New family violence legislation announced

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The National-led Government wants to ensure the home is a safe place for everyone.

In recent days, Prime Minister John Key, together with Justice Minister Amy Adams, announced major changes to family violence laws that are aimed at preventing abuse, keeping victims safe, and stopping perpetrators.

They emphasised that this Government was committed to better tackling the high rate of family violence.

Sweeping changes are intent on better supporting victims and keeping them safe by, for example, making protection orders easier to get, making maximum use of police safety orders, and making property orders more effective.

They will also include acting sooner to change the behaviour of perpetrators, introducing new offences so violence can be prosecuted, putting greater focus on getting in early, and connecting perpetrators with the help they need to stop the abuse.

Mr Key says New Zealand needs to do better to combat family violence. "Our overhaul of our family violence laws is a critical, foundational step so that a new approach can be built. National is working hard to play our part in breaking the cycle of violence within families and across generations."

Ōhariu-based list MP Brett Hudson says it's been gratifying to see the positive response to the changes of those who work with victims and their families.

"Victim Support chief executive Kevin Tso has told The New Zealand Herald that the reforms had the potential to be a "game changer", while Women's Refuge said they were a "giant step" in the right direction.

"I'm proud to be part of a Government that wants to do even more to keep families safe from those who would do them harm," Brett said.

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