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NZ Maori Council releases data on child abuse and whanau violence campaign

NZ Maori Council releases data on child abuse and whanau violence campaign: major issues found that left unaddressed could cause more deaths and harm

The New Zealand Maori Council has released data showing its campaign around whanau and domestic violence when it comes to Children has been a success but more needs to be done. Called “Stop. Think. Walk Away” the campaign is the first of its kind in New Zealand to openly target the abuse suffered by children both in a physical and emotional sense. Council Executive Director, Matthew Tukaki, has said “we not only need more honest conversations about what is happening in our homes, we need to continue the campaigns to highlight the problems.”. Tukaki also highlights that this is not the end and New Zealand and Maori can expect to see more from the Council when it comes to whanau and domestic violence – including the launch of new tools and resources:

“We embarked on this campaign before the uplift process was highlighted by Newsroom and it really does go to show that the messages around stopping all forms of violence in the home were really (and still are) resonating with New Zealanders and Maori. We also decided to run the campaign in a hard hitting way that would really resonate and force people to have conversations about what was happening. The two poster images (attached) and video were not easy to look at – but it had the intended impact. Across social media one of the images reached just over eight hundred thousand people with four hundred and twenty three thousand engaged, the second saw a reach of seven hundred and seventy eight thousand people reached with just over three hundred thousand kiwis engaged and the short video was viewed by just over three hundred thousand people. The first big thing that highlighted for Council was the fact that this was a really big issue for a lot of New Zealanders and the second thing it highlighted was just how fractious the system was when it came to people trying to figure out where to go for help.” Tukaki said

“The whole campaign coverage was most high with women aged between 25 and 44 being the largest consumer group followed by men between the age of 24 and 35. Marae and Maori community organisations subsequently requested download packs so they could print them off and place them on Marae and organizational notice boards. And it was very popular outside of our major centers. This caused us to develop up an immediate response that people could easily access online and across social media about where to turn for help – especially given violence is not just about the result of a family or relationship break down its also about what happens to cause them – everything from addictions to drugs and alcohol right through to financial challenges. That immediate response was our resource encouraging whanau to seek help and where from – that has now been downloaded more than 40,000 times.” Tukaki said

“Of course the campaign really threw open the doors and highlighted the fact that as big as the problem is we don’t have anywhere near the workforce to respond, particularly when it comes to the regions and not just a social worker workforce – its also about those other services such as help through the court system, financial services, legal aid, housing and homelessness – all of which we know leads to pressure and strain. The other problem was also those looking for help with addictions – but over arching it all was the very real need to have targeted services and support for men.” Tukaki said

“The big question is where from here. If we are truly going to solve the challenge of reducing the number of our tamariki and children in State care we also need to address all of the underlying social and economic factors involved. We need a strong plan around Maori and Maori community engagement as well as a plan that focuses in on prevention and postvention (postvention is stopping the cycle of inter-generational violence) at the same time as devolving more services to Iwi and hapu at the front line.” Tukaki said

“And yes the campaigns from the Maori Council will continue – we will continue to come at this from every angle; from changes to and in the system to the very tough conversations we all need to be having about what is happening in our homes and communities – and that’s not just a conversation restricted to Maori; that’s all of us – all New Zealanders.” Tukaki

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