Bishop to hold public meeting on family violence

Hutt Valley news
Friday, August 28, 2015

Chris Bishop, National List MP based in the Hutt Valley, will soon host a public meeting on the government’s new discussion document on New Zealand’s family violence laws.

The meeting will be held on Monday 7 September at 7.30pm at Gracefield School Hall, Bell Road.

The discussion document, launched in early August, takes a hard look at the way the law prevents and responds to family violence, and proposes a comprehensive rethink to strengthen New Zealand’s legislative response.

The Minister of Justice, Hon Amy Adams, will be present at the meeting to listen to feedback on the document and answer any questions.

“The level of family violence in New Zealand is appalling. Last year alone, more than 100,000 incidents were reported to Police – around one every five minutes. What’s more, nearly half of all homicides and reported violent crimes are family violence-related. There are no easy solutions to this extraordinarily complex issue, but this Government is committed to better addressing the problem. The home should be a safe place for all women, children, and men and we need to do our best to protect victims from re-victimisation. 

The discussion document raises a number of starters for discussion, including:

  • establishing a set of standalone family violence offences
  • creating an additional pathway for victims, perpetrators and whānau who want help to stop violence, but don’t want to have to go to court
  • ideas about improving the accessibility and effectiveness of protection orders
  • doing a better job of sharing information where family violence concerns arise between agencies and within the courts
  • considering compelling police action in certain circumstances such as requiring mandatory arrest for all breaches of protection orders
  • more prominence to victim safety in related legislation like the Care of Children Act and bail and sentencing law.

“This review is just one part of government work toward a coordinated, integrated and efficient response to family violence and sexual violence and is a central part of the cross-government package announced last year by Prime Minister John Key,” says Mr Bishop.

The public consultation document is available at https://consultations.justice.govt.nz/policy/family-violence-law. Submissions can be made until 18 September.

Pictured: Chris Bishop erecting signs advertising the meeting today.