether as victims, observers or perpetrators, must be met decisively, comprehensively, and immediately. We are embarking on a long-term strategy to eliminate family violence that will transform our nation.’ (Conclusion, page 30)

The causes of family violence are complex & numerous, and they must be tackled by actions intervening at many levels. The evidence leads to the following three priority areas in any approach:

  • Changing attitudes in society as a whole….

  • Intervening as early as possible…

  • Ensuring effective responses…

We are changing attitudes towards family violence in NZ society. This will have the greatest impact on the levels of violence in NZ… ‘We are intervening as early as possible in the lives of children… Evidence indicates that proactive early intervention for the most troubled families, parents and children will bring the most benefits in the long run.

The Taskforce believes the most effective responses to family violence are:

  • Zero tolerance…

  • Ensuring maximum support & security for victims with Protection Orders…

  • Making perpetrators accountable…

  • Providing effective support & information about services…

  • Teaching relationship skills…(page 30)

Finally, the Taskforce, in 2008, will report on its achievements and impact, what has been learned in the first two years, effective initiatives and new initiatives…(page 30).

December, Measurement & Analysis of Child Well-Being in Middle & High Income Countries, by Almas Heshmati, Chemen S.J. Bajalan, Arno Tausch (IZA), a further analysis of the UNICEF study data base – 33 countries, ‘a much more sophisticated approach’ (Refer back to early 2007).

NZ 30th in ‘lowest well-being’ because of poor performance in health & safety and peer & family relationships, at bottom with Lithuania, Estonia, UK & Russian Federation.

Children & The Law, by Robert Ludbrook (for ACYA, Action for Children & Youth Aotearoa),

Children, Youth Persons & Their Families Amendment Bill (No 6) re care & protection & youth justice.

2008 – NZ has 889,500 children 0-14years (under 15), total population 4,263,600.

CYFs receive 79,741 child notifications in last calendar year (2007), & 98,890 yr ended

June08, 33,301 investigations completed. 31% increase on previous period, mainly due to increase in notifications from Police (from BIM 08).

Police record 2468 violent offences (Hamilton City), 4260 (Waikato) – yr ended 30

June 08 & Hamilton Police/FST record 1898 FV offences, 4440 FV reports, 45% involving children & 48% repeats . Continuing trend upwards.

February – District Health Boards Community Outcomes Involvement Report, review for Ministry

of Health, re challenges & opportunities for DHB & local government collaboration on community outcomes processes.

…’public consultation associated with LTCCPs is identified as a key entry point for public health with community wellbeing and community safety being the public health levers. Community outcomes are not just about transport, development and growth – they include health, safety, education and recreation. The emphasis on collaboration and community wellbeing is wholly consistent with the health sectors regional role. (page 4)

Supporting Local Authorities to Assess the Impact of their activities on Children: Literature Review’ – both OCC (Office of the Children’s Commissioner) & AUT’s Local Government Centre ‘are investigating how to support Local Authorities in NZ to consider the impact of their activities on children (pg 4)

March, ‘Preventing Physical & Psychological Maltreatment of Children in Families –

Review of Research for Campaign for Action on Family Violence’ – MSD Centre for Social Research & Evaluation.

This report is a ‘Literature review of research on preventing physical & psychological maltreatment of children in families – identifies the risk factors for child abuse & neglect and also identifies what can help prevent child abuse’ (cover note).

The Purpose & Focus‘(page 3) – to provide an evidence base for the development of the Campaign for Action on FV, and to contribute to the public & community education programme’. Research question 5. ‘What motivates & enables other adults (family or non-family) to intervene when they suspect a child is being abused.

The report ‘makes the case’ for ‘six approaches for primary prevention efforts to reduce child maltreatment (in addition to witness & bystander intervention or reporting) ‘ (3.3, page 18) –

Having identified the multitude of interacting risk factors involved in child physical & psychological maltreatment, it follows that any large scale reduction in the incidence involves a multi-faceted approach that addresses the underlying causes & the many contributing factors.

  • Establish a positive view of children
  • Change attitudes & beliefs about physical punishment
  • Primary prevention efforts – aimed at reducing adult partner violence
  • Primary prevention – parenting programmes alongside help with adult alcohol & substance abuse
  • Early intervention services for all families along the risk spectrum, plus more intensive wraparound services for higher risk families’

March, Safer Children in a Digital World by Dr Tanya Byron, for UK government, Dept of Children, Schools & Family. &

We need to move from a discussion about the media causing harm, to one which focuses on children and young people, what they bring to technology and how we can use our understanding of how they develop to empower them to manage risks and make the digital world safer’ – Dr Tanya Byron

April 3-4, ‘E Tu – Whanau Summit’ to consider report on Family Violence commissioned by the FV

Maori Reference Group of ’16 Maori leaders working in the field of domestic & whanau violence’ – aim to ‘raise awareness, gain ownership & canvass ideas & actions’ on Maori priorities (Turangawaewae & Hopuhopu) . Followed by regional hui, Waikato May 26 – (Pare Edwards, Waikato Regional Office, Work & Income).

May, Institutional Barriers to Developing Community Indicators in NZ: a Preliminary

AssessmentAli Memon & Karen Johnston, Lincoln University, published in Commonwealth Local Governance & Development Journal

Reporting ‘enormous activity’ in many countries & by international agencies during last few decades to develop indicators to measure trends…including for community wellbeing. Challenging task. Significant institutional barriers.

June, Hamilton Family Safety Team (FST) Pilot confirmed for the third year to 1 July 2009.

National FST Evaluation Report released – based on limited 2006 review which did not

include Hamilton. Number of concerns aired locally. District Management Teams (DMTs) set up – Hamilton chair is Parentline’s Cathy Holland.

NZ Criminal Justice Sector Outcomes Report (2008) – ‘to inform policy debates, & planning & priority-setting within the sector’ (page 3.

“Overall, crime has been reducing, and re-offending rates have remained relatively stable. However, there has been ongoing growth in recorded violence & property offences…”

“We intend to review the outcome indicators & measures & will factor improvements into future reports.’ (Executive Summary, key findings, page 2)

  • Violent offences up 31% in past decade (1998-2007) – page 13
  • Specific offences of male assaults female & breaches of protection orders up by 28%. – page 14 (also notes here the 2005 set up of the Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families & its campaign for action “aiming to change attitudes & behaviours that perpetuate family violence” including “the It’s Not OK advertising campaign’.
  • Sector focus to target young people at risk of offending – longitudinal studies have identified top 10 risk factors for under 13years include antisocial history/exposure & involvement in violence, impulsive behaviour, hyperactivity, low family income together with unskilled or unqualified parents (page 21).
  • High risk/multiple risk families linked with high risk children (page 22)
  • Priority areas for intervention – evidence that family factors ‘most important to address for both children & adolescents’, followed by individual needs (page 22)
  • ‘Continual disobedience (27.5%), physical assault on other students or staff (23.8%), & drug or substance abuse (20.1%) the three leading reasons for student suspensions in 2007 (page 24)
  • Up to 5% of children show severe anti-social behaviours’…’most effectively treated in childhood….government has developed ‘an interagency plan for conduct disorder/sever anti-social behaviour’ (page 25)
  • NZCASS (NZ Crime & Safety Survey) estimates only 32% of offences reported to Police. Offences known to be ‘significantly under-reported include sexual offences & family violence (page 29)

For year ended 30 June 2008, Hamilton City Council 2008 Scorecard reports that the trend in

‘recorded violence, sexual, drugs and anti-social criminal offences’ is ‘getting better’ with

  • 1,295 reported offences per 10,000 population (Most Recent Data) compared with 1,362 reported offences per 10,000 population (previous data).
  • Youth apprehensions = approx 1,700 per year – 2002-2007
  • 2,500 notifications annually (Waikato region)
  • 312 children in care

NB – compare with Police stats with continuing trend upwards.

Police record 2468 violent offences (Hamilton City), 4260 (Waikato) – yr ended 30

June 08 & Hamilton Police/FST record 1898 FV offences, 4440 FV reports, 45% involving children & 48% repeats .

Hamilton City Council confirms Social Well-being Strategy –

Will deliver real results on the ground over the next 1-3years through a suite of eight flagship projects’, $100,000pa until 2015/16 (pg 22, 2008-09 Annual Plan)

August, The Social Report 2008 (MSD)

September, ‘It’s Not OK’ World Social Marketing Conference presentation, by Senate Communications partner Tracey Bridges in Brighton and Hove City, England on behalf of the Campaign for Action on Family Violence, part of a team led by the Ministry of Social Development and the Families Commission, and included advertising firm draft FCB.

Her presentation reviewed the campaign itself – what we’ve done, why we did it the way we did, and what we’re achieving – and some of the important lessons we’ve learned.’

“So what’s working – The upshot of all of this has been a fully integrated campaign with all the elements working the way they should. I’ve got on the slide there some early statistics but of course after only a year it’s way too early to tell you if we’ve done what we set out to do: to contribute to a decreased incidence of family violence in New Zealand.

“What’s next – A few months after the launch of the social norm campaign, it was time for something more. Our idea was that the social norm campaign would provide the context for a discussion about family violence – but pretty soon, people would need some substance: something to answer the question: “all right, I accept it’s not OK – but so what? Where’s the problem, or what do you need me to do?” So we moved into the next phase: stories of positive change, featuring real men, telling their very personal stories about family violence and what it meant to change. In a moment I’m going to leave you with one of these four stories.

But we’re not finished quite yet, because now our group has been asked to look at the issue of child maltreatment, as part of this campaign. They want more campaign resources, and of course, they are expecting an ad on the telly. We’re all a little anxious at this point – but then, we were anxious nearly two years ago, before we had really begun on the work we have presented today, so I’m cautiously optimistic that we can do it.

Case study (2009) link –

October, Australasian Family Violence Policy launched by Police Commissioners ‘to reduce &

prevent Family Violence’ (includes NZ Commissioner Howard Broad).

