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Hansard DV Act 1994

Filed under: Domestic Violence,Gender Politics,Law & Courts,White Ribbon Campaign — MurrayBacon @ 12:46 pm Wed 5th March 2014

Those who forget history, supposedly are doomed to repeat it.
Life is much more cruel than that….
This is the debate that led to the Domestic Violence Act

1994_11_30 question Domestic Violence

Hansard – Date: 06 Dec 1994
Title Domestic Violence – Police Complaints
Question speaker – GEORGE HAWKINS
Responding speaker – Hon JOHN LUXTON
Question No – 7866

GEORGE HAWKINS (Manurewa) to the Minister of Police: What reports, if any, has he received on the incidence of police complaints arising from the new police policy against family violence?

ANSWER: Hon JOHN LUXTON (Minister of Police) replied:
Recording of complaints arising from the attendance of police at family violence incidents commenced in April 1994 since which date complaints arising from eight incidents have been received. There is no evidence to indicate that these complaints arose from the new policy. Investigations have been completed into seven complaints, with only one being upheld.

Hansard – Stage: Stage> – Date>06 Dec 1994
Title>Domestic Violence—Investigation Practices
Question speaker – Speaker>GEORGE HAWKINS
Responding speaker – Speaker2>Hon JOHN LUXTON
Question No – Question>7865

GEORGE HAWKINS (Manurewa) to the Minister of Police: What
is the police strategy, if any, to minimise the tendency noted by the Police
Complaints Authority “to divert onto the actions of the Police the grievances
and frustrations often felt by those caught up in situations of domestic
discord or violence”?


Hon JOHN LUXTON (Minister of Police) replied: The Police strategy
consists of a policy document on family violence which provides
guidelines to officer’s regarding investigation practices, support
for victims, the multi-agency approach, relevant law, reporting
procedures and the court case disposition. In addition, officers
receive training to ensure they have the necessary skills to deal
with situations involving family violence. It is considered this
training and the guidelines are highly successful.

Hansard – Stage: Stage> – Date>01 Dec 1994
Title>Publications—The Protection for Family Violence
Question speaker – Speaker>JIM ANDERTON
Responding speaker – Speaker2>Hon D A M GRAHAM
Question No – Question>7742

JIM ANDERTON (Sydenham) to the Minister of Justice: Which
of the recommendations of the 1992 report on The Protection for Family
Violence have been implemented?


Hon D A M GRAHAM (Minister of Justice) replied: I refer to my
answer to question for written answer 5319 in which I set out the
current status of all the recommendations in the 1992 report. My
department has put the recommendations into a series of broad
categories. However, because some recommendations comprise several
proposals or are framed in broad or comparative terms, their
classification is approximate only. The following recommendations
have been classified as `implemented’ (that is, current policy and
practice are in line with the recommendation but remain subject to
ongoing monitoring):
The Police: 1, 4, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17.
The Family Court: 10, 14, 23, 37, 46, 47, 51, 52.
Family Court Counselling: 2, 10.
The Criminal Courts: 10.
A further 29 recommendations are addressed in substance in the
Domestic Violence Bill which was introduced last week.

Hansard – Stage: Stage> – Date>30 Nov 1994
Title>Police—Domestic Violence
Question speaker – Speaker>GEORGE HAWKINS
Responding speaker – Speaker2>Hon JOHN LUXTON
Question No – Question>7650

GEORGE HAWKINS (Manurewa) to the Minister of Police: What
special squads, if any, will be operating over the Christmas period to deal
with family violence?


Hon JOHN LUXTON (Minister of Police) replied: Adequate police will
be available to deal with offences and incidents, including family
violence. To establish special squads at Christmas would be
counterproductive and an inappropriate use of police resources.

Hansard – Stage: Stage> – Date>30 Nov 1994
Title>Domestic Violence—Christmas
Question speaker – Speaker>GEORGE HAWKINS
Responding speaker – Speaker2>Hon JOHN LUXTON
Question No – Question>7642

GEORGE HAWKINS (Manurewa) to the Minister of Police: What
forecasts, if any, has he received of the level of family violence over the
Christmas period?


Hon JOHN LUXTON (Minister of Police) replied: No specific forecasts
have been provided as the level of family violence can fluctuate
depending on which part of the Christmas period is involved. I am
advised that adequate police coverage will be available to deal with
offences and incidents involving family violence.

1994_11_29 1st reading DV Act

Hansard – Stage: INTRODUCTION – 29 NOV 1994
Main speaker – Hon. D A M GRAHAM

Hon. D A M GRAHAM (Minister of Justice): I move, That the Domestic
Violence Bill be introduced. It is intended that this Bill be
referred to the Justice and Law Reform Committee for consideration.
The tragedy of domestic violence cannot be overstated. More and
more people are coming to realise that not only does it hurt those
who are battered and bruised, but that all society pays the price in
some form or other. In the not too distant past we tended to be
rather complacent about the issue, considering it not to be a
significant problem in what we consider to be a civilised society.
We express shock at the old English common law rule that allowed a
husband to beat his wife with a stick “no thicker than his thumb”.
Yet it is evident from the statistics that the kind of attitudes that
sanctioned that law still exist in society today. For some people
scenes like those in Once Were Warriors are not just something seen
at the movies—that is their reality.
Strong measures are needed both to send a message that this
behaviour is unacceptable in New Zealand in the 1990s and to provide
greater protection when domestic violence occurs. There are two key
parts to this reform. The first part replaces the Domestic Protection
Act of 1982 with new legislation with a revamped regime in which
victims of domestic violence can obtain a range of orders. The second
part contains amendments to the Guardianship Act of 1968 that are
directed at ensuring that the court deals with allegations of
violence made in custody and access proceedings so that any orders it
makes will not compromise the safety of the children concerned.
When the Domestic Protection Act was first enacted it broke new
ground. Protection was extended to women and men living in de facto
relationships. To deal with violent behaviour, a special detention
power was created that provided a mandatory cooling-off period.
In recent years, as a consequence of increased public awareness of
domestic violence, many suggestions have been made for changes to the
1982 Act. In October 1993 my department published a discussion paper
on the 1982 Act to focus public debate on the nature of the reform.
The paper included a number of options that drew on research,
including the 1992 report Protection From Family Violence prepared
for the Victims Task Force by Ruth Busch, Neville Robertson, and
Hilary Lapsley. One hundred and ten submissions were received on the
discussion paper from a wide range of individuals and groups. These
included people who had personal experience of the workings of the
present law, women’s refuges, women’s and church groups,
organisations involved in counselling and programme delivery,
lawyers, and Government departments and agencies.
Many were concerned about the perceived lack of effectiveness of
the orders available under the 1982 Act. Amongst the key themes that
emerged were the ongoing need for legislation to specifically address
domestic violence; the need to reduce all forms of domestic violence
in a wider range of domestic relationships; the need to provide
better protection for children and young people involved in violent
domestic situations; the need to empower victims by providing
user-friendly and culturally appropriate remedies and court
procedures; the need for counselling services for victims as well as
for abusers; the need for clearer, stronger sanctions and more
effective enforcement; and the need for more publicity and education
programmes to change public attitudes and those of judges and others
working with the Act.
The primary objective of the new Bill is to provide greater
protection for victims of domestic violence. The Bill targets
violence that is usually hidden, occurring primarily in homes and
between people in close relationships including—but not limited
to—family members. Factors such as the often intense nature of
these relationships and the proximity in which those affected live,
increase the potential for stress and conflict. While close
relationships, especially those within the family, attract a measure
of privacy, that privacy must not be used to hide violence.
Domestic violence can take many forms not limited to physical
abuse. The Bill therefore makes it clear that the term includes
sexual abuse and psychological abuse such as harassment,
intimidation, threats, and damage to property. Non-physical abuse can
be just as harmful, vicious, and distressing as physical injuries.
These “bruises” on the inside can result in the victim being too
demoralised to be able to take steps to avoid further acts of
violence. There is evidence to suggest that behaviour that does not
itself involve physical abuse is often part of a pattern of behaviour
that eventually escalates into actual physical violence.
While the 1982 Act recognised this to some extent, the Bill will
make it plain that an incident involving physical abuse is not a
prerequisite to the making of an order. The Bill calls this type of
abuse “psychological” abuse. Some prefer to call it “emotional”
abuse. I invite the select committee to consider what the best term
is to use in this context. Whatever term is used, it should be broad
in its scope and cover the deliberate infliction of all types of
mental anguish.
In recognition of the diversity of the domestic relationships that
now occur in society, the Bill will allow a much wider range of
individuals to apply for protection orders—namely, cohabiting
partners, whether heterosexual or same sex; family members; people
who share a household; and people in close personal relationships.
There will be provision for people to make applications on behalf of
children and young people who come within any of the above classes.
When other potential applicants are unable to apply themselves—for
instance, because they are in hospital or are afraid to
apply—another person may apply on their behalf. Orders will be more
flexible than they are now. They will be able to apply against a
person who has done something at the respondent’s request that, if
done by the respondent, would be grounds for an order.
There is to be one protection order to replace the present
non-molestation and non-violence orders. The new order needs to be
able to cater for those who wish to continue the relationship as well
as those who do not. It will automatically protect any children of
the applicant’s family and may also protect other specified people
such as the applicant’s new partner. The protection order will have
standard conditions that prohibit any type of domestic violence
regardless of the kind that prompted the application.
When the parties are living apart, certain behaviour is expressly
prohibited. For example, the person against whom the order is made
must not watch or loiter near the protected person’s residence or any
other place that person frequents, follow that person about, or make
contact except in certain limited circumstances. In addition, the
court will be able to impose special conditions that are appropriate
in the particular case. These conditions could, for instance, relate
to arrangements for the transfer of a child for access.
When a protection order is made, the Bill requires that the police
consider the exercise of powers under the Arms Act to seize and
confiscate firearms. I invite the select committee to consider
whether the Bill should go further and give the court powers relating
to firearms. Positive measures to promote changes in behaviour and
attitudes are necessary if there is to be any long-term amelioration
of domestic violence.
When a protection order is made there is to be a presumption that
the respondent should attend counselling or a programme in an attempt
to modify the respondent’s future behaviour. While some judges do
this now, the Bill makes it clear that this should happen as a matter
of course unless there is good reason not to do so. In addition,
there is provision for programmes for applicants and affected
children, in recognition that they may need some support and
assistance to pick up the pieces of their lives. Both these
initiatives will require additional resources to ensure that
appropriate services are available throughout New Zealand.
I turn now to the enforcement of protection orders. The Bill
increases the penalty for breach of a protection order to a maximum
of 6 months’ imprisonment or a $5,000 fine, or both. There is to be a
greater penalty for persistent breaches—namely, a maximum of 2
years’ imprisonment. As at present, the police may arrest without
warrant when there is a suspected breach of the order. Suggestions
have been made that the power of arrest should be mandatory rather
than relying on the existence of a strict police policy of arrest for
breaches. A statutory power to that effect, however, would be
unprecedented in our criminal justice system, but again I invite the
select committee to give further consideration to the issue.
The Bill tightens the bail laws so that when there is a
breach—other than failure to attend counselling—there is no
police bail within the first 24 hours. While the court can grant bail
during that period, the paramount consideration is the safety of the
victim. After that period—if the person has not been bailed by the
court—the police may bail the person charged and impose conditions
for the protection of the victim.
Occupation, tenancy, and ancillary orders relating to furniture
will continue to be available. In addition, there will be a new
furniture order that will, in certain circumstances, allow a person
in whose favour a protection order has been made to remove the
furniture and household effects from the property to re-establish a
home elsewhere.
Court procedures are to be simplified as far as possible. The
threshold for ex parte or temporary protection orders is lowered. As
at present, a respondent will immediately be able to seek a variation
or discharge of the order. When a temporary order is made it will, as
a general rule, become final automatically after 3 months unless the
respondent takes some steps in the proceedings. In that case a
hearing will be held in the usual way. The Bill makes it clear that
the applicant is entitled to have a support person present during a
court hearing. Once a protection order becomes final, it will remain
in force until the court discharges it.
Amendments are made to the civil legal aid provisions of the Legal
Services Act. In domestic protection proceedings the applicant for a
protection order does not have to pay a contribution nor will there
be a charge on the applicant’s property in respect of the costs of
the proceedings.
I turn now to the second part of the reform. The Bill makes
important changes to the Guardianship Act. These follow from the
recommendations made by Sir Ronald Davison, who was appointed to
inquire into the family court proceedings relating to Alan and
Christine Bristol and to report on whether there was a need for any
change in the law or in family court practice. Sir Ronald concluded
that, under the law as it is, and with the current practices of the
family court, the deaths of Alan Bristol and his three children were
not foreseeable or preventable. However, he went on to make some
recommendations for changes to the law.
The Bill therefore provides that when allegations of violence are
made in custody and access proceedings the court is to determine, as
soon as practicable, whether the allegations can be substantiated. In
cases when an allegation of violence against a child or a party to
the proceedings is substantiated, the violent parent is not to be
given custody or unsupervised access unless the parent can satisfy
the court that the child will be safe.
Domestic violence is a complex and deep-rooted behavioural problem
that can be eliminated only by fundamental changes in society and in
attitudes towards women and children. While the changes to domestic
protection law and the Guardianship Act represent a significant
advance on the present law, it is important to appreciate that they
are unlikely to reduce domestic violence overnight. Indeed, in the
short term it may look as though domestic violence has increased,
because some previously “invisible” violence will now be able to be
the subject of orders and also police involvement.
While legislation can send important messages about the
seriousness of domestic violence, there also needs to be a concerted
effort on other fronts. Strategies, such as those being developed
currently by the crime prevention unit of the Department of the Prime
Minister and Cabinet will play an important role in developing
initiatives to reduce all types of violence. Eliminating domestic
violence requires changes to a culture that is unfortunately threaded
with attitudes that condone violence in various contexts. This will
take time and effort on the part of everyone in society but I hope
that this Bill represents one large step along the way. I commend the
Bill to the House.

Hansard – Stage: INTRODUCTION – 29 NOV 1994
Main speaker – Hon. PHIL GOFF

Hon. PHIL GOFF (Roskill): The Labour Opposition supports the
introduction of the Bill. I want to pick up on the Minister’s last
point and agree that it takes us some steps down the way, but the
Opposition would want to make the point that this legislative measure
by itself will not be sufficient to deal with the massive problem
that domestic violence represents in our society. We support this
legislation because it is consistent with the Victims Task Force
report entitled Protection from Family Violence, and it is also
consistent with the Davison report. A little later I will ask the
Minister some questions about that, because it seems that the Bill
does not go the whole way towards implementing what Sir Ronald
Davison suggested in the Bristol inquiry.
I say that the legislation takes us only part way down the track
because for these measures to work we have to have adequate
resourcing to back them up. I am talking about adequate resourcing in
terms of provision of support for the victim. We know that makes a
big difference. That is why the Hamilton abuse intervention pilot
programme has been successful, because the resourcing has been there
for the groups to come in behind and support and encourage the
victim, and ensure that the victim does not believe that the domestic
violence that has been inflicted simply has to be accepted.
The resourcing is also necessary if we are to have prevention
programmes that work. It is all very well to sentence people to
undergo counselling and to undergo programmes, but if the Government
then denies the support for those programmes to make sure they work
we are deliberately jeopardising the victims of domestic violence and
sentencing them to further problems. Again the evidence is there in
the pilot programme in Hamilton, and the group Men For Non-Violence,
that when the resources are provided the attitude of offenders can be
changed. Indeed, that has happened and the reoffending rate has been
dramatically reduced.
But what we also hear from those programmes is that inadequate
funding means that too often they can only at best do half a job. It
is worth mentioning that for victim support we spend on average $7.35
for each victim. I have been around victims’ support groups. I know
the pressure they are under. I know they are in danger of burning
out. I recommend to the Minister that he visits those programmes and
that he backs up these legislative measures with the sort of
resources that are needed to make real inroads into the problem of
The other point I draw to the Minister’s attention is that
domestic violence does not take place in isolation from the wider
economic and social environment. Legislation to deal with violence,
without regard to the socio-economic factors that contribute to its
incidence, will not produce the results that the community wants. For
too long the magnitude of the problems caused by domestic violence
has been underestimated in this country. Too little importance has
been attached to the need for measures to deal effectively with
violence in the home.
It was interesting that the Roper report in 1987 revealed for the
first time that 80 percent of all violence in this country is
domestic violence. Recent police reports confirm that figure. Yet for
a long, long time, politicians in this country, the news media, and
general public attitude has been that the problem of violence is on
the streets not in the home. In fact, the reverse is true because the
largest part of the problem of violence in our society is found in
the home. Half of all homicides take place in the home—people are
killed by those whom they thought were near and dear to them.
The most insidious thing about domestic violence is that it
carries over from one generation to the next. Violent homes provide
negative role models. Boys in that environment learn that violence is
part of the male’s role. Girls accept that violence is part of a
normal relationship. If we are to break that cycle of violence we
need to do something effective now and we need to resource it
properly to prevent that violence from occurring. What we need is a
clear and unambiguous message from Parliament, from the courts, from
the police, and from public attitudes that domestic violence should
be treated like any other form of violence.
It disappoints me in this Bill that the Minister ignores a
recommendation in the Davison report that domestic violence be
accorded the same penalties that other assaults are accorded under
the Crimes Act. Perhaps the Minister, when he responds to the
comments of the Opposition, will explain to us why we still separate
out domestic violence and accord it lower penalties than we accord to
other violence by strangers.
This Bill should have been given greater priority. It is now 7
years since the Roper committee reported and made recommendations on
domestic violence, which have still not been implemented. It is more
than 2 years since the Victims Task Force reported and made 101
recommendations—the vast majority of which have yet to be put into
place. The Davison report on the Bristol inquiry—which was very
straightforward and clear—was made 8 months ago and it has taken
all this time to get those reports put into legislation.
Nevertheless, I want to applaud some of the key measures of this
Bill. I want to applaud the fact that it extends the range of persons
who can seek protection from domestic violence, because while
domestic violence was once seen in a stereotypical way—assault by a
man against his wife—it ignored that there were other forms of
relationship and other forms of violence and, in particular, the
phenomenon of “elder violence” with younger people being violent
towards older people in the family. Of course, we have seen this year
in New Zealand the growing incidence of child homicide and assault on
I also support the fact that the categories of behaviour in
respect of which protection may be sought are extended from the
obvious physical and sexual violence to psychological abuse.
Psychological abuse can be incredibly damaging in this area. So I
welcome those things.
I welcome the formation of a single protection order replacing the
non-molestation order and non-violence order. I welcome the fact that
that is now more flexible in its application. I support also the
extension of provisions available to the court to recommend or to
order the parties, or one of the parties, to attend counselling and
to make failure to attend counselling an offence.
The sanctions in this measure are increased—and that is
appropriate—to a maximum fine of $5,000 or 6 months’ imprisonment.
When a person repeatedly ignores the existence of a protection order
the term of imprisonment can be up to 2 years. The bail provisions in
this Bill are also important. It is essential that when a person
breaches a protection order police bail cannot be granted for at
least 24 hours. I believe that provides a very important cooling down
period. I support the fact that the need to protect the victim is
made the paramount consideration in the granting of police bail.
There is plenty of evidence that bail given inappropriately in the
past has cost human lives and has caused unnecessary damage to
I have questions to ask the Minister about the provisions relating
to firearms. It is important that when a person has been guilty of
domestic violence and is in possession of a firearm or a firearms
licence that fact be notified to the police. Under this Bill the
police have the discretion to revoke the firearms licence and to
seize arms. But the adequacy of this measure will need closer
scrutiny at the select committee stage.
The provisions for legal aid without the requirement to make a
contribution towards it are important. So too are the enforceability
of New Zealand protection orders overseas and, vice versa, overseas
protection orders being enforced in New Zealand.
The Minister quite rightly said that in terms of amendment to the
Guardianship Act, this Bill picks up many of the Davison
recommendations. In particular, when a history of violence is proved
the violent party must not be granted custody or allowed unsupervised
access unless the court is satisfied that the child will be safe. But
there are some things that do not appear explicitly to have been
picked up from the Davison recommendations. I would like to ask the
Minister what provisions are made for minimising opportunities for
violence during times of access and change-over of custody, because
that has been seen as a period in which the victim has been
particularly prone to assault by the violent party.
I ask the Minister whether he has sufficient in this Bill to
ensure that, in relation to domestic violence, the courts no longer
regard the other spouse as in some way having provoked the violence.
It has been a real weakness in court attitudes that the person
against whom the violence is directed is often regarded as
contributing to that violence. We need the message loud and clear to
be that there is no excuse in any circumstances for a person to use
violence against another person in a domestic or any other situation.
I repeat the point about why the penalties for domestic violence
do not equate with the penalties for assault under the Crimes Act.
The former Chief Justice recommended that that should be the case; it
does not appear to be in this Bill. Again I ask the Minister whether
he can guarantee to this House that resources will be provided to
ensure that education and anger management programmes are in place to
change the attitude and behaviour of the offender. If those resources
are not in place then this is a lot of hot air. Those resources must
be in place for this legislation to be effective. So far the track
record of the Government does not give us great confidence in that
I ask the Minister why this Bill does not appear to address the
concern that Sir Ronald Davison had that, when court orders were
supposedly made by consent that consent was in fact freely and
willingly given. Aside from those specific questions, I ask about the
general approach the Government will be taking to resource adequately
the preventive programmes. The support given to victims groups of
$7.35 a victim is not enough. The Minister knows those groups do need
extra help because he has received correspondence from Men For
Non-Violence stating they are running on a shoe-string, and that they
need more assistance in that regard. He knows that the Hamilton abuse
intervention pilot programme, which has been successful, is still up
in the air about whether funding for it will be guaranteed. If we do
not put the resources in, the problem will continue.
Will the Minister also complement this legislation with other
necessary measures to deal with the problem of family stress, which
is closely associated with domestic violence? The Roper report talked
about the need for targeted early intervention programmes for at-risk
families. The crime prevention unit has talked about exactly the same
thing. All the evidence is there that interventions are most
successful when they occur early in the life cycle. But are we in
fact putting the resources in that area that stop the strain and
tensions within family and prevent the outbreak of violence?
I am not suggesting that domestic violence is confined to just one
sector of the community. Patently it is not. It is a problem that
exists right across all socio-economic levels. But we know that when
the family is under financial stress, such as many families are with
the increase in market rents and the cut-back in benefits, then
violence is more likely to be an outcome in that family. So are we to
have legislation that finally picks up the recommendations of groups
like the Victims Task Force in terms of legislative provisions but
still then not tackle the actual causes of domestic violence in our
We have had a long period of time when this has been debated. We
have had report after report, and the recommendations are mutually
consistent, but still we insist on taking a piecemeal approach to the
problems of domestic violence. I put it to the Minister that while
the measures in this Bill, however belated, are welcome, this Bill
will not succeed in its intentions unless he is prepared to provide
the resources and complement these measures with other measures that
are needed across the justice portfolio.

