In an effort to reduce New Zealand's horrific family violence track record, Justice Minister Amy Adams today launched a review into New Zealand's family violence legislation.
A huge challenge lies ahead for the Justice Minister in fulfilling Prime Minister John Key's expectations for the reduction of family violence.
The Minister agrees the Government can't do this alone but must reach out to all sectors of the community.
Adams says, “I think one of the things we have to recognise is that we've got far too many Māori families experiencing violence and for this to be resolved I think iwi organisations have to be part of the thinking and the solutions or we're not going to make enough of a change.”
A current issue in the media at this time is the concern of the family of 15-year-old LA Tukerangi for her safety after going missing last week. This is the sort of thing where laws could be tightened.
Adams says, “I really don't know any more than what's been in the media, but certainly kidnapping, holding someone against their will, forcing sexual attention on them are all already offences. But there will always be issues of potentially bad people who police need to catch up with and deal with, my issue is to make sure that the law supports them in that.”
The review titled "Strengthening New Zealand's Legislative Response to Family Violence" strives to get victims the help they need, hold perpetrators to account and to stop family violence from happening in the first place.