November, UNCROC Report 2008 (Ministry of Youth Development, also 1995, & 2000) – including reference to the call to ‘place children at the centre of decision-making’. Also October report to Cabinet which seeks release of Report on Children & Young PeopleIndicators of Well-being in NZ

Children & Young People: Indicators of Well-Being 2008 (MSD, includes safety & assault mortality, notes limitations & absence of some trend data)

    ‘Neither the Social Report 2008 or the Children and Young People Indicators of Wellbeing in New Zealand 2008 report any statistics to identify the extent of violence to children except that of the under 15 year mortality rate. With 4,800 children in care and protection placements (OCC Statement of Intent 2008), 12,161 children protected in Women’s Refuge and 7,924 children involved in protection orders (acknowledging these are not cumulative figures) there is evidence of a substantial problem.’ Action for Children & Youth Aotearoa (ACYA), Workshop 2009

November 8, National-led government elected, John Key Prime Minister

November/December, Briefings to Incoming Ministers (BIM) prepared by CEOs/ Ministry heads

MSD & CYF, Police Commissioner as follows-

MSDThere is a strong & growing public awareness about family violence, child neglect, & child maltreatment in NZ. While we have made progress in this area, it has long been, and remains, one of NZ’s most pressing social problems…Substantiated cases of neglect & emotional abuse have risen substantially in the past five years. MSD is working closely with other government agencies, community providers and community leaders to support families to function effectively in order to prevent the occurrence of violence and neglect within the home… TheTaskforce (for Action on Violence within Families 2005) has made good progress in promoting public awareness of family violence and in strengthening family violence-related systems and processes.

One of the next big priorities is building the capacity of communities and health, education & social service providers to promote the safety & security of children.

Overall youth offending rates have declined, but violent offending is on the increase. Serious conduct problems can be seen in children as early as at school entry and they affect around 5-10% of NZ children. Children with conduct problems have a rate of later criminal offending up to 10 times higher than children with no behavioural difficulties. The average cost to the justice system of a chronic conduct-disordered adolescent is estimated at $3million. MSD is leading a cross-government work programme (which includes the Ministries of Education, Health & Justice & the NZ Police) on conduct problems. Agencies have developed a six-year plan to lift and strengthen services for children with conduct problems. The priority identified in the plan is to build a comprehensive behavioural service for children aged 3-7years. A core component of this service would be a parenting programme. International research indicated success rates of between 60 and 70% for such programmes. Implementation of the plan will depend on funding and on the time to build a skilled& well-trained workforce. – MSD BIM 2008.

CYF – The more negative factors present in a parent’s life, the more likely the parent is to maltreat their child. The presence of other types of family violence and abuse, such as intimate partner violence, further increases the likelihood parents will maltreat their children. Conduct problems affect 5-10% of NZ children & are the single most important predictor of poor mental & physical health, academic underachievement, early school leaving, teenage parenthood, delinquency, unemployment & substance abuse. For many affected young people, the pathway from early conduct problems typically leads to youth offending, family violence, and ultimately, serious adult crime.’ – CYF BIM 2008.

Police – Family Violence not included in ‘Significant Issues’ (alcohol, Maori, youth, & South Auckland/Counties Manukau), & does not feature strongly elsewhere.

Pg 5 – ‘will have substantially implemented a large suite of operational priorities underpinning Strategic Plan to 2010, includes 3/8 progression of Family Violence Inter-Agency Response System (FVIARS);

pg 7- ‘today police will record attending 237 family violence offences/incidents ;

pg 23- Police Partnerships in operational context eg women’s refuge;

pg 24- Collaboration & Coordination, The Commissioner sits on a range of groups including the Sexual Violence Taskforce & the Family Violence Taskforce… Police BIM 2008.

December, Parentline launches R18 Means R18 research report into children’s video gaming habits & access to adult-rated games. 1187 children aged 5-14years, 496 parents/caregivers, 8 schools (deciles 1-10). Study confirmed

  • Popularity – 91% play video games with 20% playing every day.
  • High recognition rate of censor’s R18 & G labels
  • 70% play restricted games
  • 16% said they ‘always’ played restricted games.
  • 10% of children’s ‘best games’ illegal for underage players (56/588 identified)
  • Gap between what children say they are up to & what parents know…

December, Parentline begins PHO pilot school-based programme, in 4 Taumarunui primary schools in response to concerns at children’s violent behaviours.

December, Mid-Term Review, NZ Action Plan for Human Rights – Human Rights Commission

Includes sections on

2.4 Safety & freedom from Violence,

2.4.1 Support families to eliminate family violence by expanding community-based programmes that

demonstrate best practice, promote & protect human rights & include a strong child focus

2.4.2 Support schools & early childhood centres to promote non-violent conflict resolution, combat

bullying & harassment, & prevent sexual & other abuse

2.4.3 Strengthen public education programmes aimed at promoting positive, non-violent forms of discipline & respect for children’s rights to human dignity & physical integrity

2.4.4 Repeal Section 59 of Crimes Act 1961

2.4.5 Develop & Implement a specific child & youth injury prevention strategy, covering both intentional & unintentional injuries.

All have report card indicating ‘some progress, too early to assess impacts or effectiveness. 2.4.3 refers to MSD/FAC’sSKIP programme – ‘widely regarded as effective, no evaluation of its impact currently available’.

Hamilton City Council begins Hamilton Campaign for Action on Family Violence Social Well-being Strategy ‘Flagship Project’ (with partners – Police, MSD FACS & Work & Income). Reference to HAIP – only NGO. Flagship project objectives

  • to work collaboratively with other organisations and social service agencies to create a city where family violence is not tolerated’ &
  • to take a strong stance on a critical issue by giving a local dimension to a national campaign’.

‘High profile, high esteem & visually recognisable Hamilton spokespeople identified to speak to a full range of Hamilton audiences’ using ‘high impact, high profile’ billboard locations with ‘key messages developed in conjunction with national It’s Not OK campaign team, plus ‘poster sets, drinks coasters, wallet books’

National Health & Wellbeing Survey of NZ Secondary School Students, release of series of

reports from the Youth ‘07 survey involving 9,107secondary school students, updating & tracking trends & new issues following original 2001 Youth 2000 survey. Youth 2000 Project, Auckland University

Initial Findings – Executive Summary

Almost all students continue to be healthy, vibrant and fully participating in their families, schools

and communities. Most report good health and emotional wellbeing. The majority of students feel

part of their school and many help others at their school and in their communities. Caring and connected relationships with parents and other responsible adults are important predictors of good outcomes for young people. The majority of students surveyed in 2007 report good relationships with parents, family and people at school.

In general, today’s students are less distressed, have more positive mental health, less cigarette and

marijuana use, and report better nutrition and physical activity behaviours than students in 2001.

The proportion of students with concerning levels of depressive symptoms, suicidal thoughts and

behaviours has decreased since 2001.

However, there remain some areas of concern. The numbers of students who binge drink, experience physical or sexual abuse, or witness violence in their homes, remains high.

To address these issues and improve the health and wellbeing of young people in New Zealand

requires coordinated efforts that cut across the traditional silos of health care, social services and education, and a re-orientation towards a more holistic approach to youth health and wellbeing. This approach needs to recognise the fundamental importance of families, schools and communities in nurturing healthy and vibrant young people.

Young People and Violence

  • 72% of bullying on mobile phones
  • 6% bullied weekly or more frequently
  • 10% worried someone will hurt or bother them at school
  • 48% of males & 33% of females had been deliberately hit or physically harmed
  • 41% of males & 27% of females had hit or physically harmed someone else
  • 26% of males & 12% of females had been in a serious physical fight
  • 9% of males & 3% of females had carried a weapon
  • 20% of females & 5% of males had unwanted sexual contact
  • 17% of students witnessed an adult hitting or hurting another child
  • 10% had witnessed adults hitting or physically hurting each other
  • 12% been kicked, hit or punched at home

The apparent trend towards greater violence among our young people is perplexing. It should be emphasised that apprehension rates for violence are increasing in all age groups in NZ, not just young people. But it is easier to suggest, for those other groups, that the increase in violence may be more apparent than real – largely attributable to a greater willingness to report domestic violence. That explanation is not easily applied to offending by under 17 year olds. So the apparent rise in youth violence is a major issue not only for the youth justice system, but for our whole community.

In the Youth Court, it seems to many of us that the key causative factor in female youth offending is past sexual abuse…

It ought to be a cause for real concern that 17% of students report witnessing family violence in the home, and over 12% of young people report being kicked, hit or punched in their home. Violence begets violence. As youth Court Judges we see the consequence of family violence every day.”

Alcohol abuse is a major issue in the Youth Court. It is staggering that one third of male and female students report binge drinking and that 16% are current marijuana users.

This research deserves to be well-read. I challenge all New Zealanders to read and absorb its messages.” Foreword by Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Beecroft.

Sexual Health

One in five have had sexual intercourse by the time they are 13, and one in 10 are sexually active at that age. By age 15, 40% have had sex, and some 15% are sexually active. Approx 15% of sexually active students don’t use or only sometimes use condoms and/or contraception; 80% report using contraception most or all of the time, with 72% to protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

2009 – NZ has 890,400 children 0-14years (under 15), total population 4,305,700.

Police record 86,545 family violence incidents & offences in past calendar year (2008). At least 74,785 children (under 17yrs) present at FV situations attended by Police. Estimate only 18% reported. Half all violent crime is family violence. 85% of sexual violence committed by someone known to victim – Reporting Domestic/Family Violence,

Police/FST records – previous six months to December 2008, 3076 FV reports (Waikato) & 1970 FV reports (Hamilton City), 51% involving children & 49% repeats (Hamilton)

FST (Family Safety Team) records are available to participating agencies but NOT publicly accessible. FST District Management Team (DMT) established with reps of Police, Refuges, HAIP & Parentline to provide governance & management oversight (Parentline’s Cathy Holland as chair). FST project future in doubt, contestable national contract.

CYF have 110,797 notifications July 08-June09, 44% Maori (NB some children multiple notifications). 2009= 9650/month. 2008 Calendar Year -100,189. =8350/month.