Hansard – Stage: INTRODUCTION – 29 NOV 1994
Main speaker – Hon. KATHERINE O’REGAN

Hon. KATHERINE O’REGAN (Associate Minister of Women’s Affairs): I
am pleased to be able to speak in this introduction debate on the
Domestic Violence Bill and, at long last, to see this Bill before the
House. It has taken us a long time to get the Bill to where it is,
but I believe that what we have before us is a good Bill. I guess
there will always be other areas that we will need to address as time
proceeds. One of those issues is probably stalking legislation. I
hope the Minister will be able to give us some idea of exactly where
that issue is in the bowels of the Department of Justice. I would
hope we will be able to address that issue before too long.
I would like to begin with some of the words from Protection from
Family Violence and pay tribute to the authors of the report
commissioned by the Victims Task Force. They are Ruth Bush, Neville
Robertson, and Hilary Lapsley from the University of Waikato. I would
like to begin with some of the words they used in their preface: “To
the women we interviewed who told their stories and who have been
silenced long and enough; to the women who have been hidden and came
out of hiding to tell their stories; to the women who have gone back
into hiding and are there still now; to the women who have paid to
tell their stories in ways they should not have to, who have paid
with their bodies and their pain; to the women who still might pay
when it is known they have told their stories; to the silent children
listening to their mothers’ stories, those children who have learnt
to be silent to survive and whose stories are yet to be told; to the
women who have died,”—and two died during the time they were
working on this report—“the days of their deaths were marked by
the system’s trivialisation of the dangers you faced.” I would hope
that tonight this piece of legislation will address to a major degree
the concerns that the Victims Task Force report highlighted to the
Government at that time.
As Associate Minister of Women’s Affairs, I would like to pick out
some of the major issues that address women particularly, although
there is a lot in here that obviously affects both husbands and wives
or partners, and children. I would like to look particularly at some
of the clauses here, and congratulate the Minister on listening to
the concerns expressed by the two Ministers of Women’s Affairs and
the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, to include some of the provisions.
The particular areas that I would like to highlight are the
removal of the requirement for contribution to legal-aid costs or a
charge on property. A question was asked recently in the House by a
member who sought that information. I was glad that we were able to
tell her that we were looking at that removal.
The other issue is in clause 19: the provision for counselling or
programmes for women. I believe that that in itself is a major
advance for us, particularly for women. I think that clause 18, which
states that the court may impose special conditions, does leave us
open for opportunities to discuss particularly the issues surrounding
the firearms issue, which the member who just resumed his seat spoke
I believe that at the present time we should perhaps look more
closely at this position. As it was stated, there is no automatic
removal of firearms from a house where there is a domestic problem
and violence has been used. The police can revoke the licence, but we
would like to see an automatic removal of firearms from that
particular home or house so that the victims are much better
protected, and, of course, they are both women and children in the
There is also an issue relating to custody and access. The task
force identified that many disagreements occurred when children were
being either dropped off or collected under custody and access
orders. I believe that what has been done here will ensure that that
matter will be resolved.
In the area of mutual orders—clause 16—where the court grants
an application for a protection order, it must not also make a
protection order in favour of the respondent unless the respondent
has made an application for a protection order and the court has
determined that application in accordance with this Act. In the past,
judges have made decisions in which they impose a protection order on
both partners; that they are both to keep away from each
other—which I think has come to be known as the “Two to tango”
clause—which, of course, is an automatic presumption that the fault
lies particularly with the women in most instances. This was
addressed by the Victims Task Force report, as well. I am glad to say
that the Government has addressed that issue in clause 16.
I spoke to the New South Wales Minister for the Status of Women,
and she expressed to me her hope that New Zealand would see very soon
in its legislation a reciprocal agreement with regard to domestic
protection orders between Australia and New Zealand. I am very
pleased to see that that, too, is within the body of this
This House and this nation cannot condone violence in any shape or
form, particularly against women and children. I believe that the
cost of family violence to this nation falls somewhere between $1
billion and $5 billion. That is a lot of money. More so, it is a lot
of heartache, pain and physical suffering, and psychological
suffering. I hope that this legislation will attempt to address some
of those areas of the law of the past, which I believe did serve us
well for the time, but which now need amending. I believe that this
piece of legislation will go a long way to doing that. I hope that in
the future, if it needs amending again, this House will do so.

Hansard – Stage: INTRODUCTION – 29 NOV 1994

ELIZABETH TENNET (Island Bay): It is with pride and some pleasure
that I see this legislation coming before the House. I want to say
thank you to the Minister for finally bringing in the legislation. I
also want to place on record my thanks to the Labour women members of
Parliament who have also worked hard on this issue, particularly over
the last year, but also to all the women out there in the groups,
working away—men and women—the women who have provided evidence
in matters relating to the need for changes in legislation, and to
all of us who have pushed and prodded, embarrassed and lobbied the
Minister to finally bring this piece of legislation into Parliament
in the dead of night here on the first day of December 1994. It is
here at last, and we celebrate that, but I do want to say that it is
about time.
Domestic violence is indeed a very sickening phenomenon that
occurs in our society. It is true that 80 percent of all violence in
our community is, in fact, occurring inside our own homes. It is
mainly against women and it is mainly against children. Every month
of every year, a woman is murdered by her husband or her partner.
Most children who are killed or abused in New Zealand are, in fact,
killed or abused in their own homes. New Zealand now has the
sixth-highest child-abuse rate in the world. That is not a very good
statistic, and, in conjunction with the highest youth suicide
rate—that issue is somewhat connected with what we are dealing with
today—it is indeed a very sad case.
But I repeat, I am very pleased to see this legislation, and I am
sure it will be of some good. We do not wish to see a repeat of the
sorts of horrendous examples that we have seen in the past, in which
domestic violence has played a part. There was the case, for example,
of Catherine Coghlan, who was shot by her husband as she was leaving
a counselling session in Christchurch, after which he then shot
himself; and the case of the respectable Christchurch man who struck
his wife with his straightened coat-hanger over a 9-hour period, and
punched and kicked her head causing a perforated eardrum, because his
wife did not treat him with respect. Those sorts of examples cannot
be allowed to continue, and we believe that this legislation will
But I have to say that the Minister has been shoddy in his delay
in bringing this legislation forward. We saw in 1992 the 101
recommendations of the Victims Task Force report. We saw the report
in April 1993 of the crime prevention action group report. We saw in
October 1993 a discussion paper on the Domestic Protection Act, and
in April this year we saw Sir Ronald Davison’s inquiry into the very
sad case of the Bristol murder in Wanganui, where the man killed his
three daughters and then killed himself. We have seen plenty of
reports over this period of time, and it is shoddy that the Minister
has taken this length of time to come up with the legislation. All of
those reports recommended the sorts of changes we have seen here
I support the extension of the protection order that is provided
for in this Bill. It is good to see that abuse by a son against his
mother, or some other family abuse, can, in fact, mean that the
victim can obtain a protection order. It is good also that we are
moving against elder abuse—a phenomenon that is rather hidden in
our society, but which is certainly there. It is good to see that the
penalties for breaching those protection orders have been increased,
although I am sure there will be some debate about whether that is
high enough yet.
It is good that the custody and protection orders can be dealt
with at the same time, thereby recognising that domestic violence and
the issuing of custody of children to a violent partner is a fatal
mix, certainly well known as a result of the Bristol case in
Wanganui. It is good that we are dealing with that, and it is good
that a violent parent—for the protection of his or her
children—will no longer be able to receive custody of those
children. I found it rather curious that when a protection order is
given, in this Bill there is no provision for the automatic seizure
of firearms found by police in the home of a so-called violent
offender. I believe the automatic confiscation of those firearms
should be there. I hope that is something that can be changed in the
select committee.
I support the mechanism in the Bill for compulsory counselling. It
will provide one of the longer-term answers to the problems of abuse
and violence in our society. But I ask the Minister how that
compulsory counselling is going to be resourced when we know that the
existing provisions for counselling, and other forms of victim
support, are not being adequately resourced in our community. We all
know that the Men Against Violence group, for example, is now seeing
approximately 4,000 men a year and is helping them to stop their
violence, but it is not being adequately funded. From the statistics,
we know that the Men Against Violence group should be seeing
approximately 10,000 men per year in New Zealand. This is based on
the crimes they are committing. Yet they are not being adequately
funded for the 4,000 men it is seeing now.
We saw just today an article in the Dominion that states: “Cut
threatens sex offender treatment programme”. We know that Women’s
Refuge has received only one increase in funding since this
Government has been in power. From my Wellington experience I know
that the Wellington refuge, for example, is possibly facing closure
because of a lack of funding. We know also that the Young Women’s
Christian Association self-defence programme is not being funded by
the Government when it should be. There are many areas and groups
that deal with victims of violence and that try to stop violent
offenders. All of those need adequate resourcing. The Minister has
been very silent about how he will resource them. It is all very well
to pass good legislation, but if it is not going to be funded to be
able to work adequately, then we are still not dealing with the
problems in our society. I hope that the next Government Budget will
adequately fund the provisions that this legislation is making
available. We do support the Bill. It has been a long time coming,
but we are pleased to see it, and we hope that it is successful.

Hansard – Stage: INTRODUCTION – 29 NOV 1994
Main speaker – JUDITH TIZARD

JUDITH TIZARD (Panmure): I rise with a great deal of pleasure to
greet the introduction of the Domestic Violence Bill. It has been a
long time coming. What we are seeing tonight is legislation that we
have waited for for too long. The funding issues will be paramount to
the Opposition.
We have a choice in New Zealand. We can choose either to fund the
consequences of violence or we can choose to do what we can to fund
programmes that will stop violence in this country. We have to do
both of those things in the meantime. But I want a commitment from
this Government to recognise that the estimated 80 percent of violent
acts in this country that are domestic have to be addressed
seriously. We do not need the sort of attitudes that we have seen in
the past in the Government, in which we have been told that domestic
violence is not a serious issue.
In 1987 we had the Roper report on violence. We have had the
Victims Task Force, which was set up to look into the issues of
domestic violence, particularly violence against women and children.
It reported in 1992. We have now waited until 1 December 1994 to see
those issues being addressed.
This Bill is a vast improvement on the legislation we had before.
I acknowledge all the women—all the people in New Zealand—who
have played a part in getting this legislation here. I want to
acknowledge the Labour women who have, since 1982, been agitating in
relation to this issue. I pay particular credit to the member for
Southern Maori, who has worked long and hard on this issue. She has
acknowledged the problems that are facing all New Zealanders and she
has acknowledged the problems that are facing Maori in particular.
She has been a leader amongst us on this issue.
I pay tribute to the Leader of the Opposition. She was on the
Statutes Revision Committee in 1982 and she has had a major role in
making that legislation work as well as it did for 12 years. I
particularly want to pay tribute to all those women in the community
who, over the years, have said that this is an issue that is “not
just a domestic”. I pay tribute to the police, who have finally
taken this issue seriously.
I come back to the fact that 80 percent of the violence in our
community is domestic. These are people in families and in
neighbourhoods who take revenge. They take out on each other their
bad temper, their lack of ability to negotiate, and their lack of
ability to be kind to each other. In 1993, almost every month a woman
was murdered by her husband or her ex-husband. It is too many. We in
the Labour Party have been asking how many more women and children
must die before this Parliament gets the law right. How many women
and children must die before this Parliament gives the police and the
courts the power to deal with domestic violence? Women and children
are paying the price. This legislation should be working for them.
I am delighted to see the extending of the range of people who can
apply for a protection order to include people who are in homosexual,
heterosexual, married or de facto relationships. It has been extended
to family members, to people who are normally in a household, and to
people with whom there is a close relationship. However, I have to
ask what this Bill does about stalking. Stalking is a serious problem
in our community.
Hon. Katherine O’Regan: It is probably a Crimes Act amendment.
JUDITH TIZARD: I am afraid it probably is not to do with the
Crimes Act. Where there are threats to somebody who has identified
the person who is threatening to attack them, that should be dealt
with in terms of a relationship. It is often an imagined
relationship. I have received from the member for Porirua an example
of a young woman who has been stalked remorselessly for several years
by the uncle of a school friend. Stalking is a serious problem in
this community and I believe that it should be dealt with in this
I am delighted to see that the definition of “domestic violence”
is widened to include physical abuse, sexual abuse, and psychological
abuse such as intimidation, harassment, and damage to property. Women
should not have to prove they have been attacked before they can get
protection from threats. There are many women who live lives of
subjection and terror. They have been threatened but they have not
been subjected to violence until the crisis comes.
I am delighted to see that we will now have—rather than the
technicality of whether one gets a non-molestation order or a
non-violence order or a trespass order—only one protection order. I
am pleased that that protection order will automatically benefit any
child of the applicant’s family and other people that the applicant
has a domestic relationship with. It is important that protection
orders can be taken out on behalf of people who are incapable of
doing so themselves. For example, these could be for children or for
people who have disabilities.
The counselling option provision is a very valuable one. We have
to consider very carefully whether counselling is being used in some
violent relationships to perpetuate the violence. That counselling
should be about empowering people and not about perpetuating their
There are many other issues such as the custody issue, the bail
issue, and particularly the legal aid issue, that need to be dealt
with. But I come to what the Opposition is concerned about. This Bill
must be given the widest airing. It must be talked about in the
community. It must be known of by people who need it. They must be
able to make submissions on it.
The privacy provisions that have applied in family court hearings
and in family issues generally, must not be used against the victims.
They must be used to protect them and only when it is absolutely
We are concerned that in the past the Government has not proved to
be willing to put the funding in. We are concerned that the
Government addresses not only the issues in this Bill but also the
absolutely major issue of preventing violence in this community.
Where are the programmes to train young people in assertion? Where
are the programmes in the schools to teach young people to look after
themselves? These are the ones that are being cut out in my
community. Where are the self-defence courses? Where is the funding
for women’s refuge? Where is the funding for prevention programmes
like the Hamilton abuse intervention programme to be extended through
the rest of the country?
This Government has spent a lot of time telling us how wonderful
Kia Marama is. It is the one model we have of changing people’s
behaviour. If we could have programmes of a similar type to Kia
Marama for people who were starting out on a pattern of violence and
abuse we might be able to save the next generation.

Hansard – Stage: INTRODUCTION – 29 NOV 1994
Main speaker – ROBERT ANDERSON

ROBERT ANDERSON (Kaimai): I welcome this Bill and thank the
Minister for having introduced it. We have to address a problem that
is caused mainly by men. I agree with the previous speaker that the
Bill gives us the opportunity to ensure that this topic is widely
debated in the community. Probably the greatest cause of domestic and
family violence in all its forms is ignorance.
Lianne Dalziel: No, that has nothing to do with it.
ROBERT ANDERSON: Well, that is my view. I believe that the
attitude of our people must change. It is up to Parliament to take
the initiative and the lead by giving this issue publicity that is as
wide as possible and by encouraging submissions from the community.
We have some attitudes that prevail in our country, such as
domestic violence, drunk and drugged drivers, and dangerous
chauvinistic driving. People of criminal intention have a lot in
common. I would hope that we have statistics on this information. If
not, we should set about setting up a system to acquire that
information. It is important for us to know who these people are who
commit family and domestic violence. We need to be able to have a
character model of who they are. For instance, do we currently match
up the information on people who commit this sort of violence on
whether it is alcohol or drug related, whether they have an ability
to read or write, or whether they have a previous criminal record? I
think that to do that would lead to a better understanding of the
problem and how it should be addressed.
Lianne Dalziel: It doesn’t work that way, I’m sorry.
ROBERT ANDERSON: The member may have that point of view. I have a
different point of view. I am taking the opportunity in the Chamber
tonight of saying what I believe quite genuinely and I am making my
small contribution on this matter.
I think the situation is a sad indictment on our country and
mostly on the attitude of our male population. We still have a
chauvinistic attitude that is far too great. I am not sure that any
one person has the answer for what the cures are. But I think if we
can find out who this person is, and when we have some statistical
information, there may be a number of—
Lianne Dalziel: It’s one’s next door neighbour; it’s one’s uncle;
it’s one’s brother. It’s everyone. It’s right across the board.
ROBERT ANDERSON: Maybe it is, but I am not sure that I am prepared
to take the member’s word for that because she is not producing the
information. I want to ensure that there is more statistical
information to get a description of this person, so that the
solutions—and, if the member likes to add to it, the
punishment—can fit the crime. For instance, if somebody was found
guilty of domestic or family violence and had a drink problem, that
person would need to be treated quite differently from somebody who
had a reading and writing problem.
I feel very strongly that in its broadest terms this issue relates
to ignorance, and one has to overcome that ignorance in a number of
different ways. If a number of people are involved with family
violence, perhaps through frustration or lack of education, we need
to do something about it. It is not necessarily the answer to send
people to jail but they may be required to attend some basic
education programme, which may be for a 2-year period. It is like
sending them back to school. I do not think that a short course of 2
weeks or 3 months is sufficient. These people need to be bound over;
they need to be educated in whatever the base cause is of their
frustration and the reason they commit family violence.
I would suggest to the select committee that hears this Bill and
the evidence on it that it looks at the causes. If the information is
not available it should try to ensure that better statistical
information is kept in the future so that we have a better idea of
how to tackle this problem. This would lead to its reduction and
hopefully before too long stamp it out completely.

Hansard – Stage: INTRODUCTION – 29 NOV 1994
Main speaker – LIANNE DALZIEL

LIANNE DALZIEL (Christchurch Central): I acknowledge that the
speaker who has just resumed his seat has spoken with a genuine
concern about the issue. However, we have had a number of reports
about domestic violence. One of the problems is there seems to be a
view that there is a stereotype that we can attach to domestic
violence. The reality is that domestic violence cannot be attached to
one particular group of people because it happens across all strata
of our society. It happens in the streets of Fendalton, of Remuera,
and in the streets of Linwood, of Ponsonby, or whatever, and in every
place in between. There is nothing that we can draw from all the
examples except that an underlying issue relates to power and
The power and control that men wish in a particular instance to
exercise over women may be exacerbated by alcohol but is not caused
by it. That message has certainly come through in all the literature
that I have read. This Bill has been a very long time in coming to
this House. I have followed this issue very closely since being
elected to Parliament in 1990. It was not very long after that we
were aware the Victims Task Force had picked this up as an issue and
had decided to commission a report from a group of people in Waikato.
They were Ruth Busch, Neville Robertson, and Hilary Lapsley.
I want to pay tribute to those three people in this House tonight.
They put their hearts and souls into this report. I do commend it to
the member who spoke before. I hope that he reads it. I commend to
him that he read the original report, not the somewhat expurgated
version released by the Victims Task Force on the instruction of the
Department of Justice. I commend the original report to the
member—all the language is there, along with all the explanations
about some of the issues that are causing domestic violence in our
One of the problems that I have about the timing of this
introduction is that we have been in urgency now for 3 days. We are
only 3 weeks from Christmas. This Bill will not operate to protect
those women who will find out this Christmas that home is where the
hurt is. It will not protect them. It is too late for them. There
will be extra people hurt this Christmas. The stresses and strains of
Christmas are a particular concern. We all know that violence
increases round these times. We know that people will be struggling
to put the basics on the dinner table on Christmas Day—let alone
something special or a little bit extra. The pressure that that puts
on individual families is unbelievable. I do not think that any
member in this House can fully understand the pressure that is
brought to bear on families in this, the Year of the Family. As we
leave the Year of the Family, we will see families torn apart.
When Ruth Busch, Neville Robertson, and Hilary Lapsley undertook
their task they set out to examine continuing breaches of
non-violence orders with a view to improving the protection that was
offered to victims. Their terms of reference included the victims’
experiences of abuse, the response of police to reported domestic
assaults, the process of applying for protection orders, and the
enforcement of those orders by the police and the criminal courts.
They called the report Domestic Violence and the Justice System. The
name was changed to Protection from Family Violence. When they said
“domestic violence and the justice system”, they were challenging
the justice system to respond to the domestic violence.
The names of the judges were omitted from the report. Details were
suppressed, and information contained in the report was editorialised
by the department. I shall give an example. On page 54 of the
original report there is a discussion about Pam, who is seeking a
protection order. It states: “Pam went before an elderly male judge
who read her affidavit and said to her: `No one can live under those
circumstances. It has got to be lies.’ It was only after Pam lost
control, cried, and shook, which she said was a typical, helpless,
female response, that he seemed to believe her.” The original report
was relating the experience of a woman standing before a family court
judge. Guess how it came out in the final version! “Pam appeared
before an elderly male judge and was able eventually to convince him
that her need for a non-molestation order was genuine.” Does that
give members any information about her experience? No, it does not.
That was the kind of thing that happened throughout this report.
I will give another example. “Maureen expressed great distress in
having to attend further counselling and felt this was a form of
harassment by her husband. She wishes to make it clear that she is
extremely fearful of him and is very much opposed to any direct
contact with him, or any consideration of removal of the
non-molestation order that is in effect. Maureen stresses that there
are no issues to be discussed with her husband and does not want to
entertain any ideas of reconciliation.” That sends a very strong
message about how Maureen felt. The report was editorialised to:
“The family court judge declined to discharge the non-molestation
order.” So what happened to this report was most unfortunate in
terms of the process. It certainly considerably delayed the release
of the report.
I wanted to speak briefly on this Bill because I feel this is a
public health issue. Domestic violence is a public health issue.
Domestic violence is different from what occurs outside the home only
because it is perpetrated by people whom one knows, trusts, and, so
often, has loved—and still loves, in some cases. Therefore, it is a
betrayal that nobody can understand except the person who is
experiencing it. I feel very strongly that we as a Parliament must
act very firmly on this issue. We must provide the best laws that
provide the best protection to ensure that the public health of New
Zealand is protected, and to ensure that women are protected from the
emotional, mental, physical, and sexual violence that is perpetrated
against them every single day.

