Domestic violence victims to benefit as Govt boosts social services

NZ Herald February 13, 2008

Domestic violence victims will soon have state-funded advocates in some courts as part of a package of new social spending. Social service agencies were surprised at the size of the package announced by Prime Minister Helen Clark, which starts at $37.5 million in the next financial year and climbs to an extra $192.8 million a year by 2011-12. The extra money will fully fund all “essential services” provided by about 700 non-government agencies, including parenting programmes, budgeting, support for at-risk youth, women’s refuges, family violence programmes, victim services and refugee and migrant services.

In a related measure, the Government will put an extra $6 million a year into specialist Family Violence Courts in selected centres, including independent victim advocates. The package relieves a financial crisis for the women’s refuges, which said last year that they needed an extra $15 million a year on top of their current state funding of $5.5 million.

….But Te Whanau o Waipareira chief executive John Tamihere, who resigned from the Labour cabinet in 2004, said he would be watching the allocation of the new money closely to guard against favouritism. “I guarantee Barnardos is a major beneficiary, given the support that its chief executive gave over the anti-smacking legislation,” he said. “If this is gerrymandering, you’ll hear about it.”
READ Family First Media Release “Goverment responds to Family First cal for NGO funding”