Increases from 2007-79,741, 2006-67,256, 2005-55,291. Investigations completed only slight increase 2008-36,160, 2007-33,860, 2006-34,757

  • Last year 75 babies hospitalised as a result of abuse (1 every 5 days)

  • Last year 2855 children physically abused, 1126 sexually abused & 15,615 damaged through emotional abuse or neglect

  • CYF received 49,000 reports serious enough to require follow up action

  • `Almost 1800 of those dealt with by social workers re-abused within 6months

Also highest rate of teenage mothers/ births per 1000 woman aged 15-19. In 2008 there were 5285 babies born to teenagers & pre-teens (39 to girls 11-14 & 5185 to young women 15-19). And, 4,180 women aged 11-19 had induced abortions (83 were aged 11-14 and under age of legal sexual consent of 16years). Total abortions in 2008 = 17,940 (c/p 5,945 in 1980 three years after abortion legalised)

January – HCC Social Well-being Strategy staff meet with CPS & Age Concern to discuss Stage 2

of Hamilton It’s Not OK campaign. (Joint application for funding from MSD/ FACS Community Action Fund made in March 09).

February – FST community contracts to become contestable & put to tender. Police seek ROIs.

Parentline asked to submit RFP.

February – ‘Undertaking Child Impact Assessments in Aotearoa NZ Local Authorities:

Evidence, Practice, Ideas – (Mason, Hanna, Institute of Public Policy, AUT), commissioned by OCC supported by UNICEF NZ.

March 6, Parentline meets with Maori Party co-Leader Tariana Turia, Minister of Community &

Voluntary Sector, Assoc. Minister of Social Development & Employment, Health to discuss increasing violence in community(FV, youth/children, schools)& potential solutions.

MarchConduct Problems Best Practice Report released, Advisory Group to MSD, Education,

Health & Justice on ‘prevention, treatment & management of conduct problems in children & young people’. Recommends ‘prevention science approach’ & factors for success – parent & teacher training, classroom-based interventions, CBT, multi-modal & family therapy.

March 16-17, Taumata Whanonga School Violence Summit (Wellington) – call for action strategy

on ways agencies could help schools deal with violent behaviour. Violent behaviour among 5-10year-olds on the increase. Assaults by 8yr olds almost doubled since 2000 115/223. MoE studies suggest up to 20% of children display serious behaviour problems, including fighting, vandalism & substance abuse (WT 4.3.09). CEO Cathy attends.

April Review of Crime & Criminal Justice Statistics Report 2009 (StatisticsNZ -164pages).

‘Reporting on sector outcomes is a complex undertaking, & needs to be supported by quality data. The review’s recommendations will assist future outcomes reports.’ (page 13)

The report presents MoJ 2008 graphic illustrating Justice Sector outcomes & agencies (page 14). Outcomes begin with ‘a safe & just society’, then ‘safer communities’ plus ‘civil & democratic rights & obligations enjoyed’. Then 3rd level include ‘impact of crime reduced’, ‘crime reduced’ &’offenders held to account’. The core sector agencies are listed as Ministry of Justice, Police, Corrections, MSD, Crown Law Office & SFO/Organised Crime Agency, these underpinned by 9 Crown entities & other agencies (Electoral, Human rights, Law & Privacy Commissions, Electoral Enrolment, Legal Services, Police Conduct Authority & Intelligence & Security plus NZ Council of Victim Support Groups (does NOT include Families & Children’s Commission)…

Crime Prevention Partnerships graphic (Figure 2 page 15) – ‘to prevent & respond to crime, includes ‘local government, local service providers, & community organisations’. Notes that Justice Sector Information Strategy (JSIS) provides framework to manage & share relevant info. (April 2008)

‘Significant change’ since last review = ‘shift towards evidence-based policy, which requires information to address ‘what works’, ‘for whom’, and ‘why’. Accompanied by a growing interest in outcomes, particularly for victims…also resulted in more evaluations of effectiveness of intervention programmes. (page 18)

POSS – based around the concept of well-being (Programme of Official Social Statistics, launched November 2003 & developed by Statistics NZ)

  • 13 domains or areas of people’s lives, together provide a picture of well-being or the quality of life in NZ (page 14/20)

  • Contexts & factors grouped into 3 categories – individual, family & society

  • Individual pre-disposition for criminal behaviour includes literacy & skill development, mental & emotional health, socio-demographic characteristics, social networks, attitudes & beliefs, & lifestyles.

  • Family powerful influence, parents’ values & beliefs, parenting styles, conflict & violence in the home, family stability, parental substance abuse, family income & resources… etc

Recommended that Police publish victims statistics (new police core datasets) to include, at least, age group, sex, offence type & relationship between victim & offender (page 37) and that

Improved information be obtained through hospitals re family violence incidents & assaults (NB Hospital data collection issues – most DHB’s ‘do not screen for FV in their emergency departments, different admission thresholds, inconsistent coding & lack of A&E data available’ – refer National Minimum Dataset(hospital events) Data Dictionary (page 37 & 41)

Major priority – Police investigating means of compiling relationship information (victim & offender), indication of stranger violence v family violence & known offender. (page 39)

Re Family violence – actual level difficult to reflect (page 40 -42)

  • Under-reported by victims

  • Data influenced by changes in service provision, public awareness, policy & high profile cases

  • Difficulties in a clear definition

  • Two types of interest – intimate partner violence & abuse of dependants by guardians (child, elder & disabled abuse).

  • Understanding the effects of FV in relation to future offending is important.

Recommended that Police should improve the quality & detail of statistics on child abuse and elder abuse (to include victim-offender relationship, and that

MSD to continue investigating ‘whether better ways to obtain robust, quality data on child abuse, elder abuse & abuse of disabled can be developed. This should include investigating whether other suitable data sources exist & if so, the feasibility of producing official statistics from them’ (page 42) and that

Research continue on aggregate costs of crime…& cost effectiveness comparisons of interventions & programmes (page 72)

April 1, Waikato District Commander Alan Boreham says ‘tackling family violence issues’ is core

goal for 2009 (Police media release 1.4.09).

Hamilton City Council Social Well-being Strategy Flagship Project progress report on council’s Campaign for Action on Family Violence (1.4.09).

Strong Mayoral re-affirmation …to produce localised campaign.

Successful formula…

Relationships within the social service sector in Hamilton have strengthened which has maximised potential opportunities for further co-operation.

Ongoing collaboration…Opportunities to pool resources and support campaigns & initiatives based around the prevention of family violence’

Stage 2 – HCC has made joint application with CPS & Age Concern to MSD/FACS Community Action Fund for ‘Hamilton It’s not OK’, ‘to continue with the ongoing success of the first campaign’, to ‘focus on protecting children & young people, and older people’. ‘Billboards, marketing collateral, media, events & networking’.

April 6, Quality of Life 2008 published (Big Cities report, includes Hamilton) – 4th national survey

The Quality of Life Survey is a partnership between 12 Quality of Life Project Cities and the Ministry of Social Development.  The Quality of Life survey has been conducted every two years since 2004 (2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008) and measures the perceptions of over 7,500 residents living in the country’s largest cities and districts. Topics covered in the survey include:

  • Quality of Life
  • Health and Well-being
  • Crime and safety
  • Community, Culture and Social Networks
  • Council Processes
  • Built Environment
  • Public Transport
  • Lifestyle – Work and Study

Information obtained from the survey will be used to help inform central and local government policy makers.  The information will be particularly useful for cities undertaking monitoring of progress toward achieving community outcomes under their Local Government Act requirements.

Quality of Life Project Structure

Contributing Data: Quality of Life Survey
(e.g. Resident perceptions of wellbeing)
Survey is conducted biennially
Data from Secondary Sources
(e.g. Government agencies, councils, etc)
Data is collected on an ongoing basis
Quality of Life Report
12 cities joint report is released once every five years following release of new census data.

Quality of Life Survey
A report on Quality of Life Survey results is released every two years

Advocacy: Metropolitan Sector Group advocacy to central government on urban issues
Advocacy occurs on an ongoing basis through the Metropolitan Sector Group work programme and through contributions to central and local government decision making processes
Improved quality of life and wellbeing outcomes for 12 cities residents

The Project includes the following Twelve Cities

The Quality of Life Project was established in 1999 to provide social, economic and environmental indicators of quality of life in New Zealand’s six largest cities.

The Quality of Life Project has since expanded to include twelve territorial authorities. Almost 56% of the total population of New Zealand resides in these cities.

Pop 89,562
Pop 103,629
North Shore
Pop 205,614
Pop 48,537
Pop 186,444
Pop 97,710
Pop 404,655
Pop 179,466
Pop 328,980
Pop 348,435
Pop 129,255
Pop 118,686

May, NZ Police Statement of Intent 2009/10-2011/12 – outlines ‘the role of the NZ Police & how it

plans to meet the changing needs & expectations of NZers over the next three years’

  • Reducing violence (including family violence) a high priority

– Commissioner Howard Broad Introduction (page 6)

One of five strategic themes ‘monitored through the performance management framework’ with 10 ‘key performance indicators’(page 9) including

  • Number of recorded FV offences (target: in range 40,000-50,000 annually)

  • Number of recorded violence offences that occur in public places (target: fewer than 23,000 offences annually)

  • Percentage of apprehensions that involve Maori (target: fewer than 40%)

  • Percentage of apprehensions that involve children16 years & under (target: fewer than 20%)

Three ‘key intermediate outcomes’ ‘that support the government’s priorities, including wider sector engagement’ include (page 11)

  • Confident, safe & secure communities (which supports justice sector’s Safer Communities outcome….

  • Police to contribute by ‘helping to reduce family violence, developing effective interventions against organised crime, alcohol misuse, & violence, & supporting community & Maori engagement.

May 25, Parentline meets with Hamilton West MP Tim Macindoe to discuss increasing violence &

potential solutions.

June 5, ‘Good Intentions” – Assessment of the 2001 Statement of Government Intentions for an

Improved Community-Government Relationship by ANGOA (Association of Non-Governmental Organisations of Aotearoa).

MSD’s Office for Community & Voluntary Sector (Minister Tariana Turia) five work streams –

Building capacity

Building knowledge

Overcoming policy barriers

Building good practice

Encouraging participation & promoting volunteering

Whanau Ora Taskforce launched (Prof Mason Durie chair) – to report to Minister Tariana Turia by 31 January 2010, with two-monthly progress reports.