Hansard – Stage: INTRODUCTION – 29 NOV 1994
Main speaker – SANDRA LEE

SANDRA LEE (Auckland Central): I shall speak briefly on this issue
and endorse many of the comments made in the House this evening,
particularly by the Labour Opposition women. The Alliance welcomes
this Bill. I am really moved to speak in response to my colleague on
the left who made the point that what is required in order to address
this issue is more statistical evidence. I tell that earlier speaker
that in fact there is no shortage in this country of all the
statistical information necessary to confirm clearly the reality of
the situation for women. This matter has been inadequately addressed
by Parliament, by Governments, by law enforcement agencies, and the
like for too long.
If anybody is left in any doubt about the statistics and the
degree to which abuse of women occurs in New Zealand society today
they simply have to look at the number of non-molestation
orders—ineffective as they have been over the years—that are
issued on an annual basis. They simply need to look at the annual
court records of this country to know the statistical reality of the
plight of women in this country when it comes to domestic violence.
What is required—and this Bill provides a key—is for society and
this Parliament to send a clear message that we are no longer
prepared to turn a blind eye or to take an ambivalent view towards
those who perpetrate domestic violence in society.
Since I have had the privilege of becoming an MP I have had to
deal with two particular cases that I honestly would not have
believed would be able to occur until I witnessed them and was able
to research and confirm the facts for myself. One case was of a woman
who was stalked by a former husband. She had little or no support,
and her life ultimately became so wretched that she took it as she
felt that that was the only way left open to her. My research, the
family’s research, and, indeed, the police’s research showed that she
tried every legal avenue open to her to get on with her life and to
live with her children, and it was not made possible for her. We did
not protect her, and the only course she had left was to take her own
Another case that came before me was of a woman, a good mum, a
solo mum on her own, who had removed herself from a violent
situation. The court took the custody of her child from her when she
refused to take her child to her former partner for his weekend
visitation right, because the last time she had done that he had
thrown a brick through her car window. It is interesting to note that
the police failed to deal with the incident of the brick through the
window, but three of them were able to go to her home and to remove
the child from her. I found it hard to believe that that sort of
thing occurred in New Zealand society. I rang this woman’s lawyer and
said: “Am I being told all the story here?”. The reality was that
it was true.
What we are effectively saying to women like the two in the cases
I have just spoken of, and others that we have heard of this evening,
is that it is OK when it happens to women; it is OK when it is
domestic and it happens behind closed doors. If it happens in Queen
Street at Christmas time, somebody is expected to deal with it; we
frown upon that sort of behaviour. But if it happens to a woman in
her home behind closed doors, it is all on—the OK Corral is OK with
us. That is not acceptable. This legislation offers an opportunity to
do something about that, and I welcome it.
I would like to address the issue of resources. The women’s refuge
movement, those who give rape crisis counselling in this country, and
the domestic violence centres have suffered incredibly, particularly
over the last few years, as a result of their resources being cut
back. Alongside their resources, their national funding sources,
being cut back they have also been faced with issues such as
ever-increasing rate rises—in the case of the rape crisis
counselling centres in Auckland—and the like. They are struggling
to continue to provide their much-needed service. If we are, through
this Bill, to make a commitment in terms of recognising that domestic
violence is unacceptable, we also have to accept the responsibility
of making a financial commitment to provide resources that will
enable those organisations and agencies that have been working in
this field to carry out their job and to carry it out effectively.
I would like to comment on a point that was made earlier that
there are men in this situation, too. That is true. They are by far
the minority, but having said that I do think we have to be mindful
that there are isolated incidents of men being the victims of violent
abuse. If we tend to assume that those cases do not occur we are in
danger of making it even harder for people in that circumstance to
come out. In fact, in doing that we are just perpetrating the myth
that has created many of the problems women have had to endure for so
long in that men who are the victims of domestic abuse may not admit
it because it is not macho to do so. It is OK and macho to be a
perpetrator, but it is not macho and not OK to be a victim. I think
we do need to recognise that there are men in that situation, but, as
I say, they are by far in the minority.
Any legislation that advantages women and provides them with more
protection is welcomed by the Alliance. We talk about the Year of the
Family. The very first thing we should do in any Year of the Family
is to make those who give the nurturing—particularly the

Hansard – Stage: INTRODUCTION – 29 NOV 1994
Main speaker – JILL PETTIS

JILL PETTIS (Wanganui): I am very pleased to support the
introduction of this Bill. We have waited a long, long time, and,
while I am pleased that this Bill has finally been introduced, I am
saddened that women and children have paid the price of the
procrastination and inexcusable delay; those women and children have
suffered unnecessarily. While I welcome the introduction of the Bill,
I want to pause and reflect on the fact that a very large price has
been paid.
First, I congratulate and sincerely acknowledge the huge
contribution that has been made by the many women who have lobbied
strongly for the introduction of this Bill. I commend the member for
Auckland Central—I certainly endorse what she has said—and my
other Labour colleagues who have also supported and worked
strenuously towards the introduction of the Bill through their
constant and sincere lobbying. I also acknowledge the very large and
public contribution that the New Zealand Police has made in bringing
the issue of domestic violence to public notice.
It is almost OK now to talk about domestic violence whereas once
upon a time it was spoken about only by women in women’s groups. We
talked about it, but I certainly do not think it was an issue that
the majority of men ever talked about openly. I sincerely commend the
police for their promotion of the Not Just a Domestic programme. Next
week another issue will be shown on New Zealand television screens.
That will bring a lot of emotion to the fore, especially for those
people who have been victims, but it is an excellent idea and I
certainly support it.
Since the Not Just a Domestic programme first screened earlier in
the year, there has been an increase in the reporting of domestic
violence. I know that in my own area of Wanganui, where a tragic case
occurred earlier this year, the reporting of domestic violence
certainly has increased. The women who work at our local women’s and
children’s shelter have said that the increase did not necessarily
mean anything in particular, it was just the tip of the iceberg, and
the police are most certainly treating family violence with much more
conviction. This, of course, gives women confidence to report
incidents of domestic violence, and that is a good thing.
I too share the concerns that other people have expressed tonight
about the issue of funding. I have been a volunteer worker for the
women’s refuge in Wanganui and I have gone out late at night and in
the early hours of the morning when women have rung in to report that
they are victims of violence, and are seeking refuge—in the truest
sense of the word—from the violence they have experienced within
recent hours and in many cases, of course, for months and years
beforehand. It is a traumatic experience to go and assist a stranger
because in many cases we do not know the women who present
themselves, seeking refuge for the evening.
I want to share an instance of one night when I went out. My
daughter, who would have been about 16 at the time, knew that I was
going out and I wanted the family to know where I was going at that
late hour. I arrived home about 3 hours later, and at that stage it
was the early hours of the morning. It was a school night and my
daughter was wide awake and called out “Mum”. I went in to see her
and said: “Goodness me, you should have been asleep hours ago.” She
had been lying awake for about 3 1/2 hours, waiting for me to come
home. My daughter is one of the fortunate young women in New Zealand
in that she has not experienced domestic violence. I am lucky. My
husband does not beat me, so my daughter has not had to experience
that. But she was very emotionally upset that mum was going out to
help a woman who had been severely beaten.
I mention that not to reveal anything about myself especially or
because I am particularly interesting to anybody but because I want
to draw attention to the effect domestic violence has on children. I
welcome the widening of the definition of domestic violence in that
psychological abuse is included. Many people do not recognise the
effect psychological abuse has on the victim. I experienced, as I
have just told the House, the effect it had on my daughter. We cannot
hope to imagine the effect it has on children who live in homes where
they constantly experience their mother being beaten by their father,
whom they love. Children love their fathers. What must it do to them
to see their father beating their mother, whom they also love?
Recently we saw on television about cases in America in which the
children of women who were the victims of violence had become violent
themselves against their father. That is just perpetuating a vicious
My speech tonight is tinged with sadness, because as a woman I
empathise considerably with those families who have been victims of
domestic violence. Of course, the very public and tragic incident
that occurred in the Wanganui electorate earlier this year, involving
the tragic loss of three innocent young children, once again brought
the incidence of domestic violence very much to the fore. We all
regret that it took such a serious incident to hurry up this Bill.
Although I have spoken positively and have welcomed many of the
aspects of this Bill, I have serious concerns about some issues. One
of those issues is the lack of adequate resources.

Hansard – Stage: INTRODUCTION – 29 NOV 1994
Main speaker – JOHN CARTER

JOHN CARTER (Senior Government Whip): I understand that the Labour
Opposition has two members who wish to speak but that there is not
enough time remaining. I seek the leave of the House to allow two
more speeches from the Labour Opposition, each speech to be of a
duration of 7 1/2 minutes.
Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sought for that purpose. Is there any
objection? There appears to be none.

Hansard – Stage: INTRODUCTION – 29 NOV 1994
Main speaker – DIANNE YATES

DIANNE YATES (Hamilton East): I am proud to speak on the
introduction of the Domestic Violence Bill this evening, and I wish
to thank the Minister of Justice for introducing it. I know we have
given him a particularly hard time over it for a number of months. I
also wish to thank my Labour women colleagues—in the spirit of the
mixed-member proportional representation system it is good to have 14
colleagues in this House, and I hope we can maintain that
number—because I think we are largely responsible for the
background work that has gone on behind this Bill.
The Bill is about something all too common in this country, and
that is the crime—and it is a crime—that is acknowledged as
“giving the wife and kids a hiding”, and that hiding often becomes
a fatal hiding.
I wish at the outset to thank, firstly, the Leader of the
Opposition, a Labour woman who did the initial work on the Domestic
Protection Act and a lot of work in the select committee, and that
was recognised by the news media at the time. We are now working on
an extension, basically, of that Act, and bringing it up to date to
deal with the problems we have in our society at the moment.
I also want to thank particularly three of my constituents, three
people who have done a tremendous job, a very devoted job, in the
groundwork for this particular Bill—that is, the three researchers
from the University of Waikato. I am proud of those people and proud
of that university. They wrote the 1992 Victims Task Force
report—the report I have brought to this House and waved around
with much pride, and I will do so again tonight because now we are
actually implementing in this Bill many of their 101 recommendations.
The three researchers are Ruth Busch, Neville Robertson, and
Hilary Lapsley, and I will single out Ruth Busch because not only did
she do a lot of the work but she also publicised much of the material
that is in that report. They saw through what was an intellectually
and emotionally draining task. I know these people personally, I know
how difficult the research was, and I know that they—as some of my
colleagues said—put their heart and soul into it. They also put in
a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. I will also say that it was this
report that Sir Ronald Davison quoted almost word for word in his
I also wish to thank the brave women who allowed themselves to be
interviewed for the report, and I particularly pay tribute to those
women and children, as my colleague from Wanganui has said, who have
been killed during and since the writing of that report. I apologise
that I did not nag the Minister harder and longer and with more
intensity that we did not have this legislation sooner than we have
it now.
I wish to thank also the people who work with the Hamilton abuse
intervention pilot programme. Those workers have been part of an
integrated and holistic scheme that integrates community groups to
deal with this problem of domestic violence. Once again, like my
colleagues, I ask that we continue the resources for such
organisations and that this pilot programme or similar programmes be
repeated throughout New Zealand to deal with this problem of domestic
violence not afterwards but to intervene wherever possible. As the
member of Parliament for Hamilton East I am proud to know these
people, and I am proud to be at the introduction of what I basically
consider is their Bill. They did most of the work for this.
I also wish to thank the police, as has my colleague from
Wanganui. I want to thank the police in Hamilton because, once again,
they have set an example and led the way, and I thank the police
nationally for the changes they have already made, for the changes in
their attitude, for the changes in the way they now apply present
laws, and for the way they have introduced those excellent Not Just a
Domestic programmes on television. I would like to say they are
effective, that in Hamilton we had fewer phone calls, when their
programme was shown and the 0800 number was given, than in other
places because the programme existed and had been operating for some
I would also like to look at specifics in this Bill. I am pleased
that it widens the definition of what a domestic situation is. I am
pleased that it includes children to a far wider extent, and I also
mention that some people are not happy with the word “domestic”,
and that, in a sense, is an offence. An assault is an assault whether
it is an assault in the street, an assault in the kitchen, or an
assault in the bedroom, it is still an assault and deserves the
penalties for an assault, and I would like the select committee to
look at the penalties that are involved in this particular Bill.
I am also pleased that non-molestation and non-violence orders
become one—protection orders—and that we really do, at last,
start to address and recognise the problems of the victims, to look
at it from a victim’s view and from a victim’s fears. I hope the
select committee will look at the possibility of including stalking
in clause 17. I do see that there is room to include it there because
the clause does talk about following, hounding, watching, and
loitering. I am sure that we could include stalking in that.
I am pleased that custody for children has been addressed. I would
hope that we look at a really serious problem on which a
recommendation was made initially in the Bill, and that is that—in
recognising the paramountcy and safety of children—we look at a
safe place for what is a problem for a number of parents, which is in
the access situation when children are handed from one parent to
another. There should be a safe place where that can happen because
it is a problem that happens almost every Friday night in New
Zealand. We need to look at that problem of access and supervised
Once again, I would mention the problem of education and the
problem of education of everyone involved in this, not only the
people who are perpetrating the crime but also to remind people that
the original report did have in it some problems with older men
called judges, and their attitudes. It is a matter not only of
education of the people who are perpetrating these particular crimes,
but also of the people who are imposing the sentences and of their
attitudes. I would ask people, especially the select committee, to
look at the report and the original report.
I am particularly concerned, as the Minister has mentioned in
introducing the Bill, about clause 33, the power to arrest for breach
of a protection order, and, as he has suggested, I think the select
committee should look at whether this should be mandatory. Also
missing from the Bill is reference to access to information in many
languages and to interpreters, and I would ask that the select
committee look at this Bill being made user-friendly to all people in
New Zealand and that we look at all information that is available,
and that we also look at translation for those people who are
victims. Often, as we have seen on television, it is people who are
not English-speaking who are involved.

Hansard – Stage: INTRODUCTION – 29 NOV 1994
Main speaker – Hon. Mrs T W M TIRIKATENE-SULLIVAN

Hon. Mrs T W M TIRIKATENE-SULLIVAN (Southern Maori): I join with
the other members of this House who have expressed delight that this
Bill has finally come to this House and will now go to a select
committee. I believe that, in the select committee, some aspects will
be added to the Bill in order to sharpen its focus and to improve its
effect. I, too, believe that the seizure of firearms not being made
automatic in this legislation ought to be looked at, and also that
stalking should be made an offence under clause 17, which appears to
be the appropriate clause for it.
I want especially to commend those who are approved as
counsellors, who include people who have not normally been officially
approved in this area, yet whose expertise is unique. I speak of
Aroha Terry of Hamilton, Te Whare Manaki of Napier, and Mereana
Pitman, whose counselling in this area is so effective because they
bring unique skills.
Yet these women and others like them, with their unique skills and
effective application, have not been recognised officially as
counsellors. I believe they ought to be. There is a crying need for
them, and no doubt that will be an obvious effect that should follow
from the implementation of this Bill. It will be enhanced in the
select committee, and I will be ensuring they come before the
committee to point out something of their unique expertise. If all
the counselling is not effective, then it is a waste. Yet we can have
people of rare expertise bringing about change—in a way shaming men
who are violators, shaming them to confront in the mirror the reality
of the puny aspects of their character and make a change. I have seen
the work of these women. It is so important because they reach a
significant section of the abusers.
I want to say, as I have said in the House before, that the first
battered wives group that was ever established in this country was
established for women to protect women who were battered wives. We
have taken a step in this Bill. We will improve the Bill somewhat in
the select committee, and thousands of women in this country will be
It is an extraordinarily sad fact, which we do not wish to
acknowledge, that we have a high rate of reported domestic violence
in New Zealand. I believe that for the past 20 years the extent of
the reporting of domestic violence has increased because of the power
of women—and the women’s movement—who have sought to shine a
light on these occurrences. As I said, it was over 20 years ago when
we set up the first such group. It was set up in Canterbury and I
want to acknowledge husband and wife Dr Church and Dr Doris Church,
who worked with me and Sister Pauline O’Regan in setting that up. I
think people were horrified that we established any such group, but
later this country was to acknowledge that domestic violence has been
occurring for decades.
The voice of women was strengthened and united from the first
United Nations “Decade for Women”, at which I led the New Zealand
group, and we discussed this issue—without focusing particularly on
our country. But we did introduce a concern about this matter and,
because of the preparedness of women in unity to discuss these
matters, we have had a greater acknowledgment.
I want to say to the Minister that I believe there is a crying
need for more women to be judges in the family court. We need women
who are experienced in family life. We do not have many women judges,
yet it is so obviously a place for more women and for women who have
had some experience in rearing a family, in living in a family, and
in knowing what it is to settle problems in a family in an amicable
or, at least, a civilised way.
It is hard to describe the characteristics of men who batter
wives, and I am speaking of men, since the majority of people who
batter wives and intimidate children are men. It is hard to pinpoint
their reasons. It has been said it is a striving to exert power—to
exert control. I believe it is an expression of pride in its worst
sense but it is also possessiveness—a sense of possessing
individuals, which, of course, is an invalid approach to any human
New Zealand happens to have one of the highest rates of offending
in the Western World—in the 24 OECD countries. Without confronting
the issue, we are blinding ourselves to the situation. The suggestion
of statistics and a database was put forward. We have all the facts
and figures, but we still have not pinpointed why it is that New
Zealand men do this. Professor James Ritchie and Dr Jane Ritchie have
suggested that the machismo element, which is held aloft in this
country as the ideal standard for men, is one of the reasons that we
venerate violence in socially acceptable situations—such as on the
rugby field. I do not know. I think there are many other reasons.
I believe the home of a wife-batterer is a therapy clinic. Within
the four walls of the home the batterers use battering as therapy
because, generally, they are gutless people who lack any strength of
character. They cannot bear to be exposed, so it happens for them
within the four walls of their home. As I said, it is their therapy
clinic and everyone in that home is at risk—the wife, the children;
everyone is at risk. I believe, also, that we will find evidence that
pornographic videos are also an inspiration to men to expect what
they see to happen. But it is unreal. Since the wife cannot deliver
such titillation, she is abused. Such men often abuse their
daughters, and this is totally unacceptable. Thank goodness we have
the Bill.

Hansard – Stage: Stage>INTRODUCTION – Date>29 NOV 1994
Main speaker – Speaker>Hon. D A M GRAHAM

Hon. D A M GRAHAM (Minister of Justice): In reply, I thank those
who have taken part in the debate. I think there have been very
useful contributions and I have taken on board some of the comments
made, in particular about funding. Of course it is a matter of trying
to put the resources where they are best placed. I know, for example,
that only 2 years ago victim support funding was about $330,000. It
is a little over $900,000 this year. We have the Hamilton abuse
intervention pilot programme and all the other programmes. As fast as
we pay for one, another one comes along. And the demand is almost
insatiable. So one has to do the best one can. The Government will
certainly give that matter due consideration during the Budget round.
The other point that was made related to firearms and I think
there is a lot of merit in that. Under the Bill, the making of a
protection order requires the registrar to advise the district
commissioner of police, who, in turn, has to advise the local police
station, which is then required to check whether there is a firearms
licence, decide whether they should revoke that licence, and seize
the firearms. It may be that the select committee thinks that does
not go quite far enough and there might need to be an automatic
seizure. But, on the other hand, that does take a lot of police
resources, which may or may not be necessary. However, let us see
what the select committee comes up with.
The other matter related to the issue of stalking. That issue is
under review. I received a report from the department about it just
yesterday, and further work is being done. Of course, stalking can be
done by anybody—it is not necessarily a domestic situation of any
kind. It can be a total stranger, and that is why it is probably
better placed in the crimes legislation, rather than in the domestic
violence legislation. It does not matter where it is placed, as long
as it is there. But the matter is quite complex and we are looking at
it now. I expect another report shortly after Christmas as further
work is done.
The other point that was made by the honourable member for
Southern Maori was about women judges in the family court. I agree
with that. I think she will find that more women judges have been
appointed in the last 2 or 3 years. I think it is desirable to have a
proper balance of highly qualified judicial officers in the family
court, and that approach will be continued.
That is really all I wish to say at this stage. I thank members
and my officials for their work on the Bill. It has taken longer than
is desirable, but then so did the Bill on DNA, the Bill on sex tours
of Asia, the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill (No. 3), the
Copyright Bill, and a number of other Bills that were dealt with just
this week.
Bill introduced and read a first time, and referred to the Justice
and Law Reform Committee.

