Govt introduces new plans for family violence policy

Author
Newstalk ZB staff,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Monday, 3 August 2015, 7:17AM

There are mixed responses from local law experts following the Government's announcement that it plans to create a new criminal offence for family violence.

Justice Minister Amy Adams is unveiling a discussion document this week as part of a plan to bring down New Zealand's high rate of domestic violence.

ABOVE: Barrister and family law expert Adrianne McLean speaks with Rachel Smalley on KPMG Early Edition

Barrister Adrianne McLean is welcoming the Government's attempts to get better numbers on domestic violence, as it's hard to know just how common domestic violence is.

"For every one case that we may get in the family court and make a protection order for to assist that family, how many others are going unreported?"

However Auckland barrister Steve Cullen is questioning the Minister's reasoning that the current system makes it too difficult to track where family violence is occurring.

"I struggle to accept that because our experience from the courts is that the police are keeping very accurate records of domestic violence callouts," Mr Cullen said. 

"To then give an overlay of labelling violence as being somehow worse as being within the home would have to be a matter of pretty serious discussions in policy, because labelling people isn't necessarily a good thing." 

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