June 24, Minister Paula Bennett responds to criticism re the appointment of Christine Rankin as a

Families Commissioner, her concerns re the Commission’s research, and ‘what are the important issues facing New Zealand families that the Government would like the Families Commission to focus on?’

Let us start with what they are not: reports that parents working long hours report feeling tired and stressed, or research I have seen that shows that children value their relationship with their grandparents, or—a particular favourite that some colleagues might listen to—research that shows that men are less likely than women to talk about their relationship problems. These were commissioned by the previous Chief Families Commissioner, who now sits on the Opposition benches, and I do not think they add much value to New Zealand families’.

June, Police records year ended 30 June 09 show pattern of significant increases in violence

    • 3093 violent offences (Hamilton City), up 25% on 08 (2468 ), up 15% on 07(2144)

    • 5060 (Waikato), up 18.8% on 08 (4260), up %16.8% on 07 (3648)

Also show 2009 pattern of 422per month up on 374per month in 2008.

June figures on violent offence reports show 40% increase on previous period in Hamilton & 19% across the Waikato. Boreham relates increase to Police staff training in FV investigation & risk assessment (WT 1.10.09, pg 19) NB Police training includes FV since 1980s.

For Hamilton City, this indicates FV Reports up 93% in 3 years (since 2005-2006 &FST)

and FV Offences have more than doubled (114%)

For year ended 30 June 2009, Hamilton City Council’s ‘2009 Scorecard’ reports the trend of

recorded violence, sexual, drugs, and anti-social criminal offences’ is ‘getting better’

  • 1,241 reported offences per 10,000 population (Most Recent Data) compared with 1,295 reported offences per 10,000 population (previous data).
  • Youth apprehensions = approx 1,700 per year 2002-2007
  • 2,500 notifications annually (Waikato region)
  • 412 children in care

Overview – How are we doing? – reports ‘most of the community safety indicators are improving or stable, with reported offences throughout Hamilton declining over the past decade.’

People appear to be more aware of family violence, which may be due to social awareness campaigns. Over the last 10 years reporting of sexual and physical abuse against children has slightly decreased with emotional abuse and neglect staying the same. Notifications to CYF have increased in comparison to other years, although action required for these notifications remains low’…

In recent surveys, Hamilton residents ‘perceived crime as an issue in the city. (Refer to end of year for MSD’s The Social Report 2009)

For year ended 30 June 2009, NZ Police Annual Report states strategic direction was ‘reviewed

through 2009/10 with the priorities of the new National Government being given the appropriate focus’ – included ‘better emphasis on visibility, victims of crimes & organised crime, gangs, & drugs’ (page 4)

‘High-level summary of 2008/09 Police statistics compared with previous year’

  • Recorded crime rose by 3.7%

  • Recorded violence rose by 7%

  • Drugs & anti-social offences increased by 12.2%

Ongoing reviews re victims’ rights.

‘Crime-related successes’ included the award-winning Family Violence Inter-Agency Response System implemented in 50 local sites. ‘Delivers co-ordinated, inter-agency approach to the management of FV cases between Police, CYF, & the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges – purpose to improve the agencies’ responses to FV incidents by sharing info on FV occurrences & developing collaborative & mutually supportive responses’. (page 11)

June, Independent Police Conduct Authority begins investigation into Police investigations of child

abuse in Wairarapa, & in July urged Police to conduct an urgent nationwide audit.

July 1, Family Works & Barnados win FST national contracts, all five regions – for six months

(subsequently extended for a further six months). HAIP & Parentline lose local contracts, then they are extended to 31 August.

July, The Social Report 2009 (MSD)

Taskforce for action on Family Violence July 2009 Monitoring Report (extract)


Lead agency Ministry of Social Development (MSD)
Contributors NGOs, ACC, MoJ, Police, MoH
Project Manager Dorothy Adams
First Programme of Action reference
Objective and actions (from work programme)

High quality data available about services delivered by, and the demand for, NGO and agency family violence services. Actions include:

  • develop systematic and accurate data on services.
Objective deadline Ongoing

To understand the family violence services available and the ongoing demand for services; both volume and type.

Key Milestones Date Description of Progress
1.13.1 Scoping project to understand what output from this project is going to add most value to relevant stakeholders. 30 March 2009
  • Identified key stakeholders.

  • Have begun to meet with these stakeholders to understand requirements and what information is already available.

1.13.4 Project Plan, including identification of already existing data and resource implications, will be produced for further consultation. 15 June 2009

Delayed. Project currently being re-scoped.

Project re-scoping

Note that this project is currently being re-scoped. This Objective will now not be as closely aligned with the Pathway to Partnership initiative. The outcome of the work will not change, however milestones have been modified to reflect the redevelopment. Further milestones will be available once re-scoping is complete.


Anecdotal evidence suggests the demand for Family Violence Prevention services is increasing. Considerable data exists about the services delivered by, and the demand for, NGO and agency family violence services but this information is not collected or collated in a systematic way so that any gaps can be identified and addressed.

Current ongoing work (next 3 months)

A stocktake of government funded family violence services contracted by MSD has been completed as part of the line-by-line review. There is also work taking place on identifying government funded family violence services.

Timing / Ongoing / Recommendations / Conclusions

Status = delayed.

While a stocktake of services is currently underway, data about the demand for services is not available from a single or comprehensive source. Applications to the Community Response Fund are likely to provide some of this information in the future. Once the full review of all family violence services is completed we will re-visit this action and re-scope as necessary.

August, Independent review of FST, to report to Police by 30 November 2009.

The independent review will address the following questions:

  • Has the initiative met all its original objectives?
    • If it has not, why not?
  • Given a reasonable period of time, could the initiative meet its objectives?
  • Would anything need to change to assist the initiative in meeting its objectives?
    • If yes, what?
  • Are the objectives of the initiative still relevant, reasonable and achievable?
  • What is the ‘value add’ of Family Safety Team’s to the aims and objectives of NZ Police, in the area of family violence?
  • Are the structures and lines of accountability appropriate to support the objectives of the initiative?

This work will be used to inform an internal decision making process on the future direction of the initiative. – (Extract from Police Terms of Reference)

August, Independent Police Conduct Authority announces it will conduct an independent inquiry

into the Wellington District’s management of child abuse investigations, following on from June’s initial inquiry in the Wairarapa. (This extends to nationwide in December)

August, Vulnerability Report, NZ Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS –

August, Waikato District Health Board Annual Plan 2009/10 signed off by Minister Tony Ryall

Includes ‘family violence prevention’ objectives – systemic approach towards the identification & intervention of child & partner abuse, plus development & maintenance of Family Violence Intervention programme.

August 21, Citizens Initiated Referendum– 87% vote ‘no’ to “Should a smack as part of good

parental correction be a criminal offence in NZ?”

August 25, Family Violence Ministerial Group– announced by Minister Tariana Turia (who will chair

it) – to ‘provide oversight to a whole-of-government approach to preventing violence within families & to guide work of Taskforce for Action on Violence Within Families & identify priorities… At the same time, she launched

Family Violence Statistics Report 2000-2006’ – compiled by the Families Commission, 288 pages using data ‘sourced from a number of government departments and non-government agencies that deal directly with victims & perpetrators of family violence’, brought together ‘for the first time’.

The report confirms the grim reality of violence in this country & there can be no fluffing over that. It’s now time for us in Government to act – to see what works, what doesn’t and what will. If the laws, policies and services aren’t working, then it will be our job [the Ministerial Committee] to make sure that changes are made so that they do work.

We always knew family violence was a huge problem in this country but the content o f this report is very helpful because it will help us pin-point specific areas of concern.’

      • Minister Tariana Turia, media release 25.8.09

The report suggests that ‘family-violence-related offending is significantly under-reported to Police.’

‘Changes in education & awareness may impact on the likelihood of reporting these offences. It is important that inferences about trends in such offending should not be made from these statistics alone as they may simply be reflecting changes in inclination to report. In 2005, Police changed their IT system to the National Intelligence Application (NIA). This system change is likely to have resulted in an increase in recorded domestic violence, over time and a particular step-increase in mid-2005.’

August 25, Police publish final update (5th review) on police activity re child discipline/assault

related to Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007

August 25, Every Child Counts releases Infometrics report “The Nature of Economic Costs of

Child Abuse in NZ” – $2billion annual cost of child abuse & neglect

August 28, Almost a third of liable parents shunning their child-support obligations, highest rate in

five years (37,700 out of 127,000). June 30 shortfall of $1.5billion. IRD chasing $527m owed with more than $1b owed in penalties. 1/3rd of all debt owed by kiwis living overseas. NZCustoms now has IRD debtors data.

IRD to release discussion document on possible changes to child-support scheme & Families Commission releases issues paper Chief Families Commissioner Dr Jan Pryor says one in four children live in sole-parent family at some point in their lives – issues of separated parenting of vital concern… (The Press &

August 31, Minister Tariana Turia notes 12.4% rise in reported family violence in 2008 ‘While

communications campaigns have increased the reporting of violence, it is time for fresh thinking & new approaches to make the difference (Te Rito News, Issue 18, August 2009). Launches E Tu Whanau Ora & Programme of Action for Pacific Peoples. Cabinet agrees that Community-Government Forum will discuss possible development of Relationship Agreement to replace the 2001 ‘Statement of Government Intentions for an Improved Community-Government Relationship’ (on November 11)

September 1, ‘Doing Better for Children’- 1st OECD report on child wellbeing in its 30 member countries. Also NZ Country Highlights (2009). Child Well-being Research related websites

1. International Organisations

2. European Organisations

3. NGOs and International Research Projects

Report reviews key indicators re education, health, housing, family incomes & quality of school life, & notes paucity of info. NZ Outcomes weak in several areas – gaps in education between top & bottom performers, highest rates of youth suicide, high child mortality, poor immunisation rates ( measles & whooping cough) are higher than they need be.’ NZ spends less than half the OECD average on young children. 29th out of 30 for health & safety.

September, Whanau Ora Taskforce releases Discussion Paper – community feedback by 30

November & to report to Minister by 31 January 2010.