1995_04_30 question in house Elizabeth Tennet

Hansard – Stage: Stage> – Date>05 Apr 1995
Title>Domestic Violence Bill
Question speaker – Speaker>ELIZABETH TENNET
Responding speaker – Speaker2>Hon PETER GRESHAM
Question No – Question>2119

ELIZABETH TENNET (Island Bay) to the Minister of Social
Welfare: What is the current budgetary allocation, if any, for his
department for the implementation of the Domestic Violence Bill, how is that
allocation being used, if no allocation has been made, is consideration being
given to allocating funds in the next financial year; if not, why not?


Hon PETER GRESHAM (Minister of Social Welfare) replied: The
Domestic Protection Act 1982 is administered by the Department of
Justice. That Act will be replaced by the Domestic Violence Bill,
once enacted. The budget allocation for the implementation of the
Domestic Violence Bill will be a Vote: Justice appropriation. No
specific budget allocation has been made in 1995-96 for the
implementation of the Domestic Violence Bill within the Department of
Social Welfare. Policy, programme, and funding issues arising from
the Domestic Violence Bill are currently being examined by the
Department of Justice in consultation with other Departments,
including the Department of Social Welfare.

Hansard – Stage: Stage> – Date>05 Apr 1995
Title>Domestic Violence Bill
Question speaker – Speaker>ELIZABETH TENNET
Responding speaker – Speaker2>Hon JENNY SHIPLEY
Question No – Question>2118

ELIZABETH TENNET (Island Bay) to the Minister of Health:
What is the current budgetary allocation, if any, for her ministry for the
implementation of the Domestic Violence Bill, how is that allocation being used,
if no allocation has been made, is consideration being given to allocating
funds in the next financial year; if not, why not?


Hon JENNY SHIPLEY (Minister of Health) replied: There is no current
budgetary allocation within Vote: Health for the implementation of
the Domestic Violence Bill.

Hansard – Stage: Stage> – Date>05 Apr 1995
Title>Domestic Violence Bill
Question speaker – Speaker>ELIZABETH TENNET
Responding speaker – Speaker2>Hon BRUCE CLIFFE
Question No – Question>2117

ELIZABETH TENNET (Island Bay) to the Minister for Accident
Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance: What is the current budgetary
allocation, if any, for the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance
Corporation for the implementation of the Domestic Violence Bill, how is that
allocation being used, if no allocation has been made, is consideration being
given to allocating funds in the next financial year; if not, why not?


Hon BRUCE CLIFFE (Minister for Accident Rehabilitation and
Compensation Insurance) replied: The Accident Rehabilitation and
Compensation Insurance Act 1992 already provides compensation to
survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. As the Domestic
Violence Bill does not affect cover or the range of entitlements, no
additional allocation of funds is required.

Hansard – Stage: Stage> – Date>05 Apr 1995
Title>Domestic Violence Bill
Question speaker – Speaker>ELIZABETH TENNET
Responding speaker – Speaker2>Rt Hon W F BIRCH
Question No – Question>2114

ELIZABETH TENNET (Island Bay) to the Minister of Finance:
Has the Treasury carried out any costings on the Domestic Violence Bill; if so,
what do the costings show; if not, why not?


Rt Hon W F BIRCH (Minister of Finance) replied: Standard practice
for policy proposals or introducing legislation, is that the primary
policy adviser (including with respect to fiscal implications) is the
department of the relevant minister; i.e., the department of the
minister proposing the policy or introducing legislation. Treasury’s
role is to provide secondary advice in response to the relevant
minister’s proposal(s). The Department of Justice carried out
costings on the Domestic Violence Bill prior to the Minister of
Justice introducing the Bill to the House. Treasury did not initiate
costings of the Domestic Violence Bill. Rather, Treasury has provided
second opinion advice on the minister’s proposals, including the
fiscal implications.

Hansard – Stage: Stage> – Date>05 Apr 1995
Title>Domestic Violence Bill
Question speaker – Speaker>ELIZABETH TENNET
Responding speaker – Speaker2>Hon JENNY SHIPLEY
Question No – Question>2113

ELIZABETH TENNET (Island Bay) to the Minister of Women’s
Affairs: Has her ministry received any requests for advice from other
Government agencies on the implementation of the Domestic Violence Bill; if so,
which agencies sought advice, and what was the nature of the advice sought and


Hon JENNY SHIPLEY (Minister of Women’s Affairs) replied: The
Ministry of Women’s Affairs has recently been invited by the
Department of Justice to comment on the delivery of counselling and
programme services by the courts under the Domestic Violence Bill.
The Ministry will be providing comments in due course.

Hansard – Stage: Stage> – Date>05 Apr 1995
Title>Domestic Violence Bill
Question speaker – Speaker>ELIZABETH TENNET
Responding speaker – Speaker2>Hon D A M GRAHAM
Question No – Question>2111

ELIZABETH TENNET (Island Bay) to the Minister of Justice:
In light of the restructuring of his department, can he guarantee continued
funding for the Domestic Violence Bill; if not, why not?


Hon D A M GRAHAM (Minister of Justice) replied: The restructuring
of the Department of Justice will not affect the provision of funding
for the implementation of the Domestic Violence Bill. Consideration
is currently being given to the allocation of additional funding for
implementation of the bill to the proposed Department for Courts, as
that department will be primarily responsible for operational aspects
of the new Act, including funding the provision of programmes.

Hansard – Stage: Stage> – Date>05 Apr 1995
Title>Domestic Violence Bill
Question speaker – Speaker>ELIZABETH TENNET
Responding speaker – Speaker2>Hon D A M GRAHAM
Question No – Question>2111

ELIZABETH TENNET (Island Bay) to the Minister of Justice:
In light of the restructuring of his department, can he guarantee continued
funding for the Domestic Violence Bill; if not, why not?


Hon D A M GRAHAM (Minister of Justice) replied: The restructuring
of the Department of Justice will not affect the provision of funding
for the implementation of the Domestic Violence Bill. Consideration
is currently being given to the allocation of additional funding for
implementation of the bill to the proposed Department for Courts, as
that department will be primarily responsible for operational aspects
of the new Act, including funding the provision of programmes.

Hansard – Stage: Stage> – Date>15 Mar 1995
Title>Domestic violence
Question speaker – Speaker>GEORGE HAWKINS
Responding speaker – Speaker2>Hon JOHN LUXTON
Question No – Question>1222

GEORGE HAWKINS (Manurewa) to the Minister of Police: What
proportion of the 44 580 violent offences reported in 1994 do police estimate
were family-related, and what was the proportion in 1993?


Hon JOHN LUXTON (Minister of Police) replied: In 1986 the Roper
report indicated that up to 80 percent of violence was family
related. In the past there has been no clear definition of family
violence, but police are now endeavouring to gather data. At this
stage the programme is not sufficiently advanced, or the data
sufficiently detailed, for any estimate to be provided.

Hansard – Stage: Stage> – Date>15 Mar 1995
Title>Police districts—Domestic violence
Question speaker – Speaker>GEORGE HAWKINS
Responding speaker – Speaker2>Hon JOHN LUXTON
Question No – Question>1221

GEORGE HAWKINS (Manurewa) to the Minister of Police: For
each police district, how many domestic disputes did police attend in each of
1993 and 1994, and in what proportion of cases were charges laid?


Hon JOHN LUXTON (Minister of Police) replied: The total domestic
disputes attended in 1993 and 1994, not resulting in charges being
laid, are set out in the schedule that follows. Domestic disputes
resulting in charges are recorded as offences. These are not
subdivided according to the relationship between the offenders and
victims, unless this is an essential element of the offence.
District 1993 1994
Northland .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 579 456
North Shore .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 728 610
Auckland Services .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 8 3
Waitakere .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 952 749
Auckland City .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 2 470 2 427
Manukau .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1 859 1 566
Papakura .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1 070 1 030
Hamilton .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 792 517
Te Awamutu .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 419 275
Tokoroa .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 409 336
Tauranga .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 642 565
Rotorua .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 543 524
Gisborne .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 466 363
Napier .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 359 168
Hastings .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 421 424
Taranaki .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 617 410
Wanganui .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 696 492
Palmerston North .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1 092 649
Kapiti-Mana .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 706 598
Hutt .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1 451 1 224
Wellington .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 789 686
Nelson .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 652 396
Christchurch .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1 400 1 279
Canterbury Rural .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 191 162
South Canterbury .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 316 143
West Coast .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 185 126
Dunedin .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 417 207
Otago .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 252 197
Southland .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 527 374

Total .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 21 008 16 956

1995_05_30 question in house Elizabeth Tennet point scoring

Hansard – Stage: Stage>QUESTIONS ON NOTICE – Date>30 MAY 1995
Title>Domestic Violence—Budget
Main speaker – Speaker>ELIZABETH TENNET
Responding speaker – Speaker2>Hon. JENNY SHIPLEY
Question No – Question>7

Domestic Violence—Budget
7. ELIZABETH TENNET (Island Bay) to the Minister of Women’s
Affairs: Will the Budget address the problem of domestic violence and
other violence against women and children; if so, how?
Hon. JENNY SHIPLEY (Minister of Women’s Affairs): Far be it from
me to steal the thunder of the Minister of Finance on Budget night.
Elizabeth Tennet: Given that the Wellington Rape Crisis centre and
other Wellington sex abuse support agencies are broke and are working
with unpaid labour after Government cuts to their funding, how can
women feel any confidence in the Government’s commitment to them or
their protection?
Hon. JENNY SHIPLEY: I am sure that if the member checks the amount
of money that Rape Crisis and Women’s Refuge have received since this
Government came to office, she will see there has been a steady set
of increases in support available for those services.
Chris Fletcher: What initiatives has this Government taken to
address the issue of domestic violence?
Hon. JENNY SHIPLEY: I am sure members will recall that on 1
December last year the Government introduced the Domestic Violence
Bill. The objective of the Bill is to provide much greater protection
for victims of domestic violence, including women and children, and
to ensure the protection of people in a wide range of domestic and
personal relationships. The Bill is currently before the Justice and
Law Reform Committee and will come back to this House in due course.
Elizabeth Tennet: I seek leave to table a letter from the
Wellington Sexual Abuse Help Foundation, which states that unless
$50,000 can be found by the end of July that foundation, too, will be
slowing down and shutting down its services.

1995_10_10 2nd reading DV Act

Hansard – Stage: Stage>SECOND READING – Date>12 OCT 1995
Main speaker – Speaker>Hon. D A M GRAHAM

Second Reading
Hon. D A M GRAHAM (Minister of Justice): I move, That this Bill be
now read a second time. Domestic violence is a significant problem in
New Zealand. It permeates through all parts of society. Everyone
feels its impact, directly or indirectly. This Bill aims to even up
the odds for those directly affected, by providing greater protection
for the victims of domestic violence. It also sends yet another
signal that domestic violence is unacceptable behaviour in the 1990s.
This Bill will repeal the Domestic Protection Act 1982—a statute
that is not very old in legislative terms. Since 1982 society’s
attitude towards domestic or family violence has been changing. Each
year the level of tolerance diminishes. These changing attitudes
parallel international developments.
Traditionally, domestic violence has been ignored or condoned,
primarily because it occurred between people in close relationships,
and usually in the privacy of their homes. Violence, which if it had
occurred between strangers would have caused public outrage, went
unreported because it involved family members. The relationship and
the accommodation situation were often the factors that prevented the
victim from just getting up and leaving, or telling the abuser to
leave. In these circumstances the general criminal law does not
provide the kind of protection needed. A more focused legislative
response was required for victims to feel safe.
I am pleased that the Bill has emerged from the select committee
with amendments that improve and strengthen it. The Bill has taken
the non-molestation and non-violence orders from the 1982 Act, and
has combined them into a single protection order that can last
indefinitely. The order is available for a much wider range of people
in close relationships, not only the nuclear family. The Bill allows
children to apply for orders in their own right. It allows people
around the protected person, who may not have a relationship with the
respondent, to come under the umbrella of the order if that is
appropriate. Similarly, orders can apply against a person whom the
respondent has encouraged to do something that would be grounds for
an order if the respondent had done it himself.
The Bill gives greater recognition to the features and dynamics of
domestic violence as they are now understood. Clause 3 recognises
expressly that domestic violence includes psychological abuse. One
form of such abuse is allowing a child to witness the abuse of a
person with whom that child has a domestic relationship. The
amendment to this clause makes it clear that the child does not need
to see an incident. If the child hears it taking place, that also
constitutes psychological abuse.
The select committee has made a series of amendments to different
clauses to change the focus from single acts to behaviour generally.
In particular, clause 3 recognises that while a single act may
constitute abuse, the abusive nature of particular behaviour may
arise from the fact that there is a pattern of behaviour comprising a
series of incidents, some or all of which appear to an outsider to be
relatively innocuous. To the victim, the latest and perhaps minor act
may simply be the last straw. In other words, the court has to look
at the behaviour as a whole, in the context of the particular
A protection order automatically contains two types of standard
conditions, which are found in clause 17. The first group prohibits
all forms of domestic violence, regardless of the form that led to
the application. The second group, which can broadly be described as
non-contact conditions, is based on the conditions that are currently
part of the non-molestation order. The select committee has
simplified the formulation of some of those conditions.
As the Bill allows the new protection order to operate while the
parties are living in the same house, it is necessary to state what
happens to the non-contact conditions in those circumstances. The
relevant clauses have been amended to provide that the non-contact
conditions can be suspended or revived only if the protected person
consents. This means that the protected person is in control of the
situation, and if police officers arrived at an incident they would
assess the current status of these conditions by reference to the
protected person only.
Where an order also protects children, the court can specify in
the order who is to give this consent. Where there is more than one
protected person in the house, all must consent to the respondent’s
presence. It will be important for respondents to understand the
implications of these provisions. If a respondent considers that the
protected person is misusing them, the respondent has the option of
applying for a discharge of the order.
Clause 18 allows customisation of orders by providing for special
conditions that are necessary to protect the applicant. The select
committee has added a new category of special conditions relating to
weapons, which are defined as including ammunition and explosives as
well as firearms. The committee was satisfied that there was
insufficient evidence to warrant this type of condition being a
standard condition that applies automatically to every protection
order. Instead, it decided that weapon conditions should be available
on request for applicants who thought they were necessary for their
protection. To ensure that the issue is actively considered in each
case, every application must state whether the applicant wishes to
apply for a special condition relating to weapons.
The effect of a weapons condition is that the respondent cannot
possess or have under his or her control any weapon. The respondent
cannot hold a firearms licence. If the protection order is a
temporary order, as will often be the case, the licence will be
suspended until the order becomes final, and the respondent must
surrender any weapon or licence to the police within 24 hours, or
whenever the police demand it.
Clause 18C gives the court discretion to allow possession of a
specified weapon or licence in limited circumstances, if the effect
of the condition would otherwise be to deprive a respondent of his or
her livelihood. In that case the conditions can be relaxed, but must
still ensure to the greatest possible extent that the protected
person will be safe. Even if the court relaxes the condition in these
circumstances, the police are not obliged to grant a licence under
the Arms Act.
The provisions in the Bill as introduced requiring copies of all
protection orders to be sent to the police have been retained. The
police must check each order, and can use the Arms Act powers to
revoke a licence or seize weapons, even when the order does not
contain a weapons condition.
The Bill places considerable emphasis on programmes for both
respondents and victims. The term “programme” has now been adopted
in preference to “counselling”, as it more accurately describes the
kind of assistance to be offered under the Bill. The objectives of
the programmes have been refined in recognition that the Bill cannot
hope to provide programmes that deal with all aspects of victims’
lives that are affected by the violence, or all problems that
respondents may have. For adult victims the main objective is to
promote protection from domestic violence, and for child victims it
is to assist in dealing with the effects of such violence.
Clause 19 makes it clearer that a protected person who wishes to
attend a programme is entitled to do so, and simply makes a request
to a registrar. The parties cannot be required to attend joint
sessions, although they can agree to do so. At the end of the
programme the provider must make a report on attendance and on
Clause 26, which relates to confidentiality of information
disclosed to a programme provider, has been revised. While
restrictions on disclosure remain, breach is no longer an offence.
The clause also contains a list of exceptions to the general rule
preventing disclosure. A provider may disclose information for the
purposes of proceedings under the Act; for the investigation of
offences committed during the programme; where it is necessary to
prevent or lessen a serious threat to the safety of the public or of
a particular person; where consent is forthcoming; or to those who
are providing programmes to other people to whom a particular
protection order relates.
I was pleased to announce at the time of the Budget that the
Government has provided $9 million over the next 3 years to implement
the initiatives in the Bill. A good portion of that money will go
towards providing the programmes. As it has proved difficult to
estimate the likely increase in costs, Cabinet has agreed that once
there is more concrete data about actual costs, I will be able to
assist with additional funding if necessary.
The Bill also toughens the enforcement provisions by tightening
the bail laws and by making a breach of a protection order punishable
by a maximum of 6 months’ imprisonment. For further breaches within a
specified time, the penalty is a maximum of 2 years’ imprisonment.
The committee considered carefully whether the discretionary
arrest power in clause 33 should be replaced by a stricter, even
mandatory, arrest power, as some submissions suggested. Because the
Bill expressly covers a much broader range of conduct, and a wider
group of people than does the present Act, it appeared too harsh to
have a rigid arrest power, the consequences of which are probable
detention for 24 hours. The committee concluded that the current
discretion, combined with some statutory guidelines about the
exercise of the discretion and a strict police policy, strike the
appropriate balance.
Part III provides for four types of property orders, including a
new furniture order that allows furniture to be uplifted if that is
necessary to set up a new home, rather than the victim getting
possession of the existing home. There were concerns that restricting
the two types of furniture orders to applicants who had children
penalised single people who might have as much need for such an
order. Clauses 48 and 52 therefore loosen this provision to allow
these orders to be made when the partners have been living in the
same house, whether or not children are involved.
Part VA includes a raft of new provisions for public registers
that allow a protected person to apply for a direction that
information about the person’s whereabouts that is on a public
register should not be made available to the public. The aim of these
provisions is to assist and protect a person who wishes to
re-establish his or her life in a new place.
Clause 105 makes important changes to the custody and access
provisions of the Guardianship Act. These changes implement the
recommendations of the Davison report, which followed the deaths of
the three Bristol children last year. Where allegations of violence
are made in custody and access proceedings, the court is to determine
as soon as practicable whether the allegations can be sustained. If
an allegation of violence against a child or a party to the
proceedings is substantiated, the violent parent is not to be given
custody or unsupervised access unless that parent can satisfy the
court that the child will be safe.
Access change-over times can create the opportunity for conflict
or violence between parents. To provide greater protection in these
circumstances, a new provision will be inserted in the Guardianship
Act. This will require the court, when making an access order in
cases where there have been allegations of violence, to consider
whether there are adequate safeguards to ensure the safety of the
non-violent parent during access change-over times.
A number of submissions raised the issue of funding of supervised
access. The Bill provides that where a person who has used violence
is permitted to have supervised access to a child, the costs incurred
in exercising supervised access are to be met by that person. No
change has been made to this provision. However, the position will be
kept under review, and if after the new provisions have been
operating for a while it appears that the lack of funding for
supervised access is causing real difficulties, the issue can be
re-examined at that stage.
Clause 109 amends the Legal Services Act to create a special
scheme for victims of domestic violence who receive legal aid. They
do not have to pay contributions, nor does any charge attach to their
property. The amendments make it clear that this special legal aid
scheme applies only to proceedings under the Domestic Violence Act.
It does not apply to other proceedings like custody and access that
may happen to be taken by the person at the time.
Finally, I mention that although there is no specific commencement
date for the Bill, it is the Government’s intention that it should
come into force as soon as the necessary rules and regulations can be
Domestic violence is everyone’s problem. While there is now less
tolerance of domestic violence, what is required is a fundamental
shift in attitudes throughout society. That requires initiatives and
a variety of funds, and it will take time. The passage of this Bill
will represent a significant step forward, but its initiatives are
unlikely to reduce domestic violence overnight, and in the short term
the problem may appear worse, as some previously invisible violence
surfaces. However, I hope that before too long, as a result of this
and other initiatives, it will be possible to point to some
measurable reduction in the incidence of domestic violence, and that
must benefit all society.
I thank the select committee for its good work. I commend the Bill
to the House.

