Te Aorerekura: A strategy to eliminate family violence and sexual violence

Te Aorerekura is a national strategy to eliminate family violence and sexual violence. It aims to unify and drive government action. The group Te Puna Aonui has been created across Government to carry out this work.

Te Aorerekura is a 25-year national strategy to eliminate family violence and sexual violence. It was launched in December 2021, after feedback from thousands of people.

To deliver the strategy, a joint venture called Te Puna Aonui has been created. A joint venture is a legal contract where parties agree to pool their resources for a task. This model was chosen to strengthen our work together and to share joint accountability for meeting strategic aims.

Te Puna Aonui includes agencies across Government who will drive unified action to meet the strategy’s aims. The group has created a plan that sets out actions needed and the agencies who are responsible for them. The plan is in collaboration with tangata whenua and communities.

All people in Aotearoa New Zealand are thriving; their wellbeing is enhanced and sustained because they are safe and supported to live their lives free from family violence and sexual violence.

The moemoeā (dream and vision) of Te Aorerekura

Stategic aims

Te Aorerekura identifies and sets out six areas of work. Taking action in each of these areas will create a shift towards eliminating family violence and sexual violence.

Work in each area will also strengthen how the government collaborates. This will include improving how government can learn with tangata whenua, communities, and specialist sectors.

Alongside these, there is one further strategic aim to develop an Outcomes and Measurement Framework. This will measure progress in each of the six areas. It will also help to keep government and the public sector accountable for their work and progress.

1: Strength-based wellbeing

We aim to adopt a strength-based approach that includes all aspects of wellbeing by using the Tokotoru model. This model responds to the drivers of violence, and addresses the conditions that create harm.

2: Mobilising communities

The strategy will mobilise communities to end these types of violence. We will do this by building sustainable, trust-based relationships. Decisions will be grounded in The Treaty | Te Tiriti, and evidence on what works.

3: Skilled, culturally competent, and sustainable workforces

We will make sure specialist, general, and informal workforces are well equipped and resourced. This will support them to respond to situations in a safe way which can prevent harm, support healing and enable wellbeing.

4: Invest in approaches that will prevent harm before it occurs

The strategy will invest in approaches to prevent violence before it occurs.

We will do this using a Treaty | Te Tiriti based prevention model which will strengthen the factors that prevent family violence and sexual violence.

5: Safe, accessible, and integrated responses

We will make sure responses to violence are integrated across services and can meet specific needs.

Services will be safe and not add to trauma. They will be accessible to the people who need them. They will support accountability for people who use violence.

6: Increase capacity to support healing

We will increase capacity for healing, recovery and restoration services. Services will be whānau-centered and will acknowledge and address trauma.

Foundations of Te Aorerekura

The basis of Te Aorerekura has been formed by:

  • The Treaty of Waitangi | Te Tiriti o Waitangi with tangata whenua, tamariki, rangatahi
  • those who have been impacted by violence and their communities.

The basis has also been guided by feedback from thousands of people. This has included advice from tangata whenua, community leaders, sector specialists, and government agencies.

There are also many programmes and community support groups that support those affected by these types of violence. The strategy recognises this and aims to build on existing strengths.

Our role in Te Aorerekura

To help achieve the strategy’s aims, our role is to:

  • provide advice, analysis, and evidence to Ministers on eliminating family violence and sexual violence
  • monitor, support, and coordinate implementation of Te Aorerekura
  • strengthen relationships between government and the family violence and sexual violence sectors.

Darrin Haimona talks about our role in Te Aorerekura


Duration: 3:32

Darrin Haimona on our role in Te Aorerekura 

Tēnā koutou katoa, ko Darrin Haimona tōku ingoa. I’m the Deputy Chief Executive of Māori Partnerships and Communities at Oranga Tamariki. The vision of Te Aorerekura is to ensure all people in Aotearoa are safe and supported to live their lives free from family violence and sexual violence.

The wellbeing of tamariki, rangatahi and whānau is why we’re here – like everyone, we want children to be nurtured by whānau, hapu and iwi and supported by communities. We recognise oranga is a journey – our involvement in strategies like Te Aorerekura is part of that journey, one that we are committed and dedicated to. It's about whakapapa, aroha and respecting the mana of tamariki, rangatahi and their whānau. We lead on 4 actions in Te Aorerekura and are jointly responsible for a 5th.

