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Domestic Violence Industry in “Overwhelming Disarray”

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 9:13 am Mon 4th August 2014

A report released last month has put the cost of domestic violence in New Zealand at $8 billion per year.

There appears to be a new type of inflation impacting our economy – Election Inflation.

This ‘$8 Billion dollars is a big increase on previous estimates. The difference between the $8 billion and the 368 million estimated in the PSA report as a cost to New Zealand business may be government funding of the industry – I haven’t seen the calculations to confirm the basis of their costing.

A 155-page report called ‘The Way Forward’ denounces the current industry as being in “Overwhelming Disarray” and proposes a new Integrated System for Intimate Partner Violence and Child Abuse and Neglect in New Zealand.

I don’t have any background information on authors Herbert and Mackenzie. You may be familiar with these names – if so please comment.

Neither have I seen the report, so if you happen to find it online somewhere please put up a link.


Update: Oh, I see now – It’s Ruth Herbert up to her old tricks again.

The former director of Sir Owen Glenn’s family violence inquiry has produced her own solution without waiting for the inquiry to finish its work.

Ruth Herbert, whose resignation last year almost destroyed Sir Owen’s $2 million inquiry, has written her own 155-page report advocating an integrated “one door, right door” system to replace an approach she sees as “broken, fragmented and inconsistent”.

She and her co-author, former Auckland regional family violence network co-ordinator Deborah Mackenzie, say their integrated system would add $22 million to the $70 million the state already spends on 774 separate family violence services.


Now doing the maths on this $8 billion.

The Ministry of Social Development’s Are you OK website says:

‘The economic cost of family violence was estimated at $1.2 to $5.8 billion per year by Economist Suzanne Snively in 1994.

In today’s figures that would rise to $8 billion p.a.’ indicating that the government accepts $8 billion as the annual economic cost of family violence in New Zealand.

No, this is not a satire piece – I assure you, I copied that straight from the report.

Estimated economic cost of IPV (Intimate Partner Violence) and CAN (Child Abuse and Neglect) for 2014 in New Zealand

Snively’s 1-in-7 income foregone scenario for 1993/94


Increased by 23.7 percent – population increase over the past 20 years 272 $996,822,000

Sub total $5,202,822,000

Increased by 77.8% – the implicit GDP deflator over the past 20 years $4,047,795,516

Sub total $9,250,617,516

Decreased by 10 percent to remove the cost of IFV 273 $925,061,752

Total projected cost in 2014 $8,325,555,764

Take a breath, the reduction is not for IVF it’s IFV (Intrafamilial Family Violence) but the precision is amazing, right down to the last dollar.


The Diff

It is election year. I guess Ruth is getting in some early shopping the Domestic Violence Industry Xmas party.


  1. Here is the link requested in the above report.


    Comment by Downunder — Mon 4th August 2014 @ 9:26 am

  2. All services have become integrated under MSD with CYF at the top.

    I think its a matter of, “Which big organisation gets the contract?” Ie, mental health teams care for Youth, Sallies cares for gambling.

    Comment by julie — Mon 4th August 2014 @ 3:42 pm

  3. No, it’ll be Whanau Ora, because
    (1) its hip to fund Maori services;
    (2) Maori services have no accountability ….

    Comment by OMG! You're *(&^*$^&* — Mon 4th August 2014 @ 5:17 pm

  4. Ah, yes. Good point OMG.

    Thing is, Whanau Ora isn’t capable of providing all the services required. One case required (social workers insisted and were going to take the children because of this) counselling for a teen who was affected by sexual something (new partner had noticed children growing into young adults) and the family didn’t want mainstream. Whanau Ora couldn’t assist so a small organisation was sought. However, that small organisation is being driven out of business.

    But it’s not just them.

    All the big organisations are leaving children out in the cold, so to speak in lots of things because of the bureaucracy, processes and and other aspects of running of a large organisation. I understand now why schools don’t want to work with sexual harassment, what goes on in children’s homes, and on and on. Of course they had to bring social workers into the school and of course the social workers couldn’t be part of the education port folio. So they are part of another large organisations that itself has to work bureaucracy, processes and other aspects of running a large organisation.

    It is bad

    Comment by julie — Mon 4th August 2014 @ 6:18 pm

  5. I would like to share something that I thought of because of OMG’s comment.

    I emailed lots of accountants asking if a firm or individual could ‘audit’ for charity (free).

