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NZ must end its affair with family and sexual violence: Maori Authority

The Chair of the National Maori Authority, Matthew Tukaki, has said the country needs to address the appalling rates of family, domestic and sexual violence. Tukaki has announced that the National Maori Authority will embark on a nationwide social media campaign to draw awareness to what he is calling one of the greatest behavioral and cultural challenge in Aotearoa today:

“The figures from the Ministry of Justice are appalling in terms of those charges with rape having just a 31% conviction rate. When it comes to sexual offences its just 44% and yet we know that sexual violence and violence against intimate partners has been high for many years. I’ll just say it as I call it we are nation of violent partner beaters – and there is no escaping that single truth.” Tukaki said

“We must end the proliferation of family, domestic and sexual violence in our communities because all we are doing is creating an environment where it becomes learnt behaviour of our Tamariki, who often witness domestic violence. It becomes learnt behaviour for the next generation and we really need to break the back of it.” Tukaki said

“Prevention is key and we must throw everything we can at it – that’s why I agree with RespectEd Aotearoa and the CEO Fiona McNamara – more investment and more prevention based programs and campaigns and that is why the National Maori Authority is taking the bull by the horns in an online poster campaign that starts from today.” Tukaki said

“The campaign will focus on drawing people’s attention to the problem with some basic messages that include “whanau violence is not ok” “Aroha is not abusive” and “Stop. Think. Walk Away”. There seems to be this culture in our society where we take our fists to our partners and our Tamariki and then hug them with the same hands that beat them. Aroha is not abusive in other words. When it comes to Stop. Think. Walk Away its an important message to those in abusive situations who are the perpetrators – this is not who we are. If you find yourself in a situation then take a pause, stop what you are doing, think about how your actions will impact on your whanau and walk away.” Tukaki said

“We are also going to bring back the campaign focussed on what our Tamariki and Mokopuna can hear and see. And it is hard hitting. “We can hear every word and feel every punch” is focussed on reminding everyone once again that whatever is happening may very well be in the next room but our kids cam hear it – they can feel it.” Tukaki said

“At the end of the day we need greater investment in awareness raising campaigns and prevention but at the same time we need to have a long cold reality check that the truth is we are living in a very violent society and with a culture that hides whanau and sexual violence under the carpet. We need to rip that carpet out and we need to ensure that everyone is able to speak truth to power. This is not just a Government issue this is societal and its long past the time for us to address this as a nation” Tukaki said

“Whanau, domestic and sexual violence is not just about one group or ethnicity – every New Zealander needs to put our collective shoulder to the wheel.” Tukaki said

The campaigns will begin running across social media feed from the 5th of April and will be rolling. Resources pages will be setup at and with poster formats being made available for download. Tukaki also indicated that the National Maori Authority was planning for a national hui was underway.


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