Hansard – Stage: SECOND READING – 12 OCT 1995
Main speaker – Hon. PHIL GOFF

Hon. PHIL GOFF (Roskill): The objective of this legislation is to
provide greater protection for the victims of domestic violence. As
such, the Labour Party endorses this legislation very strongly. The
select committee looked very closely at the legislation. It was very
demanding on its officials, and it finally came back to the House
with 42 pages of amendments. I believe that the changes that were
made through the select committee have produced the best possible
legislative response to a problem that has devastated the lives of
literally hundreds of families. We believe that the legislation is a
good effort towards putting in place what is required in statutory
I take a moment to congratulate the departmental people, who
served the committee well, who did extraordinarily good research on
the Bill before it was introduced, and who, at every point of the
Bill, dealt with it in a competent and efficient way. I think all the
select committee members would endorse those comments.
I give credit to many of the people who did the research and the
reports and who pushed and lobbied on the need for this legislation
long before it developed any statutory form. While it is difficult to
distinguish only one group out of very many that have worked in this
area, I pay particular tribute to the people at University of
Waikato, Ruth Busch, Neville Robertson, and Hilary Lapsley, who
played a major role through their 1992 report for the Victims Task
Force entitled Protection from Family Violence. I think in many
senses that report was a critical genesis of the legislation that we
have before us.
But even before this task force reported in 1992, we had the
commission of inquiry headed by Sir Clinton Roper way back in 1987.
That commission of inquiry told the country that contrary to the view
that violence was something that happened to you on a late Friday or
Saturday night in a dark alley somewhere in the centre of the city,
80 percent of all violence in our society was in fact domestic
violence. The delay in following up the Roper report with legislation
to address the problem is an unfortunate reflection on the low
political priority that, for too long, was accorded to legislating in
this area.
Eighteen months ago we received another report, the Bristol
inquiry by Sir Ronald Davison. The Bristol inquiry followed the
murder of three young children in the Bristol family by their father,
who committed suicide, when, despite the fact that this man had on
many occasions used violence against his spouse, he was given custody
of children in a circumstance that was quite inappropriate and led to
a terrible tragedy.
As a result of the Davison committee report we have in this
legislation changed the Guardianship Act so that violence by any
person creates a presumption that that person who is violent will not
have custody and will not have unsupervised access to his or her
children unless that person can prove to the court’s satisfaction
that the children would be safe in his or her care.
There is no doubt at all that this legislation is long overdue.
The prevalence of domestic violence in this country and overseas was
recently exposed in a report by Hilary Lapsley in 1993 for the Social
Policy Agency. Regrettably, too little work has been done in New
Zealand, so the report relied to some extent on far greater research
that has been done in the context largely of the United States. There
it was estimated that the number of women abused by partners ranged
from 18 to 36 percent of the female population. Between 7 and 11
percent of the women had been severely abused by their partners at
some time in their lives. In New Zealand a study found that abuse in
this country, though lower than the United States estimates, was
still very significant. The study found that 16 percent of women at
some stage had been physically abused as adults. Another New Zealand
study found that 9 percent of women had reported assaults by partners
over a period of 5 years.
But the assault by male on female is only one aspect of the area
where protection is needed from domestic violence. Another area where
the need is becoming exposed is in the area of elder abuse. In that
context in the United States it is estimated that there are some half
a million to 2 1/2 million incidents a year. Regrettably in New
Zealand no such study has been done of the violence perpetrated on
elderly people by those on whom they are dependent. But if we
extrapolated the American figures we are probably talking about
20,000 cases a year.
The third form of domestic violence that is also prevalent is
sexual abuse. North American and English studies show that between 12
percent and 38 percent of women were sexually abused as children. A
recent New Zealand study puts the figure for this country at 24
percent, nearly one in four. Even if only a fraction of that level of
sexual abuse was occurring, this situation is extremely serious. So
the need for the protection of women and children, in particular, and
also of elderly people, in a domestic situation is very clear.
The need is all the more imperative when we take into account the
fact that study after study shows that violence in the home is
intergenerational. Violent fathers and battered mothers are role
models for their sons and daughters and the problem carries over from
one generation into the next.
The human cost, obviously, is the most important, but there is a
financial cost and that financial cost needs to be taken into account
when we consider the very low level of resourcing that the Minister
has just foreshadowed will be available to implement this
legislation. Suzanne Snively last year did a study for the Department
of Social Welfare. She said that at the very conservative end of
estimates, family violence in this country is costing the country at
least $1.2 billion a year. Clearly this legislation is needed to
confront a problem that these statistics demonstrate is one of the
most serious social ills of our society at the present time.
The point that the Opposition wants to make in the House this
afternoon is that legislation on the statute book is not enough. It
is essential that institutions and programmes established or given
responsibility under this legislation are also given the financial
ability, the resources, to do the job properly to meet the demands
that this legislation will place upon them.
As I said before, the Minister suggested to the House a short time
ago that he has received from Cabinet a sum of $9 million, which will
cover the first 3 years of the implementation of this programme. I am
sure the Minister himself is aware that this is only a fraction of
what the actual costs will be to do the job properly. Principal
Family Court Judge, Judge Mahony, appeared before the select
committee, and he estimated that the number of domestic violence
cases currently coming before the courts, as a result of this
legislation, will nearly double. Currently about 5,000 cases a year
of family violence are heard before the courts. His estimate is that
this will increase to over 9,000. That will create a considerable
extra work burden on the courts at a time when they are already under
some pressure.
A very good part of this Bill ensures that legal aid is available
to those needing protection orders, without any cost having to be
borne by the person seeking that protection. I applaud that. It will
have a cost. That cost alone is estimated at between $1.5 to $2
million dollars a year. Changes in the Guardianship Act are estimated
to cost $4 million. The requirement under the Act, and again I
support this requirement, is that offenders are required to attend
compulsorily programmes addressing their behavioural problems, and
that will also cost at least $4 million a year. When we take into
account the cost of providing additional support for victims, and God
knows that is necessary, that too is an extra cost.
A very conservative estimate of what is required to put this
legislation into effect is $10 million a year, yet the Minister is
offering $9 million over 3 years. I know he has said there is some
flexibility—he can go back to Cabinet for some more money—but I
must ask the question of why so little has been given at this point.
Are we going to see a Government determined to try to implement good
legislation on the cheap, in a way that will undermine the
effectiveness of that legislation? We have already seen the groups
working out there now expected to make huge efforts on the
cheap—Victim Support, Women’s Refuge, Men for Non Violence New
Zealand. They are not receiving the funding that is necessary for
them to give the protection to victims that the victims need.
I am concerned that this approach is being taken in this
legislation. It is imperative that the Government does provide the
funding necessary. I mentioned the Snively figure—that domestic
violence is costing this country $1.2 billion a year—and the
Government is talking about an average of $3 million to address that
problem. I do not believe that that will be enough, and I predict
quite confidently that the Government will have to come back for more
money for these programmes or alternatively it will try to do it on
the cheap with disastrous consequences. The proper funding of the
implementation of this legislation is only one of the co-requisites
for the success of the legislation in meeting its objectives.
More than any legislative change, we need to take other measures
if we are to provide real protection for victims in our society. A
fence at the top of the cliff is always preferable to the need for an
ambulance at the bottom, and, first and foremost, I think that what
we have to do is try to prevent people from becoming victims in the
first place. The objective of this legislation is to assist victims
of domestic violence, and to help prevent that we need to have
programmes alongside the statute book to ensure that this happens.
Disproportionate violence, we know, occurs in those families that
are dysfunctional. We need to intervene early to identify such
families, as they do in Hawaii; to screen children born in hospitals;
and to check whether the family is dysfunctional. Where the family is
dysfunctional we need from the time of birth to offer support
programmes to ensure that those children get a good start in life and
are not subject to domestic violence. Home visitors under the Healthy
Start programme that operates in Hawaii work incredibly well. They
have cut down child abuse and child neglect. They are trying to break
the intergenerational cycle of domestic violence.
Surely we must do the same thing here. The legislation by itself
will not achieve the objectives set down in statute. We need
programmes aimed at addressing problems in violent behaviour at a
young age. There are very good programmes like Eliminating
Violence—Managing Anger, which operates in a few schools. It is
incredibly successful but there is no funding to spread it beyond
just a handful of schools to address the problems of violence in
children throughout the wider community.
We need access to programmes aimed at dealing with the causes of
violence or abusive behaviour, again by adequately resourcing those
programmes. We have the excellent Stop programme, which is designed
to deal with problems of sexual abuse. It works. It is
cost-effective. It helps prevent sexual abuse by offenders from
continuing over the lifetime of that offender. But we have large
areas of the country that have no coverage by such programmes. In
some areas those programmes have closed through lack of funding and
in others where they operate they are underfunded and they cannot
meet the demands that are placed upon them.
I believe that the Government has to be consistent with the
objective of this legislation by giving greater protection to
victims, and by providing the support and the resources to proven and
cost-effective programmes that deal with the causes of violent and
sexual offending, most of which occurs within the home.
What does this Bill do? It brings into effect some very important
changes. It extends the range of people who can now seek protection
from domestic violence, to all forms of domestic relationships. It
broadens the category of behaviour covered—not simply physical
assault but also sexual and psychological abuse. It increases
sanctions for those who break protection orders. Those fines are now
up to $5,000 or 6 months’ imprisonment. I think the figure was $500
and 3 months’ imprisonment. Importantly, it puts a much more severe
sanction in place for the person who breaks an order three times. In
the committee we changed that to the breach of protection orders
protecting any person, so that those who break such orders in such a
way, who are recidivist in their behaviour, can be imprisoned for up
to 2 years.
Offenders will be referred to programmes to seek to change their
behaviour. It is no good for offenders appearing before court to be
placed back in the family home and back in the community, unless we
start to address the causes of their behaviour. Offenders will have
to attend programmes, and what we tried to do in the select committee
was to ensure that the law was not met simply by attendance but that
an effort was made by those persons. I do not want to exaggerate the
effectiveness of the programme but figures suggest that at least in
half of the cases people are far less likely to reoffend, and that
justifies the investment that we make in the Bill in this way. I
think that the effect of this Bill will be to send a clear message
that violence as a means to resolve domestic disputes simply will not
be tolerated by society.
There are one or two issues on which I can touch in the last
minutes of my speech. We looked at the question of the fact that this
Bill did not cover minors—people under the age of 17 years—who
behaved violently towards their parents. This was a matter of concern
to some of us on the committee who were familiar, through
constituency work, with violent and abusive 14, 15, or 16-year-old
boys much larger than, usually, their single mothers, and we
regretted that the protection under this Act would not be provided in
those situations. We were, however, assured that the Children, Young
Persons, and Their Families Act makes provision for this and allows
for the removal of violent children, but I believe that we will need
to monitor that.
There was the question of power to arrest for the breach of a
protection order. The police, of course, can arrest without warrant
where there is good cause to suspect that an order has been breached.
The committee decided that the power of arrest would be left as a
discretionary exercise of that power rather than as a mandatory
exercise by the police. The police very much supported the
flexibility that was provided by discretion. The current police
policy is that a person who breaches an order is to be arrested
unless there are exceptional circumstances. Looking at the
statistics, it can be seen that the police policy is having an
impact. In 1991, the number of prosecutions was 2,427, then 3 years
later in 1994 they had nearly trebled to 6,684.
It was drawn to our attention by submissions that there were
inconsistencies in the implementation of police policy. We believed
that that needed to be dealt with administratively rather than on a
statutory basis. We believed that flexibility was important; the more
so because of the wider scope of the new Act and the broader range of
conduct that will be captured, some of which is not intrinsically
criminal. The consequence for a breach of something that may be
technical or comparatively minor is probable detention for 24 hours,
and there are some circumstances in which that would not be
Clause 34 refers to the release of a person arrested, and the Bill
does make a significant change to general bail laws. The effect will
be that except in cases of breaches of direction to undergo a
programme, a person charged with the breach of a protection order
cannot be released on police bail for 24 hours. Indeed, the court
decision on the bail will also take into account as a paramount
consideration the safety of the victim.

1995_10_11 question DV Act

19951011 question

Hansard – Stage: Stage> – Date>11 Oct 1995
Title>Written Question
Question speaker – Speaker>DIANNE YATES
Responding speaker – Speaker2>Hon D A M GRAHAM
Question No – Question>7431

DIANNE YATES (Hamilton East) to the Minister of Justice:
Which of the 101 recommendations in the 1992 Victim’s Task Force Report does he
consider are current policy or in practice, are to be addressed by proposed
legislation, are still to be considered, are not regarded as practicable, are
based on misconceptions, relate to other departments, and are recommendations
he does not intend to endorse?


Hon D A M GRAHAM (Minister of Justice) replied: By “the 1992
Victims Task Force Report” I assume is meant the report commissioned
by the Victims Task Force Protection from Family Violence: a study of
protection orders under the Domestic Protection Act 1982 (abridged).
I refer to my answer to question for written answer No. 5319, lodged
on 14 September 1994. Since this answer was given two recommendations
may have changed status. Recommendations on the Family Court, numbers
31 and 8, may be able to be addressed further in the course of the
implementation of the Domestic Violence Bill. Any further work on
these recommendations will need to wait until the final form of the
Domestic Violence Bill is known.

1995_10_12 2nd reading DV Act

Hansard – Stage: Stage>REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE – Date>10 OCT 1995
Title>DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BILL : Report of Justice and Law Reform Committee
Main speaker – Speaker>ALEC NEILL

Report of Justice and Law Reform Committee
ALEC NEILL (Chairman of the Justice and Law Reform Committee): I
am directed to present a report. I move, That the report of the
Justice and Law Reform Committee on the Domestic Violence Bill do lie
upon the table. The Domestic Violence Bill was introduced to this
House and referred to the Justice and Law Reform Committee on 29
November 1994. The Bill consolidates and amends the Domestic
Protection Act, which is consequently repealed.
The Bill is one aspect of the Government’s overall strategy on the
prevention of domestic violence that has been developed by the crime
prevention unit of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
In reference to the conduct of the select committee during its
examination of the Bill, the closing date for submissions occurred on
24 February 1995. The committee received 67 submissions from women’s
groups, refuges, counsellors, researchers, victims, and other
interested groups and individuals. Thirty-three submissions were
heard orally. The committee travelled to Hamilton to hear
submissions; it spent 14 1/2 hours on the hearing of evidence, and 18
1/2 hours in consideration.
I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Is there any chance of this
being heard in some degree of quietness rather than members of the
Opposition making large amounts of noise?
Mr SPEAKER: I am trying to hear the member. Perhaps members would
be silent. If they wish to speak they should go outside.
ALEC NEILL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The committee received advice
from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Police, the Department of
Justice, and the Ministry of Justice; and it received drafting
assistance from parliamentary counsel. I extend to those departments
and to parliamentary counsel the committee’s thanks for their
extensive involvement in this legislation.
The Justice and Law Reform Committee has completed its
consideration of the Domestic Violence Bill and recommends that it be
allowed to proceed, but at the same time it has drawn a number of
amendments to the attention of the House, which are included in the
report back.
One of the major issues considered by the select committee was
that of the provision relating to weapons. The committee was informed
by police that very few domestic-related homicides are carried out by
licensed firearm owners. While up to one-third of partnership
homicides involve firearms, the majority are carried out by people
without firearms licences, using stolen weapons. However, a
significant number of submissions called for stronger preventive
measures in relation to firearms. Therefore the committee recommends
the insertion of a number of new provisions relating to weapons.
These amendments provide that the court may require that a respondent
must not hold a firearms licence or possess or control weapons; that
the court may allow special conditions where respondents would
otherwise be deprived of their livelihood; and that where a firearm
licence is suspended under a temporary protection order and the order
becomes final, then the licence is revoked. The amendments also
provide for the retention, return, or disposal of surrendered weapons
and licences.
The Bill provides that upon the making of a protection order, a
copy of that order must be forwarded to the police station nearest to
where the protected person resides. The police must immediately—and
I emphasise the emergency nature and urgency of the issue—ascertain
whether the person against whom the order has been made holds a
firearms licence and consider whether to revoke that licence and
seize any firearms from that person.
The committee recommends that these clauses be amended to take
account of future technology with regard to the sending of copies of
orders to the police. The proposed amendment also provides that where
an order is made with special conditions relating to weapons, the
police must be informed of where and when the order was served. The
committee recommends that where a foreign protection order is sent to
the police, the provision relating to the revocation of a firearms
licence and the seizure of firearms applies.
The committee gave consideration to the counselling provisions
contained in the Bill. Clause 19 provides that where a protection
order has been made, the court may direct that the applicant, the
applicant’s child, or another specified person attend a counselling
programme upon the request of the applicant. The committee recommends
that the Bill be amended to remove the mandatory element of the court
directive for counselling for protected persons. This change will
provide for a registrar to authorise counselling at the request of
the applicant. The applicant must be informed of the right to request
counselling and may make the request at any time while the protection
order is in force.
I now refer to counselling for the respondent. The court must
direct a person who has a protection order made against him or her to
attend counselling. An associated person may also be directed to
attend the counselling programme. The committee recommends that the
court be able to exempt the respondent from counselling only if there
is no appropriate programme available. This change removes specific
reference to lack of transport on the part of the respondent as a
reason for not being directed to attend counselling.
The committee recommends that an amendment be made to allow the
court to give a programme provider some information about the
particular proceedings, to enable the provider to target the
programme to persons referred. At present there is a variation in
practice, which means that some programme providers receive no
information about the particular circumstances behind a referral.
The Bill allows for a programme provider to excuse the respondent
from attending counselling under special circumstances. The committee
recommends that where a person is excused from attending a
counselling session, he or she must make up for the missed session or
sessions with an additional session unless the programme provider
considers that the absence has not affected the benefit of the
The committee also recommends the insertion of a new clause 24,
which requires the programme provider to inform the registrar when a
respondent fails to attend a session from which they have not been
excused. Upon completion of the programme, the programme provider
must give notice to the registrar stating that fact and noting
whether the respondent was excused from attending the session or
participated fully in the programme.
The committee recommends that the programme provider be able to
request a variation of the direction to attend counselling where it
is considered that the programme was not appropriate or the
respondent was not participating fully. Under these circumstances the
judge may call the respondent before the court to explain his or her
conduct. The judge may then vary, confirm, or discharge the direction
to attend counselling.
The committee considered the question of confidentiality as it
relates to family law issues. The committee recommends that an
amendment to clause 26 be provided, which makes it an offence for a
counsellor to disclose information about a client. The provision in
this clause would be replaced with a statutory duty not to disclose
information except under the following circumstances: when reporting
to the court about non-attendance, participation, or suitability of
the programme; for proceedings where the respondent is called before
a judge for investigation of an offence committed during a programme;
where necessary to prevent a serious or imminent threat to public
safety, with the consent of the respondent; or where the disclosure
is made to another programme provider working on an associated case.
The committee recommends that any counselling programme to which a
person is referred and the provider of that programme must be
approved in accordance with the regulations made under this Act.
The committee considered the Bill and also made amendments to the
Guardianship Act relating to custody of and access to children in
cases involving violence. A number of submissioners made oral
submissions and written submissions regarding corporal punishment.
Many submissions were received on the subject of corporal punishment
and the definition of domestic violence set out in new section 16A in
clause 105 of the Bill. The submissioners argued that corporal
punishment should not be excluded from this definition.
The committee recommends the deletion of the second paragraph of
the definition, which relates to corporal punishment. That paragraph
had been included in the Bill to make it clear that the use of
reasonable force by way of correction towards children, which is
permitted by section 59 of the Crimes Act, was not caught by the
definition. The committee accepted this advice and that paragraph was
deemed unnecessary.
This change does not affect the legal position about corporal
punishment. Section 59 of the Crimes Act still does not permit
parents to use force against a child that would amount to abuse, but
that does not mean that a parent is not entitled to use reasonable
force to control his or her child by way of spanking and the like.
Many submissions called for the repeal of section 59 of the Crimes
Act. The committee gave consideration to this issue, but was not
prepared to make any recommendation to suggest that section 59 of the
Crimes Act be repealed, notwithstanding that this matter does not
come within the context of the review of this Act.
With regard to allegations of violence made in custody and access
proceedings, clause 105 inserts new section 16B into the Guardianship
Act. The committee recommends that this clause be clarified to
restrict the circumstances in which a court must determine whether
the allegation of violence is proved to an application for a custody
order. The clause is further amended to make it clear that the court
is not required to make its own inquiries to determine the substance
of the allegation.
This Bill is important, as it relates to domestic violence
throughout New Zealand. It is a Bill for which an appropriation will
need to be made to ensure that there is adequate funding so that the
counselling services and the services that are necessary to implement
this Bill are adequately provided for. The committee gave
consideration to the amount of funds available, and recommends the
Bill to the House.