Extract – Current approaches to the needs of whānau present a series of barriers to achieving the best possible results. Issues include:

  1. An individualistic focus in the delivery of services. While individual needs must be addressed, there is room to extend the focus so that whānau have the opportunity to utilise and strengthen their own resources and expertise. Consequently, whānau will be better placed to avoid unwanted future events or at least ensure that they are better managed.
  2. Despite government investment across a number of sectors, the results for whānau are often disappointing. The Taskforce is not convinced that whānau and taxpayers are getting value for money or that the efforts of government are matched by measurable gains for whānau.
  3. An important barrier is the lack of cohesion across government agencies. Services to whānau members are provided by a number of sectors, often resulting in inconsistencies, fragmentation, overlaps in service delivery, duplication of effort, and frequently confusion and frustration for those seeking assistance. Moreover, because each agency usually focuses on a particular problem experienced by an individual whānau member (such as truancy or chronic illness) an opportunity for a sustainable whānau-wide approach to resolve problems is lost.
  4. Interventions often place whānau in passive roles. Where whānau are excluded from decision making processes or are not actively involved early in planning interventions, their participation is compromised often to the point where disengagement from the process is inevitable. There should be a good working relationship between whānau and providers. Whānau want to be actively involved in decisions that affect their lives. Whānau want choice about the type of service they receive, and want to receive high quality services.
  5. Some whānau end up with several agencies and service providers in their everyday life to the point that it becomes a “normalised” experience. A cycle of intrusion, dependency or disengagement results.
  6. Many services are focused on crisis intervention. Building whānau capability to prevent crises and to manage a crisis when it does arise, should underpin whānau interventions. It is of limited long-term benefit to simply address a crisis without also strengthening whānau and decreasing the likelihood of crises in the future. Within a single whānau a series of crises may affect different whānau members but if a whānau-wide view is not taken, the relationship of one crisis to another may never be recognised and dealt with.
  7. A further barrier for many service providers is linked to the ways that government funding and contracting are arranged. More often than not funding and contracting are transactional rather than relational. The focus is on inputs and outputs rather than long-term outcomes and innovation. The imposition of time-consuming and resource-intensive performance monitoring processes could be better spent working closely with whānau to develop meaningful measures of effectiveness.

Recommendations include Whanau Ora Fund, with contracts based on outcomes, & emphasis on re-empowering families ‘to take back responsibility for their lives’ (TarianaTuria). Submissions due by November 30.

September 7, PM John Key announces review of policies & procedures used by police & CYF

around issue of smacking, to report by 1 December. (Post referendum call for repeal).

September 8, The Truth About Us” TVNZ series filming with director Robin Shingleton (Parentline Cathy & Margaret)

September 14, MSD Minister Paula Bennett announces High Trust Model contract trial ‘ ‘radically

reshaping how government contracts services to social sector groups’ – combining multiple contracts into’ single, simple contract ‘ & will simplify reporting requirements. Two trial projects – Waipuna Youth & Community Trust in Christchurch & Ngati Awa Social Services in Whakatane. Aims to have 20 providers by mid 2010.

September 22, 2nd reading Domestic Violence (Enhancing Safety) Bill 2009 – addresses issue of

getting protection orders upheld by Police & the Courts, & introduces ‘on the spot’ police orders where insufficient evidence of offence to make arrest but where Police believe DV is occurring, & removes alleged offender from the home for up to 5 days. (also Rahui Katene MP speech re Maori Party’s ‘whanau ora’ policy)

September 29/30, Education Minister Anne Tolley announces Positive Behaviour for Learning

Action Plan (NZEI & PPTA conferences), ‘reprioritising’ $45m over next 5 years for initiative in at least 400 schools, effective classroom management training for 5000 teachers, parenting programme for 12,000 parents in at-risk families.

September, Ministry of Women’s Affairs releases two research reports from its Sexual Violence

Research Project, Responding to sexual violence: Environmental scan of NZ agencies, & Attrition in the NZ criminal justice system. Two-year research project in partnership with Ministry of Justice & NZ Police, into sexual violence against adults in NZ

October, MWA, MoJ & NZ Police, release three research reports from Sexual Violence Research

Project, A Review of literature on good practice, Pathways to recovery, & Restoring Soul: effective interventions for adult victims/survivors of sexual violence.

Te Toiora Mata Tauherenga: Report of the Taskforce for Action on Sexual Violence’

71 recommendations, 4 themes: investment in effective funding of front-line services, coordinated response across social, health, education & justice systems & in partnership with community sector, changes in current justice system & longer-term prevention & alternatives.

October 9, MSD Minister Paula Bennett announces review of Family Start and Early Start (31

sites, $29.4million) – by Dr Jo Cribb of Families Commission. NB 2003 review.

October 20-21, Domestic Violence (Enhancing Safety) Bill 2009, In Committee. Minister Simon

Power talks of further Domestic Violence Reform Bill.

October 30, MSD’s Community Sector Taskforce launches ‘Weaving Communities Together’

programme & seeks ROIs by 20 November (up to $40,000) – to build new or enhance existing networks to find solutions to important issues within their specific communities’.

November, Ombudsmen’s Office investigating how schools & government agencies respond to

bullying & violence (Sunday News 3/11/09)

Health Minister Tony Ryall announces shortlist of nine consortiums to submit detailed plans by February 15 for new Integrated Primary Health Care Services (may include Whanau Ora) – includes National Maori PHO coalition plus Midland Network (Waikato DHB with $60m+ of services ‘that could be devolved into the community’). GP health clinics have built up $115million in cash meant to have been spent on health programmes (NZH, 16.11.10)

Hamilton Police & Women’s Refuge/Te Whakaruruhau sign MOU for Family Violence Inter-Agency Response System (NB NZ Police Annual Report 2009 says system ‘delivering coordinated inter-agency approach to management of FV cases between Police, CYF & National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges, implemented in 50 local sites – ‘award-winning, ‘crime related success’. (pg 11) (FST national review due this month?)

Independent Experts Forum on Child Abuse convened by MSD Minister Paula Bennett. Forum members include Starship Hospital’s Dr Patrick Kelly, Children’s Commissioner John Angus, Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier, Archdeacon Dr Hone Kaa, Paediatric Society president Rosemary Marks & university academics. Safety plans for abused children will now be drawn up when they leave hospital, social workers to be based at key hospitals, & more consistent data required of government agencies. (Refer report, 3 March 2010)

Dr Kelly’s research shows ‘staggeringly high level of repeat abuse’ in children under two admitted to Starship Hospital with non-accidental head injuries 1988-1998, with 44% re-notified to CYF, one child re-abused six times. (‘Crusade to Save Our Children, NZ Herald, 14.11.09)

First response joint pilot programme launched by Minister Paula Bennett – linking Police, CYF, and

Auckland community organisation SHINE. SHINE social worker to visit the family within two days of Police family violence call-out. They will provide support, help the family keep everyone safe and link them up with services in the community, with child’s safety referrals to CYF. Police notify CYF every time they attend a family violence call-out where children are in the home (over 50,000 annually). This equates to ‘46 percent of all notifications to CYF’.

November 11, Review of Section 59 Crimes Act law change by MSD CEO Peter Hughes tabled in

Parliament by MSD Minister Paula Bennett

Kia tutahi – Standing together National Community-Government Forum, Wellington, hosted by Minister Tariana Turia, to discuss ‘the possible development of a Relationship Agreement to replace the 2001 Statement of Government Intentions for Improved Community-Government Relationship’. Reports include ANGOA’s ‘Good Intentions’ (June 2009), & ‘From Talk to Action’.

November 12, Parentline AGM. Annual Report records concerns at increasing family violence & its

impact on children.

November 19, ‘We need to do things differently’ DV Think Tank, Seven Hamilton/Waikato

agencies – Parentline, Te Whakaruruhau & Women’s Refuge, K’aute Pasifika, SHAMA, Te Hauora o Ngati Haua, HAIP.

November 21, Waikato Times report that Domestic Violence ‘across board’ – more middle and

high income families identified, increasing calls from children.

November 21, NZ Herald – (front page) Judge Roy Wade ‘escalating violence’ (young people &

aggravated robberies),

Plus Justice Minister Simon Power asks Law Commission to speed up review of law dealing with assault, injury & homicide in response to call to remove ‘right to silence’ & to ‘prevent families from stonewalling police when a child has been assaulted or killed.

Plus MSD Minister Paula Bennett to review how state agencies can work together to protect children.

Starship paediatrician Dr Patrick Kelly ‘DHBs need to recognise that children under investigation by CYF are as much a part of the health service they have to deliver as the children referred in by a GP for a paediatric clinic’.

November 22, Sunday Star-Times (Focus), Police delays in responding to allegations of

child abuse & neglect. ‘Police refuse to release info on child-abuse complaints’. Reference to Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiries.

November 25, White Ribbon Day – wearing a white ribbon, zero tolerance re DV. Parentline’s

inaugural ‘Fathers & Sons’ breakfast.

November 25, Paediatric Society’s annual conference launch of children’s social health monitor to

track economic wellbeing of NZ children & their families (Dr Elizabeth Craig, director NZ Child & Youth Epidemiology Service, Dunedin) – 20% of children with families reliant on benefits.

Also Growing Up in NZ –multi disciplinary longitudinal study (Susan Morton, director)

Also discussion on WDHB funded $1.8m Project Energize run by Sport Waikato to improve children’s physical activity & nutrition to improve their overall health.

November 30, Waikato Child & Youth Governance Group launched by Waikato DHB, replacing

former child & youth health steering & advisory groups, ‘to aim for a more cohesive approach’. To contribute to the DHB’s ‘strategic direction, implementing innovative programmes & supporting primary & secondary health projects in the child & youth sector’ (0-24years, 126,174 people living in DHB region, 37% of population). Chair is Venetia Sherson.

December, Independent Police Conduct Authority confirms it will extend its inquiry into Police

management of child abuse investigations to across the country. Follows on from initial Wairarapa inquiry. Chair is Justice Lowell Goddard.