The first is about making sure that tamariki, rangatahi and their whānau from communities impacted by violence are supported by workforces that understand their needs and experiences.  The second focus is on healing and addressing intergenerational trauma.  If people have opportunities to heal and restore, the cycles of violence and trauma can be disrupted. We know that nurturing early experiences have an impact on whānau wellbeing and preventing harm from the outset.

We’re investing in more community-led solutions through the Tākai local initiative fund. Sina Latu: We know our community, we know the needs, we know the solution. All the programmes that we created are because there's a need for them, and again we have the talanoa. I'm so happy with what we have created we come up with a solution to the issue that needed to be addressed.

Tākai is also a key resource for Family Start whānau workers. They’ve told us what support they need so we are continuing to develop online resources, kōrero and hui to share and learn together. We have also provided funding for them to access training and connect workers and providers within regions.

We are working with the other agencies to map service gaps, including services that support healing and recovery and initiating wider conversations, to consider more holistic responses that would help people, and whānau, to heal. That includes resources to help whānau recognise and respond to harmful sexual behaviours exhibited by tamariki and rangatahi.

To support the development of specialist workforces, we are engaging and uniting specialists within our own agency and external agencies, so we can understand the knowledge and skills required to meet the needs of tamariki impacted by violence.

With our new Practice Approach front and centre, we are also implementing the Entry to Expert Family Violence Capability Framework to train our own kaimahi and lift their skills and knowledge. Our wero is to ensure that we are working collaboratively with you all.

It is a part of the journey we are taking to be community-led, regionally enabled and centrally supported.  Our door is always open, if you want to kōrero and you have ideas that would help us achieve our shared vision, please reach out.

End of transcript.

Above, Darrin Haimona, Deputy Chief Executive for Māori Partnerships and Communities at Oranga Tamariki, talks about our role in Te Aorerekura.

Actions we are respons­ible for

There is currently a 2-year Te Aorerekura Action Plan in place. This is to be delivered by the agencies within Te Puna Aonui. It consists of 40 actions across the 6 shifts.

Oranga Tamariki is leading on 4 of the actions:

  1. Building the specialist workforces for children (Action 14).
  2. Improving Family Start services (Action 32).
  3. Undertaking an analysis of healing services and responses to determine gaps and opportunities (Action 33).
  4. Developing training and resources for parents, caregivers and whānau (Action 34).

We are also responsible for one further action within our own agency which is:

  • Agencies implement capability frameworks for generalist workforce (Action 11).

Action 11 is being led by our Quality Practice and Experiences business group.

Aligning our work with Te Aorerekura

We are working to align Te Aorerekura with our Future Direction Plan. This plan guides our work on how we will achieve our aims. This includes our future plans for our structure, people and culture, partnerships and relationships, social work practice data, and insights. 

We are also working to align significant cross-agency initiatives, such as the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and Oranga Tamariki Action Plan.

Agencies respons­ible for the strategy

Te Aorerekura has brought together a working group across government to deliver it. The group is responsible for implementing the shifts set out in the strategy.

This is a collective named Te Puna Aonui. It is made up of 10 government agencies, the Interdepartmental Executive Board, and a dedicated team within their business unit.

The 10 government agencies involved are:

  1. Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children
  2. Te Kaporeihana Āwhina Hunga Whara - Accident Compensation Corporation
  3. Ara Poutama Aotearoa - Department of Corrections
  4. Te Tāhuhu o Te Mātauranga - Ministry of Education
  5. Manatū Hauora - Ministry of Health
  6. Tāhū o te Ture - Ministry of Justice
  7. Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora - Ministry of Social Development
  8. Ngā Pirihimana O Aotearoa - New Zealand Police
  9. Te Puni Kōkiri - Ministry of Māori Development
  10. Te Kawa Mataaho - Public Service Commission.

There are also 4 associate agencies:

  1. Te Tari O Te Pirimia Me Te Komiti Matau - Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
  2. Manatū Wāhine - Ministry for Women
  3. Te Manatū mō Ngā Iwi o Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa - Ministry of Pacific Peoples
  4. Te Tari Mātāwaka - Ministry for Ethnic Communities.

The gift and meaning of Te Puna Aonui

The name Te Puna Aonui was gifted to government by tangata whenua.

It draws on wānanga, including kōrero about light and māramatanga. Māramatanga means a place of calm, a place of learning and reflection and a repository of knowledge.

The name also recognises the star, Aonui, which represents a path of enlightenment. It represents markers on the journey from te kore (darkness) ki te ao marama (into the light).

If you need help or are worried about someone

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If you or someone else might be in danger, call the Police on 111.

Published: October 12, 2023