Hansard – Stage: REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE – 10 OCT 1995
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BILL : Report of Justice and Law Reform Committee
Main speaker – Hon. PHIL GOFF

Hon. PHIL GOFF (Roskill): This afternoon the Opposition will
support the report back of this Bill, just as it supported this Bill
at the select committee, and will support the passage of this Bill as
quickly as possible. I have to say, in qualifying that support, that
Opposition members do not have confidence that the Government will
provide adequate resourcing of this Bill to ensure that the
legislative provisions aimed at providing greater protection to
victims will be backed up by the resources to make those provisions
effective. This Bill did not get legislative priority and political
priority to be introduced when it ought to have been introduced some
years ago, and we fear that that lack of political priority will
spill over in a lack of commitment to making the legislation work.
Having said that, I pay tribute to the officials who worked on
this Bill. The original Bill was a product of solid work and
extensive consultation. I think that the officials got that pretty
right, by and large. The committee itself received 67 submissions
from public organisations and it heard from a range of expert
opinions from those with experience in dealing with domestic
violence. During the select committee stage we sought a further score
of reports from officials to follow up areas of concern, and that
resulted in 42 pages of amendments to the original Bill.
I do believe that this Bill is a good legislative response to the
problem of domestic violence, which must be considered as one of the
most serious social problems of this time. I must say, however, that
we do regret the delay in getting the Bill to the House. It is now 8
years since the Roper commission of inquiry, which reported that 80
percent of violence in this country is domestic violence. It is 3
years since the Victims Task Force reported on the need for vastly
increased assistance to the victims of violence in the home. The
Davison inquiry was some 18 months ago. That reported on the need for
changes in the Guardianship Act to provide for greater protection for
the child.
Late last year we saw a report commissioned by the Department of
Social Welfare and written by Suzanne Snively, which estimated that
domestic violence is currently costing this country $1.2 billion a
year. That is in financial costs; nobody can readily estimate the
human costs of domestic violence—the physical damage, the sexual
abuse, the psychological abuse, and the fear and insecurity that
makes life hard to endure for far too many women and children, in
particular, in this country. We have long understood that the
insidious effect of domestic violence was intergenerational; that the
role model it provided meant that that violence would carry on from
one generation into the next. All those things indicate the
importance of this legislation.
I believe that the Bill represents important and positive advances
in the legislative response to violence of that sort. It extends the
range of people who are protected from domestic violence to cover
those in all manner of domestic relationships. It broadens the
categories of domestic violence, not only physical violence but also
sexual abuse and psychological abuse. It increases the sanctions on
those who breach a protection order to a fine of up to $5,000 and 6
months’ imprisonment. At the select committee we changed the
provision to require that any three breaches of a protection order
could result in imprisonment of up to 2 years. It is a serious
offence, it has dangerous implications for society, and it requires
at least that level of sanction.
The Bill insists that offenders be referred to programmes to seek
to change their behaviour and to reduce recidivism. The Bill ensures
that victims will not have to meet the cost of any legal aid that
they receive in respect of getting a protection order. The
Guardianship Act is changed so that the safety of the child becomes
paramount. The effect of the Bill, I believe, is to send a very clear
message that violence as a means to resolve domestic disputes simply
will not be tolerated by society.
But we need more than legislative change to produce a real change
in the level of domestic violence and to meet the objective of the
Bill, which is to provide greater protection for the victims of such
violence. Real protection involves preventing people from becoming
victims in the first place. It involves dealing with the causes of
violence, and that means not waiting until it happens but introducing
techniques such as early intervention. So if we in this House are
serious about preventing violence, we have to start with
early-intervention programmes—dealing with at-risk families,
dealing with them from the time of the birth of a child, and getting
home visitors into that home, as they do in the Healthy Start
programme, and as Labour recommends in its A Good Start policy.
We need programmes like Eliminating Violence in schools, which is
an excellent programme with proven results, but there is no central
Government funding other than a pilot through the Special Education
Service. We need programmes like the Stop programme, which is aimed
at preventing sexual abuse. But, again, those programmes are not
expanding; they are being closed down through lack of resources. We
need a public education programme that changes the culture of this
country and makes violence across any group in New Zealand totally
unacceptable. We need to do those things first if the objectives of
this Bill are to be met.
In addition to those prevention programmes, it is essential that
the demands that will be generated by this legislation can be met by
adequate resourcing. We received a report in the committee that the
Government was intending to make available over a 3-year period the
total sum of $9 million. However, the Government knows—and I have a
copy of the report to the Cabinet committee—that that sum is
grossly inadequate. Nine million dollars over 3 years is not enough.
The cost set out in that report suggests that the costs will be more
than $9 million—some $10 million a year, not spread out over 3
years. Legal aid costs are estimated to go up by around $2 million a
year. Changes to the Guardianship Act will cost another $3 million a
Currently, about 5,000 cases of family violence are coming before
the courts. The Chief Family Court Judge reported to the select
committee that that figure will rise from 5,000 to 9,000 because of
the broadening of the protection involved and the cases that will be
covered by it. That puts pressure on the court. The Cabinet committee
paper suggests that that money should come out of some other area of
justice policy. Already we have crises right across the board in
justice—trials being held up, defendants being allowed to walk free
because of undue delay. Where will that money come from? The
Government has not given a satisfactory answer. We need the
commitment of new money to make this policy work.
There is also the requirement that offenders must be referred to
compulsory programmes to change their behaviour. That has a cost. It
is estimated it will be about $4 million a year. So we are talking
about an overall cost that vastly exceeds the amount of money that
the Government has said it is willing to budget for these programmes.
That is even excluding the additional support that needs to go to
groups such as victim support, women’s refuges, and the like. That so
far has been on the cheap. The extended role of those groups requires
that their funding be placed on a professional and a reasonable
level. Put shortly, the Government cannot rely on rhetoric alone nor
on underfunded legislation to resolve the problem of domestic
If the financial cost alone—estimated by Suzanne Snively to be
$1.2 billion—represents the cost of domestic violence to this
country then we should not be quibbling about a sum of $10 million a
year. That money should be in there. We should make sure it works. We
will get a good return on that investment.

Hansard – Stage: REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE – 10 OCT 1995
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BILL : Report of Justice and Law Reform Committee
Main speaker – BRIAN NEESON

BRIAN NEESON (Waitakere): I am pleased to rise to speak to the
report back of this Bill. Both my colleague on this side of the House
and the member for Roskill have elaborated on the Bill itself and on
the targets of the Bill. I would like to build on what has been said
already and send a message to those out there, particularly men, who
are so full of themselves that they throw their weight around and
wind up in a situation where they are bashing and destroying their
own families and, in the end, themselves.
This Bill has been produced for victims. It is not a Bill that
will solve the problems out there without there being a change in
attitude. That change of attitude has to come from those people who
are involved in these situations. The need for this Bill comes about
because of a breakdown in responsibilities and relationships in
society. So many people are quick to rush out to grab their
rights—the big I, my, and me—and it overwhelms and overtakes
their responsibilities.
Relationships break down because people forget that they have to
give. When people join together in a relationship they have to be in
the business of giving to one another—giving to their family and
giving to those around them—if they are to keep themselves out of a
situation where they will wind up in court and be dealt to fairly
severely with what is an extremely good instrument in the hands of
the law. I am talking about the people who forget that they have
responsibilities and who demand continuously that their own wants,
desires, needs, and egos be met out there in the world of families
and relationships.
Most of the submissions were either from counsellors of some sort
or from the victims themselves, which is understandable. One did not
have to listen to many of those victims; it could be seen in their
faces and in their eyes that they had been mortally wounded. For many
of them their relationships and problems were years behind them, but
the damage that had been caused in those relationships had not left
them. Of course, 100 percent of those victims were women—women who
tried their best. They could not defend themselves against brutality.
I want to send out a warning today to those who do have these
problems and tell them that they will be dealt with severely if they
do not go and get some help. There is help out there. Unfortunately,
it is not the traditional help that there used to be, such as
extended families and people who could take the pressure off when
things were getting tough. But there is other help out there, and I
say to these people: “Get to it before you have to be dealt with by
this legislation.” This Bill will deal severely with people who want
to continue to take, grab, smack, belt, and punch.
If people need help, there is help available. This Bill is set for
victims, it is set for children, and it is set to keep safe the
people who are being punched and smacked about. The strongest message
I can give to anybody out there right now is that if the tension is
on, if the pressure is on, if they feel in any way that they are
going to be put into a situation where they will damage their
families, themselves, their partners, or their relationships, they
should get help early before they wind up having to be dealt with by
this legislation.

Hansard – Stage: REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE – 10 OCT 1995
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BILL : Report of Justice and Law Reform Committee
Main speaker – JUDITH TIZARD

JUDITH TIZARD (Panmure): I welcome the report back of the Domestic
Violence Bill. It is a Bill that has long been in gestation. I have
now been in Parliament for nearly 5 years. In all that time the
Opposition has been calling for the Government to move on this Bill.
I have to say that when the Government finally moved, a good Bill was
produced. I think it has been made much better by the work of the
select committee.
However, it is a Bill that we have some deep disquiet about
because of the attitude of some Government members who are
responsible for the financing of this Bill and because of the
continuing actions of Cabinet in its funding of programmes to prevent
control and to heal the consequences of violence.
This Bill is the result of many reports, like the Roper report and
the Victims Task Force report. I want to pay particular credit to the
authors of that Victims Task Force report because it is mainly their
work that we are seeing before the House today. I do say that it
causes me some disquiet that the House has taken more than 3 years to
respond fully to that report. I want to say that the Opposition’s
greatest amount of disquiet, having seen this Bill reported back to
the House, is on the issue of resourcing.
Even the hardest of hearts and the toughest of minds in Treasury
must be able to look at a report like the one written by Suzanne
Snively last year and see that the cost of domestic violence to this
country, in financial terms alone, is far too heavy for us to
tolerate. The estimated cost of domestic violence to the economy is
$1.2 billion a year, let alone the cost of domestic violence in human
terms and in family terms that goes from generation to generation.
The committee worked long and hard on this Bill. I compliment the
dozens of people who appeared before the select committee and the
hundreds of people who were involved in putting together submissions
on this Bill. The submissions were all carefully thought out and very
well presented. They were often the result of great personal pain. I
believe this Bill is much better for that process, and I want to
compliment those people on their efforts.
We are told that every year about 5,000 cases of domestic violence
appear before the Family Court. Those cases are just the tip of the
iceberg, as the Hitting Home report indicated. This Bill starts a
process that has to go much wider and much deeper. I particularly ask
Government Ministers what their commitment is to making sure that
violence is prevented, not just stopped, in our community when it
gets to the level of the Family Court. Those Family Court cases,
tragic though they are, are only a fraction of the violence, of the
abuse of power, and of the abuse of trust and kindness that occur in
This Bill does many things. It extends the penalties and gives
greater protection for people who are in violent situations. That
message must get out to people who are in violent situations. It
extends the range of people who are involved. We have to be very
careful because we are talking about domestic violence, we are
talking about families, and we are talking about people who are
ordinarily within a household. This Bill sets out to try to offer
protection in the case of physical abuse, of sexual abuse, and of
psychological abuse such as intimidation, harassment, damage to
property, and other acts that lead to physical violence.
We recognise that violence is not just about hitting. It is about
controlling, manipulating, and abusing in other ways. We have
simplified the law relating to protection orders. We have said to the
police that they should ordinarily arrest immediately there is a
complaint of violence. That person, once arrested, should be kept for
24 hours to cool down unless there is very good reason they should
not be. They should not get bail. Protection orders should be issued
immediately, obviously with the right of appeal by the person on whom
they are issued. The police must move to protect New Zealanders from
violence. Breaches of protection orders have much greater penalties.
The penalty for third or subsequent breaches within 3 years is
increased to 2 years’ imprisonment.
[The question having been raised by the Senior Opposition Whip and
the bell having been rung, the Speaker declared that a quorum was

Hansard – Stage: REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE – 10 OCT 1995
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BILL : Report of Justice and Law Reform Committee
Main speaker – DIANNE YATES

DIANNE YATES (Hamilton East): I wish to speak on the report back
of this Bill particularly as the member for Hamilton East, and I
particularly want to thank Hamilton people who made submissions on
this Bill. I also thank the committee for travelling to Hamilton to
hear those submissions. I particularly thank Neville Robertson and
Ruth Busch, who are lecturers at the University of Waikato. I thank
them not only for their submissions but for the initial research they
did for the Victims Task Force way back in 1992. I thank them not
only for their academic research and their input into this Bill but
also for living through many of the experiences of the people
involved, and for the tremendous volunteer work that they have done
with the Hamilton Abuse Intervention Project.
I thank those officials who worked on this Bill for the
understanding they gave to the purpose of the Bill, which is to
protect the victims of domestic violence—in particular, women and
children. This Bill will prevent them not only from being victims of
domestic violence but from being revictimised by the system—our
legal system itself—by making protection orders meaningful and
ensuring that they are enforced.
But what is most important is that the Bill now contains a whole
change of attitude in relation to domestic violence. One word in
particular has been dropped from this Bill, and this is the word
“act”. I thank those who have been working on the drafting of the
Bill for recognising that the essence of this issue is that we move
away from dealing with just violent acts, and look at behaviour.
I can think of an example of a case quoted in the Victims Task
Force report of a man who kept going into a home and doing what we
might think was a kind deed. He would go into the home where he had
previously lived—he was under a non-molestation order—and do the
dishes. That in itself was not a violent act but it was a threatening
act. That type of behaviour is regarded as psychologically
threatening because it shows that the person still has power and
control over the people in that household.
So I thank the officials who helped in making the changes to this
Bill for understanding the change in emphasis away from just acts of
violence, to include behaviour that is psychologically threatening,
which is now within the definition.
I also express some sympathy for those who sent in petitions in
relation to mandatory arrest. Mandatory arrest was regarded as
somewhat impossible by people on the select committee. However, I do
hope that the policing guidelines in relation to domestic violence
will state the circumstances in which a person who breaches a
protection order should not be arrested, and I hope the police will
include this element in regulations.
I am also concerned that now there are five pages in the Bill
about firearms—five pages about why boys can keep their toys. I
think it is absolutely ridiculous that, in a sense, we have spent
such a lot of time ensuring that a possum hunter out the back of
Benneydale can keep his rifle and his gun licence. The restrictions
in this Bill are more lenient than those for someone who commits a
traffic offence. Regardless of whether someone steals a rifle in
order to kill his wife, I still think too much attention is paid in
the Bill to allowing people to keep their weapons; more attention is
paid, as I have said, to the rights of boys to keep their toys than
to the rights of children to protection against violence.
Once again I thank those who have made submissions, especially, as
the previous speaker has mentioned, those who gave of their personal
experience, at some considerable cost—people who told us of their
own lives. To them it was, as has been mentioned, a painful
experience to have to relive those experiences in front of a select
committee. I thank them for their bravery, and I thank them for the
help that they have given to others, to people who might become
victims in the future. I know it was a particularly difficult thing
for some people to do.
I also thank my colleagues on the select committee for bearing
with me, because I know I have been particularly picky about certain
aspects of this Bill.

Hansard – Stage: REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE – 10 OCT 1995
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BILL : Report of Justice and Law Reform Committee
Main speaker – JILL PETTIS

JILL PETTIS (Wanganui): The first question that I want to ask in
relation to the report back of the Domestic Violence Bill is why the
seizure of firearms has not been made automatic. I was, and remain,
very concerned about this particular aspect of the Bill. I have done
some reading on this, with particular reference to statistics from
the United States. While New Zealand is not the United States—and
thank goodness for that—the statistics that apply in America can
still very much apply here. In that country just having a gun in the
home makes it three times as likely that someone will be killed
Some homes in New Zealand are like war zones. Even having a
firearm in the house can be intimidating for a woman who has been
battered. That firearm may never come out of the cupboard, but it is
still extremely intimidating for her to know that it is present in
the house, and can be used at any time to make her and her children
cower into submission. Even mild abuse must be taken seriously. I
remain very, very concerned that the seizure of firearms after an
incident of domestic violence has not become mandatory.
There seems to be a sort of fall-back position in that the party
seeking the protection order can make a case for special conditions
relating to weapons to be attached to the order. In a situation of
high tension, a great deal of emotion, and physical stress, the party
seeking the protection order—the victim—has to make that
application. Quite frankly, I do not think that is a realistic
expectation to put on somebody, generally a woman, who, when an
incident has taken place, is also worrying about the safety of her
The other aspect I want to raise is the $9 million of extra
funding. Of course we welcome any extra funding for this particular
area. But how much of that $9 million will actually go to the
victims? No victim is looking to make money out of domestic violence,
but I draw attention to the fact that one woman met costs of $7,000
in dealing with a domestic violence situation, yet her three children
still died. In another case a woman had to pay $5,000. Those are
extraordinary sums of money for women who often are already
financially and economically disadvantaged because of the situation
that they have had to live in for many, many years. Where are women
going to get sums like $7,000 and $5,000 to protect themselves and
their children? How much of that $9 million will go into lawyers’
pockets, and how much is there to help the victims? I query also the
double victimisation. There is the physical and emotional violence,
then the huge worry that a woman has to face in trying to raise money
to protect both herself and her children.
The issue that I want to finish on is the cessation of the Stop
programmes. These programmes were set up for self-referrals of men
and youths who had been sexual offenders. The central region Stop,
which operated in Palmerston North—and certainly men from my
electorate were involved in that programme—is now no longer because
of the unavailability of a paltry $100,000. Now, $100,000 may sound
like a lot of money to many voluntary organisations, but when one
considers that it costs approximately $50,000 a year just to keep one
person in prison, $100,000 is a relatively insignificant amount. This
programme had to stop because of the lack of funding.

Hansard – Stage: REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE – 10 OCT 1995
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BILL : Report of Justice and Law Reform Committee
Main speaker – Hon. KATHERINE O’REGAN

Hon. KATHERINE O’REGAN (Associate Minister of Women’s Affairs): I
wish to speak in this report-back debate, but perhaps I may not take
my full time. I would like to congratulate the select committee on
the work that has been done. I am pleased that the Bill at long last
is back in the House, and, hopefully, it will go through all its
stages, maybe before the end of this session but certainly before the
end of the year.
An area that I do want to concentrate on is the provisions
relating to weapons. When the Bill was introduced I noted at that
time—and I think the Minister of Justice did too—that the
committee should ask for and listen to submissions on the issue of
arms or weapons. Like the member for Wanganui, I would also like to
know why we have not proceeded further with regard to the mandatory
removal of weapons upon the application of a protection order.
Some of the committee members would say that there was no
supporting evidence, and in fact the committee was informed by the
police that very few domestic-related homicides were carried out by
licensed firearm owners. But I sure as hell imagine that in a lot of
households the male threatens hell out of his wife by pointing a gun
at her. Such a case is probably not in the police statistics. That is
the sort of information I would like to see, because in that case the
gun is used not in the sense of firing it, but certainly to threaten
and scare the living daylights out of the woman and children in that
Hopefully, in the second reading stage we will get more
information from the committee members about why they were not
persuaded to extend the issue; to make sure that weapons were removed
mandatorily upon application for a protection order. I believe that
the Bill would be better if that did occur. I hope the House will
still keep an open mind on that when it comes to the Committee stage.
I know it has been quite hard trying to persuade the police that
that issue should proceed, and I know that there are members of the
House who agree with them on that issue. The police may have
information that very few domestic-related homicides are carried out
by licensed firearm owners, but we should think further afield, look
to the future, and listen to what the women have been saying; listen
to the people in those families, those households, who have actually
experienced guns being waved at them in a threatening fashion.
So that is the area that I hope this House will address in the
second reading stage, and, if the House believes that it is
necessary, perhaps we will even proceed in the Committee stage with
an amendment to this legislation. I am mindful of the comments made
by members of the committee who believe and accept the view that
perhaps at this point in time the police view should be upheld, but I
am sure they will not take too much persuading to consider an
amendment in the Committee stage. To me, weapons are an abomination.
I have no love for them whatsoever. One of the members commented
about the boys keeping their toys; I think in this instance the
criticism implied in that statement is justified.
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Hansard – Stage: REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE – 10 OCT 1995
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BILL : Report of Justice and Law Reform Committee
Main speaker – JILL WHITE

JILL WHITE (Manawatu): I, too, support this Bill, and I make a
strong plea, as others have done, for the resources to be made
available to underpin this Bill, in order to make it effective. There
has been considerable interest in this Bill. Out in the community, a
lot of hopes are pinned on it. There are a lot of anxieties about it,
as well. Some anxieties stem from the delay in its progress, while
others stem more recently from concern about the possibility of
unintended consequences. I feel I must mention those concerns today.
One anxiety that has been brought particularly to my notice has
been that the anger of men, in particular, must be dealt with. If it
is not dealt with outside the Bill, some of the provisions of the
Bill will aggravate that anger. The particular example a lawyer was
speaking to me about was that of visiting rights being permitted only
under supervision, because of the violence of, most particularly, a
father. There was a strong feeling that this would lead to a tendency
to blame the ex-partner, the supervising person, or perhaps even the
children themselves, and to a build-up of anger and an explosion of
It has already been said in this House today that the real
protection is in changed behaviours, and I agree with that. I do have
to make a comment on something that was said by the member for
Waitakere. He said: “Go and ask for help. It is there.” I say that
men in Palmerston North, in Wanganui, and in other parts of the
central region covered by the Stop programme, asked for help from
that programme. When the programme was there they got help, but its
funding ceased and the help is no longer there. That is because there
were gaps in the policy, there was no certainty of funding, and the
funding that was provided was inadequate.
If this Bill is to work, there has to be integrated funding
between different departments, there has to be certainty of funding,
there has to be adequate funding, and there must be resources for
those people who refer themselves. We cannot say that the services
are there only for those who go, say, through the justice system.
Resources must not only be there for management of anger but also
for the victim—through Women’s Refuge, good quality counselling
services, and victim support groups. That cannot be stated too often.
I also want to make particular mention today of the elderly in our
community. It is becoming increasingly evident that the extent of
elder abuse is greater than anybody had imagined. I welcome the parts
of the Bill that acknowledge this, and which seek to give protection
to the older members of our community. I have a question in relation
to that, and that is: what steps are being taken to ensure that the
elderly who are at risk are made aware of their rights to protection?
What concerns me is that those who are abused are those who are most
vulnerable, in that they are very often dependent on those who abuse
them. They are isolated from mainstream society, and it seems to me
that there is very little point in having protection in the law if
people do not know that they are protected, and do not know how to
access those provisions that are set up for their protection. I would
like that question to be answered at some stage in this debate.
Finally, I want to talk briefly about the legal aid provisions,
and I welcome the fact that legal aid will be more readily available
to victims, without then having to be paid back. But there are some
qualifying clauses, and I think it is important that we explore
those, in order to know who sets the criteria and whether appeals can
be made.
Motion agreed to.

