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Papakura marae leading the way in family violence protection


Papakura – As New Zealand holds one of the highest rates of family violence in the world, with an act of family violence reported every four minutes to the police, community workers are in urgent need for extra support out in the field.

Papakura marae in South Auckland is taking a frontline, ground-up approach to tackle this nationwide issue, trialling a ground-breaking family violence support and prevention programme.

Marae chief executive Tony Kake has enlisted the support of Sir Ray Avery, founder of the charity Help@Hand trust,  to trial a domestic violence support programme to protect his frontline social workers as they go about their work in the community, giving them instant access to help if they need it and ensuring all his frontline staff are safe from harm.

“We already have the trial underway with early signs of success. I then want to train our family violence team on how to teach victims how to keep them and their families safe from fear and ongoing abuse,” Kake says.

“I have a responsibility to protect my frontline workers from harm. We are training the trainers to provide frontline support for victims and survivors of domestic violence in our community.”

NZ Whānau Protect trials showed an 80 percent reduction in re-victimisation when they were protected by monitored alarm technologies.

Avery says the work Papakura marae is doing is nothing short of inspirational. 

“When I met with Tony and his community-based family violence team, I saw what a fantastic job they were doing with little or no resources and I can think of no better use of my time and resources than to support them in their work,” Avery says.

“ACC commissioned a report to determine the total cost of sexual violence in New Zealand in 2020 and the estimated cost was just over $6.9 billion and the total cost of DV being much higher. 

“Our personal protection systems protect families at risk 24/7 wherever they may be and start new lives free from fear of abuse.”

Family harm is responsible for approximately 40 percent of police time, not including the majority of cases in New Zealand that go unreported. Family violence is a subset of family harm which includes physical, sexual or psychological abuse within domestic relationships.  

Kake and his Papakura marae team are no strangers to working hard behind the scenes to support thousands of people in South Auckland and beyond. He leads a marae that oversees more than 48 community services, including food banks, in-home support services and a medical centre.

“Everything we do at the marae is for our people and Sir Ray is now part of the whānau. He knows more than most how important timely community support is for victims of family violence,” Kake says

Family violence and sexual violence have a devastating impact on people and communities across the country.

Each year, New Zealand police conduct more than 100,000 investigations related to family violence. Nearly half of all homicides and reported violent crimes are family violence related.

For further information contact Sir Ray Avery on 0274760591 or the Papakura marae on 022 503 8580

Photo: Tony Kakae at Papakura marae