Commission welcomes Government overhaul of family violence laws

Commission welcomes Government overhaul of family violence laws

September 13, 2016

The Human Rights Commission has today welcomed the Government’s announcement that they will undertake an overhaul of New Zealand’s family violence laws.

Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says the announcement will be welcome news to the hundreds of people who submitted on the review of family violence legislation.

“This comprehensive overhaul has been long overdue. We’re pleased to see the Government taking leadership in this space, listening to those who submitted as part of the review, and putting into action their commitment to protecting New Zealanders from family violence.

Family violence remains a major human rights challenge facing thousands of New Zealanders, impacting families from all cultures, classes, backgrounds and socio-economic circumstances. Domestic violence can affect different groups disproportionately, for example people with a disability. For too long, it has had a strong-hold on our communities, so this strong, decisive action is a very positive first step.

“I’m particularly pleased to see that coercion to marry will now be an offence under legislation, as forced marriage was an important area of focus in New Zealand’s most recent report to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

“Additionally, proposed changes will see the inclusion of new principles to help guide decisions made under the Domestic Violence Act. These changes are a solid example of how the review will result in safety for victims of family violence, first and foremost.”

Human Rights Commission

The Commission works for a free, fair, safe and just New Zealand, where diversity is valued and human dignity and rights are respected.