NZ Family Violence Clearing House releases FV Statistics Fact Sheet –
Provides a summary of information dating from, in some cases, 2002 until the present relating to family violence in NZ. This publicly available information has been supplied by government and non-government agencies such as the NZPolice, Ministry of Justice, National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges Inc., Age Concern NZ Inc. and National Network of Stopping Violence Services. Topics covered include, but are not be limited to: Police attendance of family violence incidents; applications for and breaches of Protection Orders, Male Assaults Female charge statistics, and apprehension statistics relating to these; domestic homicide statistics; age, ethnicity and gender statistics relating to family violence court processes, sentencing outcomes, and various other publicly available statistics relating to referrals and services provided by a variety of agencies involved in family violence prevention in New Zealand.   Topic Areas:
Intimate partner abuse, Child abuse and neglect, Elder abuse and neglect, Physical abuse, Sexual abuse, Sexual assault/rape, Homicide, Women, Children, Adolescents, Young persons, Indigenous, Maori, Pakeha, Pacific peoples, Asian, Justice, Discipline/punishment, Legislation, Demographics/statistics

December 6, MSD Never, ever shake a baby awareness campaign – aimed at educating parents and caregivers, to reach all new parents, in particular young, first-time mums and dads, about the dangers of shaking a baby, and how to get help. Every year around 23 babies are put in hospital as a result of being shaken. International research shows that inconsolable infant crying is a key trigger for shaking and physical abuse, typically when babies are between six weeks to four months.

December 7, PM John Key presents findings of review of policies & procedures used by police &

CYF around issue of smacking – ‘how the anti-smacking law is being used’ & post referendum calls for repeal. John Key says review gives parents the go-ahead to lightly smack their children without fear of prosecution. Review panel – Nigel Latta, Police Commissioner Howard Broad & MSD CEO Peter Hughes. Found ‘one off complaints about light smacking not enough to trigger police investigation unless other circumstances. Most cases, if not all, would have been investigated under existing abuse provisions, whether or not the smacking law existed’. Cases put forward by Family First ‘all had aggravating factors such as a history of domestic violence’. (Latta, NZHerald, 8.12.09).

The Social Report 2009 – social indicators for NZ society, used to measure trends over time, to

make comparisons with other countries, ‘to contribute to better-informed public debate, & to help identify key issues & help with planning & decision making. (8th annual edition) (

International comparisons (websites)



NZ Regional Indicators

2010 – NZ has 894,400 children 0-14years (under 15) , remains lower that 1976 record of 928,200.

Total population 4,362,000.

MSD/ CYF, further initiatives ‘Keeping babies and toddlers safe’ – ‘We need parents and the whole community looking out for babies, to make sure they are safe, protected and doing well’ – That’s why we’re introducing a whole package of programmes to help keep vulnerable infants safe.’ (

Caring for babies

Protecting vulnerable infants

ADHB preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome programme Dr Patrick Kelly, Auckland District Health Board, $280,000

Multi agency care plans bringing together Child, Youth and Family, Police, and Health professionals to ensure there is a clear, safe plan established for all children admitted to hospital as a result of abuse. This is about making sure children have a safe home to go to when they leave hospital, and there is an agreed process for monitoring their continued safety and wellbeing.

Child, Youth and Family social workers in hospitals – CYF social work practice leaders joining six hospitals around the country, on hand to support hospital staff caring for children who have been abused. As part of their role, practice leaders will attend multi-agency safety plan meetings, provide a link between the hospital and CYF sites, and work alongside health professionals and Police. Social work practice leaders will be joining Counties Manukau, Waikato, Wellington, Hutt, Canterbury and Dunedin hospitals from December this year.

Ideas bank – call for ‘ideas and thoughts about how we can work together to protect New Zealand’s most vulnerable children. Let us know what you think. Latest news on vulnerable childrens initiatives and email

In Britain The Fear Factory documentary film (Spirit Level Films) launches coalition to

‘untangle perceptions’ about ‘dangerous’ young people. The ‘failure to intervene with an holistic approach early in the lives of young people at risk of offending has had stark consequences. We spend 11 times more on locking children up that on preventing youth crime. About 75% reoffend’. (Sunday Star Times/Guardian News & Media, 7.2.10)

‘The majority of young people are criminalised for minor and petty offences, but set on the trajectory to crime by the system itself. Growing up under these conditions it is no surprise that the re-offending rate is well over 75%. The system isn’t working, and at £170,000 for each new prison place it is a very expensive way of ensuring our young people become more damaged thereby opening society up to a very real risk of crime.
30% of children in custody have been in care, three quarters of the prison population suffer from at least two diagnosable mental health disorders and learning disabilities and difficulties are rife.

In 1910 the then Home Secretary, Winston Churchill said that the civilisation of a society can be judged by the way it treats its prisoners. When those prisoners are our children and prison takes the place of a failing social services, it is imperative that society takes a serious look at the legacy we are building before it’s too late and Britain ‘grows’ the largest adult prison population in Europe.
DVD is available for purchase at:

February 3, Hamilton Family Violence Strategic Forum Hui. FST District Management Team

recommends all agencies (government & community) delivering domestic violence related services in Hamilton City come together as a strategic cluster – scope of activities to include service co-ordination & sharing, identification of service delivery gaps, policy development etc. Involves Police, CYF, Waikato DHB, Parentline, Te Whakaruruhau, Hamilton Refuge Support Services, Barnados, Family Works, & Shama.

Melville Community Policing Team, based at former Richmond Park School, Bader Street. Six month pilot project aiming to reduce neighbourhood crime & increase public safety & confidence in the Police – Sgt Paul Francis (Waikato Times, pg E1.13.2.10)

February 11, ‘It’s Still Not OK’ abuse survivors group in Wellington call for sweeping changes to

justice system, child support, police processes & welfare policies – many based on previous reports by academics etc… Spokeswoman Lisa Close

February 17, HCC Social Wellbeing Strategy project leaders meet – reps of eight govt depts. & six

HCC community development staff).

Discussed Phase 2 of HCC Social Well-being Strategy campaign for action on family violence to focus on child & elder abuse, $30,000 grant by MSD’s community action fund– ‘to create a city where child abuse is not tolerated’ with ‘key message’ to give ‘ a cohesive, local dimension to a national campaign, utilising billboards, posters, radio advertising, flip books, skill share day & children’s day events’. Suggested greater co-ordination. (Minutes 17.2.10) Police rep contacts Parentline’s Cathy Holland to suggest HCC attend FV Strategic Forum.

February 18, Waikato Hospital’s clinical director Dr Shameen Safih reports increasing violence,

more assaults & alcohol & younger age groups at emergency department. (HamiltonThisWeek)

February 26, ‘Sexualisation of Young People’, review by psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos

for UK Home Office: how sexualised images & messages may be affecting the development of children & young people & influencing cultural norms, plus link between sexualisation & violence. Part of government strategy re violence against women & girls (VAWG). &

“…in the current environment, teen girls are encouraged to look sexy, yet they know little about what it means to be sexual, to have sexual desires and to make rational and responsible decisions about pleasure and risk within intimate relationships that acknowledge their own desires.”

“Sexualisation is the imposition of adult sexuality on to children and young people before they are capable of dealing with it, mentally, emotionally or physically. It does not apply to self-motivated sexual play, nor to the dissemination of age appropriate material about sexuality. It’s a multi-factorial issue and therefore needs to be approached from a range of perspectives, taking into account not only the emotional and cognitive development of children but also the influence of family, culture and society as a whole.”

The report addresses issues such as:

  • Sexualised content and the mainstreaming of pornography:  new technologies, internet, teenage magazines, mobile phones, television, advertising, video games, and music videos
  • The impact of sexualisation: body image, mental health, eating disorders, sexual objectification, and gender inequality
  • Sexualisation and violence: pornography and sexual aggression, child sexual abuse, child pornography,
  • The role and responsibility of parents, schools and corporate.

Some of the facts that have emerged from this study include:


Violence against women on TV had risen by 120 % since 2004, and

Violence against teenage girls has risen by 400 %.

Music videos and lyrics

75% of videos contain visual presentations of sexual intimacy

56.6% of videos contain violence, and

81% of videos contain both violence and sexual imagery.

New technologies

80 % of young people use the Internet daily

59 % of 8–17-year-olds use social networking sites to make new friends

33 % of parents say they set no rules for their children’s use of social networking sites

43 % of children say their parents set no rules for use of social networking sites.

The widespread use of new technologies now means that most young people have accessed some sort of pornographic image either via the Internet, mobile phone, films or magazines by the time they reach their teenage years.

Dr Papadopoulos says “children and young people are not only being exposed to an increasing number of hyper-sexualised images; they are also being sold the idea that girls should look ‘hot’, regardless of their age. As such, they are facing pressures that children in the past simply didn’t have to face.”

She concludes by saying “children’s ability to understand and assimilate information develops over time. Given the proliferation and accessibility of sexualised images, it is almost inevitable that children will come into contact with content they’re not ready to understand. Not only can this be upsetting and disruptive, it can also lead them to make assumptions about what’s appropriate that could lead them into potentially dangerous and damaging situations.”

“The most important message that comes out of this review is the dangers of the growing trend towards the ‘normalisation’ and acceptance of both the sexualisation of our children and the connection between this growing trend and the increased acts of violence against woman and children.” “Sexualisation of Young People” review,

March, Education Ministry report discloses high truancy rates – 80% higher at decile one schools

than decile 10. Prospect of new laws.

March, ‘An innovative approach to changing social attitudes around family violence

in NZ: Key ideas, insights and lessons learnt, MSD Review of It’s Not OK and The Campaign for Action on Family Violence By Point Research Ltd & MSD’s Centre for Social Research & Evaluation, ‘to understand & articulate the approach of the campaign & determine how well the campaign is working’ (pg 6), and to ‘focus on lessons and insights that can be used to inform the future development of the Campaign & enhance future government-led initiatives’ (pg 32).

The key objectives of the Campaign are to increase awareness of family violence so that it becomes visible and talked about throughout NZ; to increase understanding of FV and its many impacts; to increase the personal relevance of FV so that NZers acknowledge that it involves all of us, and that we can all help to do something about it; to promote a greater propensity to act on FV for victims, perpetrators, families & influencers, & to create a social climate that supports behavioural change.

