Latest report on domestic violence deaths in Aotearoa, New Zealand highlights comprehensive approach to whānau taken by Maori organizations

The latest report on domestic violence deaths in Aotearoa, New Zealand, highlights a comprehensive whānau approach taken by Maori organizations as contributing to a reduction in the proportion of domestic violence deaths occurring in the Maori whānau.

Provisional data from the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee shows Maori accounted for 44% of domestic violence deaths, between 2009 and 2019, but this figure fell to 23% in 2021.

Between 2009 and 2019, there were 292 deaths due to domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, or domestic violence.

Committee chair Dr Fiona Cram says Maori community organizations are leading the way and their approach can show others how to build genuine and respectful relationships.

The committee’s seventh report, A duty to care – Pūrongo tuawhitu: Me manaaki te tangata, highlights the work of three Kaupapa Maori organizations that incorporate the duty to care for their people, reducing the risk of invisible victims and offering more opportunities for families and whānau to guide service delivery.

Dr. Cram says, however, that some government institutions have not yet moved.

She says fulfilling a societal duty of care could have prevented many domestic violence deaths.