    I got many replies complaining about the rules the NZ chartered accountant society/association/?? were creating and how small – medium accountancy firms and individuals couldn’t afford to do it anymore. They said only large accounting organisations can audit now. (They eliminated the competition).

    I also noticed a large accountancy firm with offices around the country had been collecting information to push for charity groups to be audited and there’s been quite a bit of research happening with one research paper saying auditing should be compulsory.


    One accountancy firm told me the auditing rules was a deliberate ploy to eliminate unnecessary charity groups which made me start questioning what an unnecessary charity group is.

    I also contacted the chartered accountants responsible for the new auditing rules and I explained the conspiracy, lol, I found. I accused them of deliberately knocking small – medium accountant firms and charity groups out of society.

    The person I spoke with told me it wasn’t them, it’s the government and they are being told what to do.

    Comment by julie — Mon 4th August 2014 @ 6:30 pm

  6. I’d slightly disagree with you Julie.
    I simply suspect the large accounting firms are not trying to kill off charities, but rather seeking to ‘require’ charities be audited, so they get a captive business stream.

    There’s a local pub to me that’s just shut their doors. I had a thought when I drove past this morning.
    Wouldn’t it be great to buy it out, and change the business to a licensed back packers.
    Then I thought about the costs: Compliance, costs, accounting costs, licensing; fit out; safety audits; fire audits; tax audits ; and all the other plethora of business start up costs and ongoing compliance.
    It simply isn’t worth it. Sure you could get a business up and running. It might even turnover enough to make a living – if my effective labour cost was maybe $2/hour. But my time and effort into ongoing compliance simply kills the idea dead before it progresses into

    What am I saying here? The same would be true of what you say about charities. They will get overloaded with compliance costs, all done on volunteer labour, to the point they have to turn $100K just to cover overheads. Conversely, most donors know charities have costs – and are happy with maybe 10% going in overheads. the donor probably expects 90c in every $1 to be used for effective good – to make it into the hands of those to whom it is intended.

    Comment by OMG! You're *(&^*$^&* — Mon 4th August 2014 @ 7:22 pm

  7. This is the same as the DV industry. If you want to grow your industry, you’ve got to develop the need. By expanding the definition of violence to include every conceivable ‘offence’ (‘he looked at me and I felt intimidated’), you create a market; then you have clients all believing they’re victims; and behold you justify endless streams of funding.
    You ignore the fact that some of those people are paid for doing nothing more than seek more funding; Some people have a vested interest in developing more business – it keeps themselves in a job.
    Case in point: No matter how much $$ has been thrown at Women’s Refuges; Anti-violence programmes, and all associated services, the problem doesn’t seem to be reducing.
    Refer my previous ramblings on this site, taking to take the ‘stats’ on domestic violence. They are simply not creditable – else women are being ‘victims’ 30 or 40 times each in their lifetimes! You’d think they’d learn after 3 or 4 victimisations! Instead, the industry simply keeps growing.
    The reputed $8B cost of domestic violence?
    It takes into account mythical ‘lost potential’ (these economic costs usually do).
    In other words, if there was no DV, the economy would be $8B GDP better off.
    Problem with that is, when you add similar quoted ‘economic benefit’s, for e.g. cancer, disability, unbuilt roads, unemployment etc etc, our economy would apparently be probably hundreds of $B’s better off each year. We’d all be doubling our salaries.
    Except wealth is not created. It is merely transferred; and for every $ that comes into an economy, has to come from somewhere – somebody else is paying it.
    That $8B is non-existent, unless other people are spending $8B more into the economy, and nobody can actually explain to me where that $8B comes from!

    Comment by OMG! You're *(&^*$^&* — Mon 4th August 2014 @ 7:31 pm

  8. Now, if our beloved Government could front up and tell us, oh – if we eliminated DV, we’d need $8B less of your (us, the taxpayers) money, – roughly $3200 for every taxpayer – see other stats I have shown showing a total adult population of roughly 2.5M aged between 20 and 64 – then I’m listening.
    Will the government reduce our tax bills accordingly?
    I think not.

    Comment by OMG! You're *(&^*$^&* — Mon 4th August 2014 @ 7:34 pm

  9. One word or is it two BS.

    Comment by andrew — Mon 4th August 2014 @ 7:47 pm

  10. Yes the domviolence industry is in disarray!
    $8billion? EIGHT BILLION??? I mean, Come on!

    They should be targeting AT LEAST TEN BILLION!

    Comment by Friggin' Nora — Mon 4th August 2014 @ 7:52 pm

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