It would appear that progress towards these objectives has been made since the Campaign’s inception (Conclusion – pg 32)

Although it is difficult to assess the extent to which a social climate that supports behavioural change has been created, service providers report considerable increases in help-seeking behaviour, with some seeing almost double the number of clients than they did prior to the Campaign. Moreover, social service providers, FV violence networks and communities affirm that the Campaign is creating a more supportive environment for community action, that FV is more personally relevant for people, there is more support for and better understanding of efforts to stop FV, there is increased morale in & collaboration between provider organisations, & communities are mobilising around the issue’.

…Although there was evidence that a social marketing campaign could change attitudes & behaviour, the research also suggested that any media campaign would need to be supported by layers of activities & interventions. [from research commissioned by Families Commission, Janet Fanslow, 2005]

March , AUT Hospital Responsiveness to Family Violence research, 48 months summary

March 3, Child Abuse Experts Forum report to Minister Paula Bennett finds data sharing

inadequate & government departments don’t share abuse prevention strategies. Recommended multi-disciplinary approach to child abuse prevention, home-based support, priority mental health services for parents of small children, also

  • data sharing be required on individual children between agencies involved in child abuse including police, health workers, CYF, and schools
  • law change, legal responsibility for schools & hospitals etc to protect children from abuse & neglect, modelled on UK
  • an alert system for families with history of abuse so officials know when another child born

Forum members include Starship Hospital’s Dr Patrick Kelly, Children’s Commissioner John Angus, Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier, Archdeacon Dr Hone Kaa, Paediatric Society president Rosemary Marks & university academics. Officials to report back in two months.

There’s a real concern that despite a range of agencies that deal with at risk children & their families, still too many of our most vulnerable children slip through the cracks’. CYF dealt with almost 20,000 new cases of substantiated child abuse 2008- 2009.

March 6, NZ Herald editorial ‘Child Safety must always be key focus’. (following Experts Forum)

Every child has the right to expect to be raised in a safe environment that nurtures its development…

Early intervention and effective parent support services have always stood out as the most likely solution to child abuse.

State agencies need to be able to monitor the births of children in worrying circumstances and get alongside the parents as soon as possible. Their attention must be unstinting. Intervention, as the forum suggests, must be “intentional, integrated & co-ordinated between agencies”. It is deplorable that this is not happening. A culture of shared responsibility must prevail among government departments, just as society has come to accept collective responsibility for ensuring the wellbeing of our children.’

March 6, Hamilton City Council & CPS launch ‘Speak up for Children’ campaign ‘aimed at

empowering people to take action where they believe a child is being abused’ – CPS CE Anthea Simcock, also city mayoress (WT, 6.3.10). Stage 2 of HCC Social Wellbeing Strategy campaign for action on family violence, $30,000 grant from MSD.

March 7, ‘A failure to intervene with an holistic approach early in the lives of young people at risk of offending has had stark consequences. We spend 11 times more on locking children up than on preventing youth crime. About 75% of young people leaving custody with reoffend, and 27% of adult prisoners have been in care. Reoffending by these former children in care costs about £3billion a year. (Sunday Star Times, Helen McNutt – Guardian News & Media)

Principal Youth Court judge Andrew Becroft‘How to turn a troubled child into a distinguished alumnus of the university of crime’ (University of Auckland’s Distinguished Alumni Speaker Day). He identified 10 approaches to youth offending that he said had been shown to be ineffective or misguided…youth offending must be seen differently from adult offending, because the part of the brain that controls logic, judgement & wisdom is not fully developed until between 25-30yrs (Sunday Star Times – Sarah Harvey)

March 8, News that 442 teachers needed ACC-funded treatment after assaults at school during 2008-09, costing about $413,000. Further 335 pupil assault on teachers in 2008 did not require ACC-funded treatment (The Dominion Post, reported in Waikato Times). Education Minister Anne Tolley hoped $45m Education Ministry-led project would help deal with behavioural issues in schools.

March 23, Minister Paula Bennett announces Future Focus.‘345,000 New Zealanders

currently receive a benefit, costing taxpayers $4.8 billion a year. Future Focus aims to support only those in genuine need. There is an expectation that those who can work, do. The changes…will be introduced gradually over a year, from October.’

March 25, Chief Families Commissioner Dr Jan Pryor resigns. Later media reports suggest response to Minister Paula Bennett’s concerns re the quality of the commission’s research. Pryor denies this. (Refer TVOne report 21.4.10)

March 30, ‘Real Crime – The Truth About Us’ – Robin Shingleton’s documentary broadcast on TVOne – on Nia Glassie’s death & child abuse. Features Parentline (Margaret Evans)

March 31, NZ Institute releases ‘NZAhead’ A report card of NZ’s social, economic &

environmental well-being. We are measuring performance so NZers can improve it.’

16 measures

  • Social=life expectancy, unemployment, inequality, assault mortality, suicide

  • Economic = GDPper capita, household wealth, labour productivity, innovation & business sophistication, educational achievement

  • Environmental = agricultural&forestry land per capita, water quality, CO2 concentration, CO2e emissions per capita, invasive species.

…to arm NZers with a Big Picture view of our overall ,long-term performance…to stimulate better conversations among all NZers about what is important & what we should do about it.”

“Overall rating a middling ‘C’ for achievement and a ‘B-minus’ for effort…Young people more disadvantaged on measures such as education, health & jobs than youth in other developed countries”- ( 31.3.10)

March, ‘Responsive Schools’ education resource & how to combat increasing levels of bullying.

Includes definitions. Bullying contributes to ‘lower academic performance, higher absenteeism & early school drop-out. Symptoms include anxiety, social dysfunction, depression, school failure, alcohol & substance abuse, decreased self-esteem. Concludes that the only programmes that work focus on ‘community wide change of culture’.

Full OCC report isSchool Safety: An Inquiry into the Safety of Students at School’, from Children’s Commissioner Dr John Angus.

April, MSD Campaign for Action on Family Violence releases ‘suite of reports’ on FV –

Attitudes, values & Beliefs about Violence within Families: 2008 Survey. Objectives to gauge NZ definitions of FV, to measure awareness & attitudes, and to gauge NZers propensity to take action against FV.

Community Study Summary Report. To investigate impact of Campaign for Action on FV in Christchurch, Porirua, Te Tairawhiti (Gisborne) & Waitakere.

Report on Giving, Receiving & Seeking Help. Focus on what action people can take to prevent FV & when, where it is hard & why, what might make it easier, & what offering help looks like.

Also March report MSD Review of It’s Not OK and The Campaign for Action on Family Violence, ‘An innovative approach to changing social attitudes around family violence in NZ: Key ideas, insights and lessons learnt. (refer March listing)

April 1, Police release annual crime statistics, for 2009.

Records show Waikato had double the increase of nation’s reported crime rate (10% v 4.6% on previous year) and an even more significant record on violent crime, with Hamilton City up three times the national rate, & the region more than double.

Violent offences were up by almost 30% in the city & 23% in the region. And, of the additional 1014 violent offences recorded in the Waikato, 834 ‘in the home’ family violence (Waikato District Commander Supt. Alan Boreham, Police news release 1.4.10)

The year’s national murder rate was the highest in a decade with 65 case- 24 women & 41 men (up 25% on previous year), and seven of these in the Waikato. Plus 23 manslaughter cases – 5 women & 18 men). (NB nearly ¾ of female victims killed by partner or family member/ & 1/3 male victims.

Violent & antisocial offences made up almost a third of the overall crime rate of 35,384 cases, with dishonesty just over half (violence 15.6%, antisocial 15.9%, dishonesty 51.1%)

Recorded crime – nationally up 4.6%

Waikato region up 10.4% – total 35,384 offences

Hamilton City up 16% – total 21,572 offences

Violent crime – nationally up 9.2%

Waikato region up 22.6% – total 5,506 offences

(up 21.1% to 166.2 per 10,000 population)

Hamilton City up 29.3% – total 3,427 offences

Drugs & Antisocial crime – nationally up 14.3%

Waikato region up 18% – 5,612 offences

(up 16.6% to 169.4 per 10,000 population)

Hamilton City up 16.9% – 2,776 offences

Reported family violence increased 18.6% – main factor driving violent crime stats.

NB increases in comparison with Hamilton City Council Community Safety 2009 Scorecard & ‘recorded violence, sexual, drugs & anti-social criminal offences’ reported as 1,241 reported offences per 10,000 population with trend ‘getting better’ (refer to July 2009).

Booze fuels leap in crime’Waikato Times headline, lead story reports that alcohol linked to the 42% rise in FV in Hamilton & an 18% increase in violence in public places.

Inspector Rob Lindsay quoted – “But it’s a community issue too with family members needing to stand up and say it’s not OK’. ‘…our focus on working with partner agencies to increase the level of reporting incidents…while working to reduce the number of actual incidents is the correct one.”

April 1, Chief Families Commissioner Dr Jan Pryor (who resigned March 25) says

latest rise in reported family violence ‘expected, because more people are reporting incidents & society as a whole is becoming less tolerant of violence’ – noted 2008 increase 28%, 2009 up13.4%, 2011 up 18.6%.

She says ‘high profile’ campaigns [White Ribbon Day & ‘It’s Not OK’] ‘which are supported & partially funded by Families Commission, along with the efforts of community organisations which have taken up the anti-violence cause’ have ensured that the real levels of violence are being brought into the open.

‘The response from communities is that these campaigns must continue. However as a society, we must move from awareness of family violence to actions that help to prevent it.’ (media release. )

Child Abuse not limited to Church institutions’, columnist Rosemary McLeod suggests

improvement to our ‘collective memory’. (Waikato Times, 1.4.10)

April 8, Whanau Ora Report – Report of the Taskforce on Whanau Centred Initiatives

Minister Tariana Turia – ‘The Taskforce encourages us to consider a new approach which focuses on best outcomes for whanau with integrated delivery systems.   They discuss the problems associated in concentrating on input measures such as personnel time, or output measures such as volume and cost, rather than the outcome indicators that are relevant to the family.

‘The Taskforce presents six key recommendations which attempt to commit to a new way of working with whanau.  They ask Government to demonstrate the courage of our commitment to supporting families, by requiring agencies to work better and to work smarter.

‘No doubt there will be some who ask why we should invest in whanau ora.  I would say to them, ‘if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got’.

‘I am heartened by the commitment of a bold Government, and a brave Prime Minister, who are willing to concede that successive administrations have failed to create the long term solution that we know will lead to the strength of families across the nation.’