Hansard – Stage: POINT OF ORDER – 10 OCT 1995
Main speaker – Hon. Dr MICHAEL CULLEN

Hon. Dr MICHAEL CULLEN (St Kilda): I raise a point of order, Mr
Speaker. I have sought four times to have Government motion No. 2
debated over the last 4 weeks. It continues to sit on the Order
Paper. I seek leave for Government motion No. 2 to be withdrawn.
Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sought for that purpose. Is there any
objection? There is objection.

Hansard – Stage: IN COMMITTEE – 10 OCT 1995
Main speaker – The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN

In Committee
Debate resumed from 5 October.
The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: On Thursday, 5 October there was an error in
a division list on the question that vote: Internal Affairs be
reduced by $150,000 from the appropriation of $10,419,000 for output
D1: National Archival Services. The result announced was Ayes 31,
Noes 38. The correct totals were Ayes 30, and the Noes 38. I now
order that the division list be corrected.
Before the Committee begins debate on vote: Crown Health
Enterprises, I should point out that this debate is not on the
performance and current operations of Crown health enterprises. That
matter is included in the debate on State enterprises and public
organisations. The appropriations to be debated in vote: Crown Health
Enterprises relate to the provision of advice to Ministers by the
Crown Company Monitoring Advisory Unit, and to capital injections to
Crown health enterprises.
Vote: Crown Health Enterprises

1995_12_11 In Committee DV Act

Hansard – Stage: Stage>HOUSE IN COMMITTEE – Date>7 DEC 1995

In Committee
3.09 p.m.
Clause 1. Short Title
The CHAIRMAN put the question that the amendment set out on
Supplementary Order Paper 146 in the name of Hon. D A M Graham
(Minister of Justice) be agreed to.
Amendment agreed to, and clause as amended agreed to.
3.24 p.m.
Clauses 2 to 17A
The Committee agreed to postpone consideration of clauses 2 to
3.25 p.m.
New heading and new clauses 17B to 17G
The CHAIRMAN put the question that the amendments set out on
Supplementary Order Paper 149 in the name of Hon. D A M Graham
(Minister of Justice) be agreed to.
The Committee divided on the question that the amendments be
agreed to.
Ayes 49
Austin Dyson Mackey Sinclair
Bradford English McCully Sowry
Braybrooke Falloon Mallard Sutherland
Burton Field Marshall Sutton
Carter C Goff Matthewson Swain
Carter J Hawkins Neeson Tennet
Caygill Hodgson Northey Wetere
Clark Hunt O’Connor Yates
Cliffe Keall Peck
Cooper Kelly Pettis Tellers:
Cullen Kidd Robertson H V R Fletcher
Dalziel King Robertson J Tizard
Duynhoven Lee S Shipley
Noes 22
Burdon Gray McKinnon Storey
Carter D Gresham McLauchlan Williamson
Dunne Hilt Maxwell
East Kyd Meurant Tellers:
Gardiner Lee G Revell Neill
Graham McClay Simich Roy
Majority for: 27
New heading and new clauses agreed to.
4.47 p.m.
The CHAIRMAN put the question that the amendments set out on
Supplementary Order Paper 148 in the name of Hon. D A M Graham
(Minister of Justice) be agreed to.
Amendments agreed to.
4.48 p.m.
Clause 2 as amended by Supplementary Order Paper 148 agreed to.
Clauses 3 to 7 agreed to.
Clause 7A as amended by Supplementary Order Paper 148 agreed to.
Clauses 8 to 11 agreed to.
Clause 12 as amended by Supplementary Order Paper 148 agreed to.
Clauses 13 to 17A agreed to.
Clauses 18 and 18A agreed to.
Heading and clauses 18B to 18F negatived by Supplementary Order
Paper 148.
Clause 19 as amended by Supplementary Order Paper 148 agreed to.
New clause 19A inserted by Supplementary Order Paper 148 agreed
Clauses 20 to 22 agreed to.
Clause 22A as amended by Supplementary Order Paper 148 agreed to.
Clauses 23 to 24B agreed to.
Clause 25 as amended by Supplementary Order Paper 148 agreed to.
Clauses 26 to 63 agreed to.
Clause 64 as amended by Supplementary Order Paper 148 agreed to.
Clause 64A agreed to.
Clause 65 as amended by Supplementary Order Paper 148 agreed to.
Clauses 66 to 69 agreed to.
Clause 70 as amended by Supplementary Order Paper 148 agreed to.
Clause 71 agreed to.
Clauses 71A and 72 as amended by Supplementary Order Paper 148
agreed to.
Clauses 73 to 75 agreed to.
New clause 75A inserted by Supplementary Order Paper 148 agreed
Clause 76 agreed to.
Clause 77 as amended by Supplementary Order Paper 148 agreed to.
Clauses 78 to 86N agreed to.
Clause 86O as amended by Supplementary Order Paper 148 agreed to.
Clauses 86P to 87 agreed to.
Clauses 88 and 89 as amended by Supplementary Order Paper 148
agreed to.
Clauses 90 to 94 agreed to.
Clause 95 as amended by Supplementary Order Paper 148 agreed to.
Clauses 96 to 109 agreed to.
Clause 110 as amended by Supplementary Order Paper 148 agreed to.
Clause 111 agreed to.
4.50 p.m.
The Committee divided the Bill into the Domestic Violence Bill,
the Summary Proceedings Amendment Bill (No. 4), the Crimes Amendment
Bill (No. 4), the Guardianship Amendment Bill (No. 3), the Family
Proceedings Amendment Bill (No. 2), and the Legal Services Amendment
Bill (No. 2), pursuant to Supplementary Order Paper 145.
Bill reported with amendment.

1995_12_12 3rd reading DV Act

Hansard – Stage: Stage>THIRD READING – Date>12 DEC 1995
Main speaker – Speaker>Hon. D A M GRAHAM

Third Readings
Hon. D A M GRAHAM (Minister of Justice): I move, That the Domestic
Violence Bill, the Summary Proceedings Amendment Bill (No. 4), the
Crimes Amendment Bill (No. 4), the Guardianship Amendment Bill (No.
3), the Family Proceedings Amendment Bill (No. 2), and the Legal
Services Amendment Bill (No. 2) be now read a third time. This is
important legislation. One of the tragedies of modern-day life is
that domestic violence is prevalent in our society to a degree that
is totally unsatisfactory and unacceptable. A great deal has been
done by community groups to try to assist families where violence is
occurring, and it is the obligation of the Government of the day to
take the steps that can reasonably be taken to try to assist.
After due deliberation, the Government introduced the Domestic
Violence Bill. It went to the select committee, where a large number
of submissions were received. It has been a constructive effort from
the select committee, and, indeed, from the House during the
Committee of the whole House. We now have the third reading of
legislation that it is hoped by all members will contribute to the
reduction in domestic violence in New Zealand homes. The Domestic
Violence Bill is quite far-reaching. It redefines domestic violence,
so that it does not now relate only to physical violence; it includes
psychological abuse—which can be equally bad—to, normally, the
wife or the children. The Bill also redefines “domestic
relationship”. It broadens the definition of those who can apply for
a protection order, so that it is not just the husband or the wife;
it may be the child, or it may be the parent seeking an order to
protect the parent from a teenage child. Unfortunately, these are
facts of life in New Zealand today.
The Bill also tries to speed up the process. When an application
for a protection order is made and a temporary order made in the
first instance, then, historically, that has had to be made final
later on, and that required a further appearance and a further
hearing before a Family Court judge. The Bill provides that the
protection order will become final automatically if the respondent
takes no steps. That, too, is a very good move that will help the
courts, and it will certainly help the applicant seeking the
protection order. We spent some time in the Committee of the whole
House talking about firearms and whether that should be a standard
condition of a protection order, or whether it should be more
Rt Hon. Jonathan Hunt: Does the Minister want an extension of time
to deal with all the Bills?
Hon. D A M GRAHAM: No, thank you. At the end of the day the
Committee decided that it ought to be a standard condition of a
protection order, that it was a privilege to have weapons, and that,
if a person were obviously violent, then that privilege really had
been forfeit and the arms licence, and, indeed, the weapons, ought to
be seized from that person. So that is to be the law now.
The legislation covers matters relating to property and tenancy
orders, furniture orders, and so on. It tidies up some of the
procedures I mentioned before. It deals with foreign protection
orders, and makes a number of other quite major amendments, which I
hope will be of assistance to both the courts and the applicants.
The only matter I wish to comment on relates to the Guardianship
Amendment Bill (No. 3) and the question of custody. This is a very
difficult matter because parents are, as of right, normally entitled
to access to their own children. But the fact is that some parents
are violent and they have lost control of themselves when they have
had custody of their children, and there have been some terrible
tragedies. To overcome that, Parliament is now about to enact a law
that will make it much more difficult for violent parents—normally
the father—to have custody of or access to their own children.
Indeed, a violent parent will not get access unless there is some
satisfactorily supervised access arrangement and/or that person can
satisfy the court that the children will be safe. So that will not be
easy. No doubt it will cause some distress to parents. However, I
have few qualms about that. It seems to me that if people are
violent, then there must be sanctions, and that may be one of them.
It will make it difficult for the courts, because they have to try to
weigh up the evidence and decide whether it is right and proper to
allow access. That is not easy, and sometimes they will be wrong. It
is easy to be critical after the event. We have to rely on the judges
to exercise their discretion as best they can, and I have every
confidence in them.
I am very pleased that this legislation has now reached its third
reading. I have been concerned for many years about the violence in
our community. We will provide some programmes to assist the
applicants for a protection order, when they wish it, and we will
require programmes to be undertaken by the respondents, whether or
not they like it. We will provide some counselling services for the
children who come from violent homes. All of those, I think, are
quite positive moves. We have set aside quite substantial funding,
with a right to go back to Cabinet if the funding proves to be
inadequate for the purposes.
So we are really embarking now on some quite new laws, and I think
that the families in New Zealand will benefit from them. I want to
make it very clear to those families where violence is occurring that
this Parliament will protect the victims of that violence, and it
will exert a sanction on those who perpetrate it. We cannot continue
to have the amount of violence in our homes that we have at the
present time. That is just totally unacceptable. The police have
responded well. They are now enforcing the laws much more
rigorously—people are being arrested, they are being held in
custody for 24 hours, and matters of that kind, when violence occurs.
I hope this legislation will be a major contribution to the fight
against violence in our families.

Hansard – Stage: THIRD READING – 12 DEC 1995
Main speaker – Hon. PHIL GOFF

Hon. PHIL GOFF (Roskill): I support the third readings of this
legislation. It is legislation that the Labour Opposition has
endorsed and facilitated right from its introduction. Indeed, I pay
tribute to my colleagues in the women’s caucus of the Labour Party,
who have, literally for years, fought for this legislation, which is
long overdue.
I believe that the legislation is some of the most important
social legislation we have had before this term of Parliament. It
recognises the plight of literally thousands of people in New
Zealand, predominantly women, who are battered, and who live under
the ongoing threat of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and psychological
abuse. It recognises the fact that the home, which ought to be a
sanctuary for people, too often is the place of violence, and it puts
behind us the myth that the worst aspects of violence that occur in
our community are violence in the street and violence perpetrated by
a stranger.
It recognises, too, that violence is intergenerational, and until
we can break the cycle of abuse in the home, we will keep seeing the
level of violence that is occurring in this country. This legislation
acknowledges that violence in the home is as unacceptable as violence
that occurs anywhere else in society. Indeed, it is often worse,
because on top of the pain and the suffering caused by abuse it
represents a betrayal of trust.
What this legislation does is very important. It provides greater
protection for the victims of violence. It extends protection from
violence to a wider range of people—not simply to partners, de jure
and de facto, but to all family members, to those who share a
household, and to those who are in any form of close relationship. It
extends the definition of violence so that violence can mean not only
physical abuse and sexual abuse, but also psychological abuse. It
extends that protection, not only against the respondent, but also
against the associates of the respondent who may be procured to act
It seeks to ameliorate the consequences of violence through
programmes designed to help the victim. Most important, it seeks to
address the cause of violence in the offender by making mandatory the
requirement for offenders who have a need for a change in their
attitude and in their behaviour to attend programmes.
The legislation increases sanctions—not before time—which is a
recognition by this House that the nature of the violence perpetrated
is very serious. It contains new protections for the
victims—restricting information, for example, available in public
registries so it is more difficult for the potential offender to
trace the whereabouts of the victim. It places the onus on violent
individuals to prove they are fit and proper people to hold a
firearms licence or to own a weapon. It does not place the onus on
the person who has been abused to prove that that individual is
violent. By definition, a person who is violent is not a fit and
proper person to hold a firearm, and I will come back to discuss that
a little later, because that was a major point of contention in the
Committee stage.
Equally, and very important, the legislation places the onus on
people who have been violent towards their partner to prove, if they
wish to have access to or custody of the children of that
relationship, that they are indeed safe, recognising the close
correlation between those who are violent towards their partners and
those who also have the ability to be violent towards their children.
Under this legislation, persons applying for a protection order are
granted legal aid without the requirement that they should make a
contribution towards that aid. The legislation is, in all these
respects, landmark legislation.
I want to pay tribute to all those who have contributed to
bringing it to this stage. I pay tribute, for example, to those
researchers who have worked hard to promote this cause and who have
worked hard on the report for the Victims Task Force. Ruth Busch,
Hilary Lapsley, and Neville Robertson are three individuals who come
to mind who have made a tremendous contribution. I pay tribute to
other advocates, such as the Women’s Refuge movement, which has put
in many hours of work to protect the victims of this form of
violence. I also want to pay tribute to my colleagues who have
worked—long before the Minister introduced the legislation to the
House—to promote the need for its introduction and to ensure that
the legislation was finally brought here before us.
The legislation is a critical prerequisite towards extending the
protection to victims of domestic violence. But while a prerequisite,
it is not in itself a sufficient condition to achieve this end. In
particular, and to emphasise a point that was made by the Chief
Family Court Judge, it is essential that programmes for victims and
for offenders be funded properly. It is essential, too, that the
Family Court be adequately resourced to carry out the
responsibilities placed on it. If we have legislation but do not have
the resources to carry into effect the intent of that legislation,
then we are producing legislation that is doomed to failure.
In addition, while this legislation creates an appropriate
framework for dealing with violence after it has occurred, a critical
role exists for the Government to act through early intervention to
prevent violence by dealing with its causes. It is no good our
relying solely on, and improving the quality of, the ambulance at the
bottom of the cliff. We need to act now to deal with the causes that
lead to that violence occurring in the first instance.
It is a matter of sadness for me that while we are debating this
legislation we should equally be debating why this House does not
fund adequately prevention programmes such as the Stop programme,
aimed at ending sexual abuse. That is an essential co-requisite of
this legislation if we are to achieve the end of the legislation,
which is truly to protect individuals against the consequences of
domestic violence in all its forms. By ignoring prevention, we are
effectively allowing victims to be created, and created quite
unnecessarily. No matter what we do after the event to patch up the
consequences of that violence we cannot restore the situation to
where it was before the person became a victim. That is why
prevention is so important.
In the remaining time I want to address the key issue that was the
issue in contention in the Committee stage. That issue was the
question of how most properly to deal with those who have used
domestic violence and who are also holders of a firearms licence and
the owner of firearms. The legislation as reported back did
strengthen the requirements on police. Indeed it made it a statutory
requirement on the police to consider revocation of firearms
licences. It also provided for a special condition to be placed in
any protection order requiring the seizure of firearms.
A supplementary order paper introduced in the Minister’s name, but
before that in the name of my colleague the member for Hamilton East,
went further by stating that it should be a standard condition of any
protection order that the respondent surrender to the police any
firearms licence or firearms possessed by the respondent. The
respondent is subsequently able to seek the return of the licence and
any guns surrendered from the court. But the paramount consideration
will be that the court takes into account the need to protect the
person for whose benefit the protection order applies. In other words
the presumption is very clearly in favour of the victim. The court
will take into account whether the person protected consents to the
return of the licence and the arms, the nature and seriousness of the
violence used, the ongoing risk of further violence, and the need for
the respondent to have access to the weapons.
In the Committee, the majority by nearly two to one supported the
supplementary order paper, as I did. I think that is a step in the
right direction. I think that this legislation reinforces the message
that violence is never acceptable, will not be tolerated, and in all
respects will have serious consequences for the offender.

Hansard – Stage: THIRD READING – 12 DEC 1995
Main speaker – ALEC NEILL

ALEC NEILL (Waitaki): I rise to support the third reading of the
Domestic Violence Bill. In doing so, I want to point out to the House
that we received as a select committee, 65 submissions with regard to
the legislation. In general there was support for the legislation,
and it now passes through its third readings. I want to point out
that this National Government will not condone, nor will it sanction,
violence, particularly domestic violence. This legislation will
assist those who are the victims of domestic violence and will
provide a new era in which protection is available to people.
This legislation supersedes the Domestic Protection Act, and
provides a new single order known as the domestic violence protection
order. As a result of that order, the definitions have been
substantially extended so that it not only includes a spouse or the
children of a husband and wife relationship, but extends it to other
relationships including single-sex relationships—homosexual
relationships and lesbian relationships. It extends the order to
include definitions, not only of physical and sexual violence but
also of psychological abuse.
When the legislation came before the select committee, the
submissions indicated concerns relating to the provision of
counselling. Substantial changes have been made to ensure that those
who provide counselling have the relevant qualifications to ensure
that there is proper and adequate counselling. The concern is that as
a result of that there needs to be adequate funding to provide the
Also included in the legislation is the need for enforcement of
protection orders. It is essential that there be an effective
enforcement ability to ensure that those who are in breach of the
order are able to be brought to justice in the appropriate manner and
that appropriate penalties are able to be imposed.
The select committee also considered in some detail the matters
relating to firearm licences and the possible mandatory revocation of
a firearm licence. This is excellent legislation and it is sad if in
fact it is brought into some form of disrepute, solely because of
differences of opinion between members of this House on the issue of
firearms. It would be sad if we concentrated only on the issue of
firearms when there are many excellent aspects to this legislation. I
personally believe that we got it wrong in the Committee stage and
that the imposition of mandatory removal of firearms will neither
benefit the legislation nor those who are involved. But, as indicated
by the previous speaker, it was voted on the basis of two to one in
favour of mandatory removal of firearms, and I would not wish the
legislation not to proceed on that issue alone.
There is no doubt that under section 60A of the Arms Act the
police have adequate powers of seizure at the time of attending a
domestic dispute. Not only that, they also have the ability under
section 24 of the Arms Act for the removal of firearms in addition to
the provisions that were provided in the legislation as reported back
to this House, where the judge on request in the application could
have revoked a firearm licence. There is now mandatory removal of the
licence. Notwithstanding that, it is important that this important
legislation proceed through the House and become law to provide
adequate protection for a large number of people.
This Government is not only prepared to introduce and pass the
Domestic Violence Bill through all stages, but on the way to
Wellington today I read with interest the new document called
Breaking the Cycle under the Children and Young Persons Act.
There is no doubt that under that Act there are new and adequate
provisions with regard to violence as it relates to children. We
intend to make our mark and stamp out to the best possible ability,
the ongoing domestic violence that is occurring in this society.
I think it is important that we understand that this legislation
moved from including just a husband and wife, or husband, wife, and
child relationship, to including other persons, whether they are of
the same or opposite gender. Further, the respondent has been
extended not only to include the person against whom the application
has been made for an order, but also to include others who are
associated with the respondent. That goes substantially further than
did the old Domestic Protection Act. Minors can apply to have an
application for a protection order, and that is an important addition
under this Act, which would not have been provided under the Domestic
Protection Act.
The words ex parte are interesting. In the old days we were able
to apply for an ex parte application. Those words have now been
deleted. The words that were referred to in the Bill were “ an
urgent application”, and that term has been replaced now by “an
application without notice”.
I think it is important that we understand the counselling
provisions and the detail this legislation goes into to provide
counselling for the applicant and for the respondent, who must comply
with the terms of the Act and attend counselling. I have some
concerns where persons have an order made against them where they
wish to exercise their access and there is a need to have it as
access with others in attendance. Those persons must pay for that
attendance to occur. There will be occasions when people on low
incomes who wish to have access to their children will not be able to
do so, if in fact that requirement is imposed, based solely on the
grounds that they do not have the funds to do so. There is no State
funding for individuals to be provided with additional funding in
order that there is supervised access.
I say to this House that we need to monitor carefully the
situations that do arise. The interests of the children still remain
paramount, and if a child is not able to see his or her mother or
father solely on the grounds of lack of funding, where supervised
access is required, then that would cause me some concern.
As I said earlier, I would hate this legislation to be reported
solely as legislation that provides compulsory confiscation of guns
and revocation of arms licences when in fact it goes far further than
that, and in fact provides protection for a large number of New
Zealanders, and that protection will provide them with greater
security in their own homes.

