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Media Release 7 December 2021

Goverment Launches Te Aorerekura National Strategy for Eliminating Family Violence and Sexual Violence

Today sees the launch of Te Aorerekura, a national strategy aiming to create an Aotearoa no longer scarred by the shameful and destructive family and sexual violence for which we are, sadly, internationally renowned.

Te Aorerekura, rooted deeply and deliberately in Te Ao Māori, brings together the knowledge, expertise, and experience of both those living with the everyday realities of violence in their lives and those of us working to support them. It has been constructed from a long and exhaustive consultation and negotiation process, bringing together a multitude of voices to reach a common understanding and build a shared vision of a way forward.

Women’s Refuge is cautiously excited at this long-awaited launch. Dr Ang Jury, Chief Executive of the National Collective of Women’s Refuges notes that “this is just the beginning. Now that the talking is done, the real work must begin. Now is the time when we need to see real sustained commitment to bringing the actions outlined in Te Aorerekura to life.”

Dr Jury believes the strategy contains the seeds of a safer, healthier, and happier life for the women and children of Aotearoa, but that vision is going to require attention and careful nurturing to reach fruition, reminding Aotearoa that we’ve been here before. “Over a decade ago, the Te Rito family violence strategy was launched by then Minister of Social Development Steve Maharey. Similar in many ways to Te Aorerekura, although focused solely upon family violence, Te Rito also built on multiple diverse voices and offered a pathway to change. Yet within a decade it had been consigned to history as political priorities shifted.”

Dr Jury goes on to say, “we, all New Zealanders, cannot allow this to happen again. What we need to see is all political parties committing to see Te Aorerekura through. Social issues that have been with us for generations will not be resolved overnight. There is no ‘silver bullet’. Te Aorerekura is a 25-year strategy and we’re going to need every day of those 25 years to create meaningful and sustainable change.”

She calls upon all political parties to come together and commit to Te Aorerekura. She asks that they protect this strategy, put aside their political difference and work together to create a robust cross-party agreement to create the safe lives that the women and children of Aotearoa deserve.

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