The Domestic Violence Act 1995 provides programmes for people whose lives are affected by domestic violence and who are protected by Protection Orders. The Programmes for Adult Protected Persons contribute to the legislation’s primary objective of providing greater protection for the victims of domestic violence. Programme goals set out in the Domestic Violence Regulations 1996 specify that Māori values and concepts are to be taken into account, acknowledging the need for programmes and services developed by Māori to reduce domestic violence within whānau.
This is the final report in a series of evaluations commissioned by the Ministry of Justice and Department for Courts to examine the impact of the Domestic Violence Act 1995. These evaluations, together and separately, serve to inform us of the effectiveness of the Act. Overall, the evaluations report that the programmes are important and provide benefits for protected persons, children and respondents and that there is support for the legislative framework. This report not only examines the legislative environment for delivering programmes to Māori women, it also looks more broadly at defining Māori domestic violence, and the impacts of colonisation and violence on indigenous communities.
Two programmes delivered by Māori providers for Māori Adult Protected Persons are evaluated in this report. Both used Kaupapa Māori as a basis to explore a political, social and cultural analysis of domestic violence within the context of their programmes. Both programmes involved in the evaluation continued to grow and develop in line with their visions of how best to serve their communities and confront issues of domestic violence.
This evaluation identifies three key principles of best practice for the delivery of domestic violence programmes to Māori women. They include: Te reo Māori me ona tikanga (valuing tradition and culture); Kaupapa Māori solutions; and individual as well as collective healing. The evaluation also brings to light issues that can have an effect on programme delivery. It reveals barriers for some women wishing to attend the programmes, such as transportation and child-care access, as well as the need for long-term, ongoing support for women. The government has begun to address these issues, for example the Domestic Violence Act Programme Regulations have been reviewed with amendments that simplify processes.
Domestic violence continues to be of major concern. This evaluation highlights the effectiveness of Kaupapa Māori programmes for Māori Protected Persons, and the need to achieve long-term outcomes that are grounded in Māori community involvement. These findings will make an important contribution to policy development and purchase advice to government.