Deputy PM Bill English – ‘It is clear from results in recent years that traditional approaches to helping families in need have not worked that well – and taxpayers are not getting the best value for money.
“We believe there is a better, more effective way of using the many hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars already spent in this area. Whanau Ora will also deliver better results for the families themselves. It recognises the importance of the family and the things that make families special.’

NZHerald’s John Armstrong describes the Whanau Ora report as ‘pitifully short of hard facts & analysis of the plight of Maori, but replete with platitudes, truisms & declarations of the obvious’ – ‘you would be hard-pressed to find another government-commissioned report containing as much mind-numbing mumbo-jumbo & indigestible twaddle…’

But he also writes of previous attempts to ‘break down structurally induced bureaucratic inertia’ & the lack of info on concrete results from the ‘hundreds of millions spent on helping families’, with ‘no cross agency data or location specific data, & suggests the ‘radical’, ‘one-stop-shop’ approach seems ‘so sensible’. (NZ H 10.4.10)

April 9, ‘Early Intervention Process’ for Family Court starts– to be ‘quicker, cheaper & more

effective’ for 27,000+ cases relating to children filed each year. Principal FC Judge Peter Boshier calls it ‘one of its most significant reforms since its creation in 1981 (NZH 10.4.10)

April 13, Welfare Working Group announced by Minister Paula Bennett – ‘to examine long term

welfare dependence, identifying causes & solutions etc & report back by December 2010. Hosted by Victoria University’s Institute of Policy Studies, chaired by Paula Rebstock. ‘With almost one-in-five children living in benefit-dependent families, breaking the cycle of welfare dependence is essential to avoiding a life of limited income and limited choices’.

April 15, NZ survey on workplace bullying released. Higher rates in hospitality, health, education

& travel sectors. Researchers, funded by Department of Labour and the Health Research Council, surveyed 1728 workers, including doctors, nurses, teachers and academics as well as hotel and restaurant staff. Eighteen per cent reported they had been victims of bullying at work, while 75 per cent had suffered from stress. In health and education, ineffective leadership was identified as one of the main factors leading to increased stress and bullying.
Multidisciplinary research team: Dr Bevan Catley and Dr Dianne Gardner (Massey University) Professor Michael O’Driscoll (University of Waikato), Dr Helena Cooper-Thomas (University of Auckland), and Dr Linda Trenberth (Birbeck, London). Full report – News/2010/04/docs/Bentley-et-al-report.pdf
Labour Department:

April 18, Research poll finds extensive support (4 out of 5 people) for parental notification when

daughter under 16 pregnant & considering abortion.(Family First Curia Market Research)

April 21, Chief Families Commissioner Jan Pryor says criticism of commission research had no

influence on her decision to resign on March 25 – as reported by TVONE re letter to her from Minister Paula Bennett. (April 23, Family First releases list of Families Commission research ‘they believe would be the subject of the Minister’s criticism’. “The majority of research has fallen short of being thorough enough to truly represent the voice of families…” Bob McCoskie, national director)

April 22, ‘Child Witnesses in the NZ Criminal Courts: A Review of practice & implications for

policy’ report by Dr Emma Davies & Dr Kirtsen Hanna, AUT’s Institute of Public Policy. Analysed trials involving children as witnesses during 2008-09.

April, Healthy Places, Healthy Lives: Urban Environments & Wellbeing, a report to the Minister of Health from the Public Health Advisory Committee (a ‘ministerial committee providing independent advice to the Minister of Health’)$File/urban-environments-apr10.pdf

‘There is a strong link between urban design & aspects of poor health that place a large burden on our communities & health services. In our urban areas, people are walking less, there are more cycle crashes on our roads, & urban air pollutants contribute to the increasing burden of respiratory illness.

The Ministry of Health’s 2009/10 Statement of Intent focuses on developing an ‘adaptable & resilient’ health system & slowing the growing demand for medical services…

Although individuals can, and do, take responsibility for aspects of their own health, it is not within their personal influence to create healthy urban infrastructure, such as walkways, accessible green spaces, or safe roads… (Pauline Barnett, Chair)

The way that urban areas are planned & laid out – known as urban form – shapes people’s life choices, & has a strong bearing on health outcomes…Opportunities for good health are reduced when urban areas are not conducive to physical activity for either recreation or ‘active transport’, and when urban areas have fewer opportunities for social interaction, more motor vehicle emissions, greater risk of road traffic injuries, & differential access to healthy food. (Executive Summary & recommendations, pg vii)

As well as

Urban Planners Knowledge of Health & Wellbeing Issues: A survey of Urban Planners

for the Public Health Advisory Committee, – a commissioned survey of urban planners, urban designers & transport engineers focusing on the relationship between health & urban planning in NZ’.$File/urban-planners-knowledge-of-health-phac-apr10.pdf

90% believed there is s link between planning & health outcomes. Just over half said ‘occasionally’ or ‘never’ consider health & wellbeing in their planning, & over two-thirds said health & wellbeing have ‘little’ or ‘no’ impact on final planning decisions compared to other considerations. Two thirds had received no training in how to consider health outcomes & achieve health goals. (Executive Summary)

Two key models of health commonly referred to in report’s context

  • The medical model of health: defines health primarily as the absence of disease, & largely driven from a medical or scientific perspective.

  • The social model of health: broader definition, considering a range of influences on health such as social behaviours, culture, income, housing & social status – that is broad environmental, social, & economic conditions. Basic premise is that health is determined by a wide range of factors & therefore all influences are to be addressed.

‘This report applies the social model of health, under which the role of planners is clear. In broad terms, planners have influence over a range of factors affecting the health & wellbeing of communities, such as housing, service accessibility, physical activity, safety & connectedness, among other things.’ (Introduction, p 4)

May, Hamilton Girls’ High School & Te Puke High School – violent incidents involving students

with knives (May 20 & May 12).

May 18, Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) releases Part 1 of report of national

inquiry into child abuse investigations (Chair, Justice Lowell Goddard) – prompted by ‘unacceptable’ backlog of 108 Wairarapa case files with little or no progress on original complaints up to 11 yrs old, average delay of five years, & in some cases children living with their alleged abusers the whole time.

34 Recommendations include inclusion of child abuse investigations as a priority in police national business plan, & review way child abuse files recorded to avoid cases slipping through cracks, review staff, their training, & their workloads.

‘some police do not believe investigating such crimes is ‘real policing’ & described child-abuse investigators as ‘poor cousins’ (NZHerald, 19.5.10)

May 26, ACYA Submission on proposed Auckland Social Policy Forum & Policy Advisory

Group, in support, calls for recognition UN conventions ratified by NZ (UNCROC & best interests of child etc), & role of DHBs & School trustees, & notes estimated 250,000 under 18 years in Auckland. Also currently preparing next Alternative Report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (to UN) on NZ’s compliance – including ‘key issue’ of child abuse.

June, NZ Children’s Commissioner Dr John Angus releases his Office Statement of Intent 2010-

2013, on how his office ‘intends, now & in the future, to prioritise & carry out its functions & services’.

Notes children ‘will be impacted by uncertain economic circumstances, constraints on government expenditure, the ongoing levels of violence in families (& sometimes in their schools) and changes in patterns of work and childcare outside the home.’

Continuing emphasis includes

Contributing to work on keeping children safe, secure & well nurtured in their families, preventing child abuse and neglect and to preventing violence in the other settings in which children live their lives (Commissioner’s foreword, pg ii)

The SOI refers to the current position of children in NZ – ‘social & economic position been generally positive & improving’, but ‘rates of early childbearing remain high’…’rate of deaths from assaults & maltreatment..has not fallen so much’ and ‘picture not so good’ when compared with other OECD countries. ‘The levels of violence in our children’s lives are higher: the rate of deaths from maltreatment remains well above the median, and there is some evidence that rates of bullying are also high’ (pg 1).

John [Angus] has identified six priority areas of work for the Office [of the Children’s Commissioner] this financial year. These include work on ensuring quality services for children in care; preventing child abuse and neglect; advocating for the interests of the one-third of New Zealand’s children who live in Auckland as it changes to a “super city”; looking at the best interests of children in early childhood care and education; child poverty; and promoting children’s participation in decision making and other processes that affect them.

June, The Best Start in Life: Achieving effective action on child health & wellbeing, report by

the Public Health Advisory Committee ‘explores why there has been an overall lack of progress in improving health outcomes for NZ children under six’.

Highlights that NZ ranks low in child health outcomes compared with other OECD countries, & there are wide disparities…

NZ is not doing as well for children as are other comparable countries. In fact, NZ sits at the bottom third in OECD rankings for most child indicators and near the bottom for immunisation coverage & injury rates.

NZ also has an appalling rate of child abuse, a factor known to lead to poor health &learning outcomes and behavioural problems.

The lack of priority for children is reflected in our low investment in ‘early childhood’ compared with other countries. Also poorly integrated policies and services mean investment may not yield the benefits expected. OIur poor performance on measures of child health & wellbeing is shocking….

A more sustained & integrated approach to children’s services & policy is necessary.

Investing in child development, especially in the early years, brings positive results for children & future productivity. (Pauline Barnett, Chair)

Table 5 – Selected publications that have tracked child health over short periods (pg 40-41)

Appendix 1 – Key Reports from the Past Decade (pg 47+)

Appendix 2 – Overview of Evidence for Cross-Agency Policy Set (pg 50+)

June 10, A Vision for the Teaching Profession, report by the Education Workforce Advisory Group

to Education Minister Anne Tolley released by minister (10 June), plus discussion document seeking public submissions by August 6. &

Effective teaching is recognised as the most important in-school lever for improving educational outcomes for students….

A comprehensive body of research clearly indicates that effective teachers are the main factor in raising the achievement & fostering the ongoing engagement of students. Improving the quality of home & neighbourhood influences is important in improving student wellbeing. However, it is largely beyond the control of the profession. As such, the profession needs to focus on enhancing the learning for all students regardless of their backgrounds & circumstances.

Current variability in the quality of teaching presents a significant obstacle to ensuring that all students have the chance to succeed at school… (Vision, Background, pg 8)