Hansard – Stage: THIRD READING – 12 DEC 1995
Main speaker – DIANNE YATES

DIANNE YATES (Hamilton East): I wish to speak on the third
readings of the Bills relating to domestic violence. It gives me a
great deal of pleasure to see the domestic violence legislation
through to its third reading. As I said in the Committee stage, the
title of the original Bill is significant. It has changed from the
Domestic Protection Act of 1982, in the production of which the
Leader of the Opposition has said that she was pleased to be
involved. Things have moved since then, attitudes have changed, and
we have been agitating for the introduction of a domestic violence
bill for a number of years.
The legislation is about domestic violence, and it defines
violence very carefully. It is not just a matter of whether a man
beats up on his wife, but it is about all violence towards family and
household members—physical violence, sexual violence, and also
psychological violence including intimidation and harassment. It is
about revising and tightening up the old non-molestation and old
non-violence orders, which now become protection orders. Hopefully,
more families, more women and children in particular—because they
make up the majority of the cases—will be safe and less likely to
live in fear.
I think it is particularly important that this is one of the last
pieces of legislation to be passed through the House before
Christmas, which is a time for families and when domestic violence is
on the increase. We bring it through in the hope that things will be
better in the future.
I want to say a number of “thank yous” at this time. I want to
thank my colleagues on the select committee, who bore with my
stubbornness on a number of issues. I want to thank my Labour women
colleagues for their support, and I want to thank my caucus
colleagues, especially for their vote on the firearms amendment. I
want to thank the Ministry of Justice staff who drafted and redrafted
many clauses. I want to thank the Ministry of Women’s Affairs staff,
particularly for their theoretical knowledge of the issues involved,
and the experience that they brought to the legislation. I want to
thank those who helped with the drafting of the legislation. I want
to thank all those who made submissions, in particular the National
Council of Women, the YWCA, the Women’s Refuge movement, the Women’s
Electoral Lobby, Men for Non Violence, and the Commissioner for
I want to thank—as the member for Hamilton East—those who
appeared before the select committee when it met in Hamilton. I
particularly thank those from the Hamilton Abuse Intervention Project
who provided many of the statistics that have been used in arguments
for this legislation, and for their heartfelt and hands-on
experience. I know “hands-on” is a difficult word to use in
relation to domestic violence, but I thank them for their very close
association with people who are involved and who are victims of
domestic violence. I want to thank also in particular the Hamilton
police, who have led the way in the police in the application of law
and in what we now call, thankfully, the Not Just a Domestic policy.
I thank the researchers from the University of Waikato who did the
original research on non-molestation orders for the Victims Task
Force: Ruth Busch, Hilary Lapsley, and Neville Robertson. I also
thank the Ministry of Justice researchers who did the very extensive
research called Hitting Home, about the attitudes of people towards
violence in New Zealand.
Lastly, I want to thank the victims—those especially brave
people such as Christine Bristol, and all those who share the
circumstances surrounding the tragic death of her children. I thank
her for her bravery in addressing the select committee on this.
In my maiden speech in 1994 I asked how many people have to be
killed, how many women and children have to die before we stop
writing and rewriting reports, and before we pass legislation that
will prevent domestic violence. I asked how long we had to wait.
I also thank my Labour women colleagues who, in September 1994,
led the general debate on domestic violence in which we particularly
harassed the Minister of Justice. There was no legislation at that
stage, and he promised legislation by the end of the year. We brought
barometers into the House to measure the progress on that
legislation. There were 101 recommendations in the domestic violence
report that went to the Victims Task Force. I have had one of those
barometers hanging outside my electorate office every day. Tonight I
hope to be able to take that barometer down.
I thank the Minister for introducing this legislation, and for the
fact that tonight we may pass this very important legislation, which
is important for families in New Zealand. It is also a particular
triumph; not only did I mention this in my maiden speech, but the
legislation was originally introduced on 29 November, which is a day
I will not forget because it happens to be my birthday. So it is a
day that I will remember—less than 2 years after my maiden speech
this particular legislation has come into the House. Once again I
thank the Hamilton researchers, the police, and the members of the
Hamilton Abuse Intervention Project.
I want also to mention controversial matters in this legislation,
and say that there are 111 clauses. I regret in many ways the amount
of attention that has been given to the firearms clause, because it
does occur to me, as mentioned by the member for Waitaki in his
speech, that we are concerned about protection for families, for
people within families, for women and children. I regret that there
were not more submissions about the difficulties of people having
access to their children, and I regret that there was not more
agitation about the amount of resources being given to people to have
access to their children rather than to the matter of firearms.
I will say that, as has been mentioned by the member for Roskill,
it has become clear to me that when one applies for a firearm
licence, one’s partner, and one’s family have to be interviewed to
see whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to have a
firearm. It does seem logical to me that if a person should become
not a fit and proper person to have a firearm because a protection
order has been taken out, it should be automatic, as in the
legislation, that it is a standing provision that that person should
lose their firearms and their firearms licence. I do not see any
problems in that.
It does not mean that a person may lose their firearms for ever,
but the onus will have moved from the victim, from the person who is
under the protection order, to the people who have the firearms to
prove that they are a fit and proper person. It does mean that the
interests of the victim are paramount. I thank the Minister of
Women’s Affairs for saying in the Committee that if we save one life
by this particular clause then it has been worth it.
I also want to mention the controversy about access by partners to
their children. I was disappointed that there was not more agitation
about the fact that it may be a costly business for some people to
have access to their children. I do hope that the Minister in his
allocation of $9 million to the implementation of the legislation
will allocate some money in that direction, because resources are
particularly important.
I would mention once again the Hamilton Abuse Intervention
Project, and say to the Minister of Justice—as we did in the
Committee stage—that I have written to him and have lodged written
questions in the House to the Minister of Justice and the Minister of
Social Welfare about the problems that are incurred in resources, in
particular relating to programmes, to intervention, and to monitoring
what is happening across the board in terms of domestic violence. I
have had no assurance from either the Minister of Justice or the
Minister of Social Welfare that there is a structure in place that
will prevent people from falling between the gaps. Once again, I do
ask the Minister to reconsider his decision on pulling funding from
the Hamilton Abuse Intervention Project, and ask that he consider
having these programmes repeated throughout the country.
Once again I would say a particular “thank you” to those victims
who have given us their stories, who have been prepared to
participate through the Victims Task Force report and in making their
submissions to the select committee. I thank Christine Bristol, who
had said to me that one of the best Christmas presents she could have
this year would be the passage of this legislation.

Hansard – Stage: THIRD READING – 12 DEC 1995
Main speaker – Hon. KATHERINE O’REGAN

Hon. KATHERINE O’REGAN (Associate Minister of Women’s Affairs): I
am delighted to be involved in the third readings of the domestic
violence legislation. Unfortunately I was not able to be present
during the Committee stage last week, but I am delighted with the
results that came from that. This legislation is among the most
important that this Government has introduced and passed in this
session. I am delighted and proud to be part of a Government that has
seen this legislation through to this point, and I am delighted with
the changes that have been implemented.
I wish to congratulate the Minister of Justice on his forbearance,
particularly, with regard to some of the issues that did create some
heat and possibly very little light at times—particularly the issue
of firearms. But I think the important thing to remember is that this
legislation changes the whole area of domestic violence prevention
and protection. This legislation is about prevention and protection.
In fact we have changed clause 5 of the Domestic Violence Bill to
make clear that the object is actually to prevent violence in
domestic relationships. I think that is a very important point to
Obviously this legislation has a much wider application once it
becomes implemented than just the domestic scene as regards a man and
a woman and children. It has now been broadened to include other
family members. I would like to point out here that much has been
said about elder abuse in recent times. In fact this legislation will
now ensure that elderly people no longer have to put up with or
suffer from abuse, be it psychological abuse, including harassment,
or be it from carers or family members, for that matter, who are
looking after them. So I think it is very important that groups like
Age Concern and others do realise that this legislation will provide
great results for them in the future when they deal with issues of
elder abuse, because it does expand the meaning of a domestic
relationship, as previous speakers have spoken of.
I had a case in my electorate office of a complaint from a family.
The grandmother was being harassed by the granddaughter to part with
rather large sums of money to feed a drug habit. There seemed to be
nothing the family could do to prevent this from happening. Under
this legislation I think a grandmother in that circumstance could be
convinced to take out a domestic protection order.
The other issue that I think is very important, and which has been
mentioned here several times, is the meaning of “domestic
violence”, and how much it also has been broadened, particularly to
include the threat of physical violence, intimidation, and
harassment. Those are the things that undermine people. They
undermine the women and the children who live in violent
relationships. I am very pleased that we have expanded the
legislation to include those things. We know that domestic violence
damages observers, and these are invariably the children.
We also know that domestic violence degrades the perpetrator. I am
glad that this legislation will see programmes put in place to ensure
that we can actually deal with domestic violence. I am very delighted
to know that the Men for Non Violence organisation and others are
involved at the very moment in discussing these matters and how we
deliver such services in the future.
We know that domestic violence humiliates. We also know that it
breeds further domestic violence, that it is intergenerational and
continues down through time. Generations of families are damaged by
it. So I am delighted that the select committee has brought back this
legislation, and that it has gone through the Committee stage. I am
very pleased that the changes that have occurred certainly improve
the legislation.
I would like to talk about one particular area, because it is an
area that I was involved in—although listeners may think that only
Labour women were involved in it. That area is the improvement of the
position in relation to firearms, and the provision to revoke a
firearms licence if a domestic protection order is sought. The select
committee did a very good job, I believe, in bringing this Bill back
in the shape that it did, but it did not quite go far enough and
actually place the burden of responsibility where I believe it now
lies—under this legislation as it has emerged from the Committee
stage—and that is with the law, not with the woman who is having to
seek an exemption, if one likes, or a special condition with regard
to a protection order. It is now a standard condition that if a
licence holder is the respondent, that licence is automatically
revoked and removal of the gun is undertaken.
I know that some concerns have been expressed about that, but I am
delighted because I have been working on it behind the scenes for
some time to ensure that it actually eventuated. I am also delighted
with my colleague the member for Eden, who has been working alongside
me on it. I congratulate the House. As I say, I was not here last
week when the debate was held on this issue, but I congratulate the
House on seeing the sense in approving the amendments promoted by the
Minister of Justice. I am delighted that they have gone through.
It is well known, certainly in the women’s refuge movement, that
over half the children who are received into care have had direct
physical abuse, and, of those, 23 percent have been threatened with
guns. I think that is the whole point of this amendment: it is about
not homicide so much but the threatening and the intimidation that
occur. Hopefully, we will now see those diminish.
The other thing that I suppose this legislation can do is place
some responsibility on gun owners. If a gun owner threatens somebody
with a gun, and that person takes a domestic protection order against
the gun owner, then the gun owner will actually lose his or her
licence and his or her gun. Owning a gun is a privilege. Obviously,
that person must be a fit and proper person to own a gun in the first
place. Hopefully, in future we will see women and family members in
much safer circumstances.
There are some people who should be thanked for the work they have
done over the years. I know that the women’s movement generally has
been seeking major change in this area. In fact, the first domestic
protection legislation was landmark legislation on its own. I am
delighted to say that this legislation, to be enacted under a
National Government, has certainly extended it. But thanks to the
women’s movement generally for its constant reminders to successive
Governments actually to move on this particular issue, and to the
victims who have suffered at the hands of violent partners. They too
need to be remembered when we speak on this legislation.
Thank you to Ruth Busch and Neville Robertson, two of the authors
of the Victims Task Force report, and to Hilary Lapsley. Thank you to
all the officials from the New Zealand Police and the Department of
Justice, and a special thank you to my Ministry of Women’s Affairs
people who also gave advice throughout this. Thank you to Shona Jones
and, in particular, Joy Liddicoat from the ministry.
I am delighted to be a part of a Government that has seen this
legislation go through. This is very good legislation for the women
and families of New Zealand.

Hansard – Stage: THIRD READING – 12 DEC 1995
Main speaker – JILL PETTIS

JILL PETTIS (Wanganui): I think we are all pleased this afternoon
to be speaking to the third reading of the domestic violence
legislation. This is extremely important legislation. I want to
endorse the thanks given earlier this afternoon by my colleague the
member for Hamilton East and by the Associate Minister of Women’s
Affairs. I endorse all the gratitude that they showed to so many
I particularly want to thank my colleague the member for Hamilton
East for the huge amount of work she has done on this issue. She has
been tenacious, and her tenacity has been rewarded. A Bill like this
does need somebody to drive it through, and the member for Hamilton
East has been that driver. We thank her for her constant battling and
for the constant support that she has given to lots of other people
in order to get this Bill through. I also thank the Minister for the
assistance that he has given, because he too has played an important
This Bill was proposed by Labour, and was supported by the Labour
women’s caucus and a number of community groups. Many of those
community groups have been mentioned by previous speakers.
Sure, the firearms amendment part of the legislation has created a
bit of a furore, and has perhaps sometimes taken precedence over
other important aspects of the legislation. It is important, but,
overall, the passage of that particular amendment is a victory, and
we have managed to convince other parties that the seizure of weapons
should be mandatory not discretionary, with the onus of proof on the
respondent not the victim, who, quite frankly, has enough to cope
with. The aim is to minimise the potential for violence, both actual
and perceived. The perception of violence is something not always
understood by everyone. A gun does not have to be used for it to be
threatening. Just knowing that it is there, present in the home, may
be enough to inhibit behaviour.
Some detractors have tried to paint this issue as a male versus
female issue. It most certainly is not. The paramount consideration
is to protect the persons for whose benefit the protection order
applies from further domestic violence. In fact the availability of
firearms probably advantages women more than men, because it is far
harder for a woman to damage a male seriously with her mere fists.
That is an ugly thing to have to consider, but in fact it is reality.
This is not seen by everyone as a male versus female issue. I know
of men who own firearms—they are recreational shooters—who state
publicly that any man who beats his wife should lose his firearm and
his licence. I applaud those men, rural men, for coming out and
making statements like that.
Rural women are sometimes forgotten in the equation of domestic
violence, because for some reason or other—I cannot quite
understand this—domestic violence is sometimes seen as just an
urban problem. It is portrayed on television as an urban issue, but,
as the women of New Zealand know, it most certainly is not. Violence
is not confined to the urban areas. Rural women are frequently
exposed to firearms due to the nature of their partners’ occupation.
Rural women are also under considerable threat because they are
isolated, not only geographically but from the structures that
support women. That is especially so at night, when, unfortunately,
some of the most violent incidents occur. It is a long, long way for
a woman to drive from her isolated home in the country to a refuge or
police station in town.
This legislation is about many things. It is primarily about
saving lives. Last year there were 54 incidents of domestic violence
where firearms were used. That is 54 incidents too many. It will be a
standard condition to suspend a firearms licence when a temporary
protection is granted, and to revoke it when a final order is made,
and we welcome that.
This legislation is also about saving lives. We do not see
reducing the number of road deaths as a gender issue; we do not see
that as a male versus female issue. Rules for travelling on the road
are made arbitrarily. Those rules apply across the board, and we
endorse those rules because they too are about saving lives.
I will touch briefly on an aspect of this legislation that is
important to me and lots of other women. This legislation is about
reducing fear. How does one determine what fear is? Fear can be many
things to many people. I believe that women are more fearful than
men. How many men, when they go home to their home alone, look under
the bed? I do, and I am old. I still look under the bed. It is the
habit of a lifetime. Thank goodness at home we have a water-bed, so
there is nowhere to look, but generally my husband is there to
protect me. But I go home alone from here each night, and the habits
of a lifetime are hard to undo. I still do that, and I wonder how
many of my male colleagues do that.
Fear is something that can strike a person right to the core. I
know that what I have said is quite humorous, and that I have
revealed a little foible, but this legislation is about removing and
reducing fear. As a mother, I know that mothers will do almost
anything to protect their children. Unfortunately, that very
protective characteristic that we have as mothers can also sometimes
make us make mistakes. One of the most harrowing books I have read on
this issue is called When Battered Women Kill. Sometimes battered
women do kill. I welcome this legislation because I do not want any
woman to be placed in a position where she has to fatally wound her
Another important aspect of this legislation is about custody
issues. In custody proceedings, if it is alleged that a party
involved in the proceedings has ever used violence against that child
or other children, the court must determine whether the allegation is
correct. If the allegation is correct the violent party will not be
eligible for custody, and will be eligible only for visiting rights
under supervision, unless the court is satisfied that the child will
be safe. I welcome this amendment, because it too will provide safety
for a very, very vulnerable group.
In closing, I too want to acknowledge that Christine Bristol is in
the precincts of the House. This legislation is of special importance
to Christine and many, many other women. On behalf of the Labour
caucus I send Christine Bristol much love and our continued support,
and we acknowledge her tremendous bravery.

Hansard – Stage: THIRD READING – 12 DEC 1995
Main speaker – CHRIS FLETCHER

CHRIS FLETCHER (Eden): It is my pleasure to follow the member for
Wanganui and to support the observations she has made. Yes, I do look
under the bed, in the cupboard, and behind the door when I go home at
night. I wonder how often over the last 15 years we have looked at
the television news at night, have seen a child beaten up or maybe
killed, or a mother beaten, and have recoiled with horror. We think
how dreadful it is, but somehow the next night there is something
that might arguably be equally as awful, so it is forgotten. We
wonder how these things could be happening in our country.
Today we are doing something about the problem. We are doing
something about the different types of abuse in relation to domestic
violence—the isolation, the emotional abuse, the economic abuse,
and the physical abuse. Hopefully, we are doing a lot to empower
women today through this legislation.
This legislation did not happen just because of one party or the
other. It has happened just as much because the Alliance has
supported it, the United New Zealand Party has supported it, the
Labour Party has supported it, and the Government has been there to
facilitate it.
Lots and lots of people should be thanked. I thank the Minister
and the Associate Minister of Women’s Affairs within our caucus. They
have brought about great advocacy. I thank the Prime Minister, who
was prepared to make time to have this issue debated in our caucus.
The Minister of Justice introduced the legislation. Others have been
mentioned, such as the Women’s Refuge, in Auckland the Coalition
Beyond Violence, Philip Alpers, and Dame Augusta Wallace.
So many people have brought about this legislation, and so many
people, for such a long time, have wanted the issue of
intergenerational violence finally addressed. Well, it is happening
today, and the fact that we are at the point of a third reading on
these Bills gives me a huge amount of pleasure. It is good news for
the women and the families around New Zealand. It has happened
through the advocacy of so very many people. It has crossed party
political boundaries, so it gives me a lot of pleasure.
The legislation has also been, in part, a response to the United
Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and
the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which we
are committed. This legislation will help to ratify the commitments
and the declarations that we have made. I congratulate all those
people—including members of the select committee, who tried so hard
to make the legislation work, and to improve it in the time it spent
in the committee.
General criminal law has not allowed the victims of domestic
violence in New Zealand to feel safe. I hope that these Bills, when
enacted, will remove the fear felt by so many victims, most of whom
are women. But more important, I hope the legislation will send a
strong message to New Zealanders that violence is not a solution to
problems within personal relationships. Violence in a domestic
setting will now be taken extremely seriously by the authorities, and
those who commit violence can expect to be dealt with very severely.
Homes will be safer places in which to be, in the future.
This legislation takes the non-molestation and the non-violence
orders from the Domestic Protection Act of 1982 and combines them
into a single protection order that can last indefinitely. This
protection order is available to a much wider range of people living
in close relationships, including children, who will be allowed to
apply for orders in their own right. It does not apply to unmarried
people below the age of 17 years, because they are already protected
under the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act.
The legislation also recognises that abuse can take many different
forms. It recognises psychological abuse, and I draw the attention of
the House to clause 3 of the Domestic Violence Bill, and the issues
relating to that clause, including recognising patterns of behaviour.
This legislation contains many new provisions for better
protection for women. The Bill also allows for better living
conditions for the victims of domestic violence. It addresses issues
in a practical way. There is now greater scope for protection orders,
which I have already addressed, and much stronger enforcement of
those protection orders. There is also a provision that gives powers
of arrest to the police in cases of a breach of a protection order.
And when the police have good cause to suspect that an order may be
breached, they can make an arrest without first having to obtain a
warrant. The police have to observe some sensible guidelines in these
cases, but at least they have some form of discretion, and that is a
good thing.
The legislation also provides for counselling. People who have a
protection order against them now have to undertake mandatory
counselling. Only a few minor exemptions will be allowed—for
example, in cases where an appropriate counselling programme may not
be available. That is a really progressive step.
I do not think that very many people start off in life with the
sole intention of being evil. Maybe this form of practical
intervention applied at this point in those people’s lives, by way of
counselling, will put them on a new road and, hopefully, help them to
move towards better relationships in the future.
The legislation contains amendments to the Guardianship Act that I
think will bring about a much safer environment for children. All in
all, I believe it is very, very good legislation.
No doubt additional costs will be incurred by the police in the
process of complying with this legislation, and I am very pleased
with the steps the Government has taken to make sure that funding is
available. However, domestic violence has affected us all in one way
or another for too long. The passing of this legislation is a real
step towards what I hope will be a much more gentle society.
I will take just a few more minutes to speak on what is perhaps
the only controversial issue remaining in the legislation, and that
is the decision of the House in the Committee stage last week to
address the issue of firearms in the case of a protection order being
placed. I strongly support this move. I have had a lot of lobbying
since then from people who have rung me and said quite hysterically:
“I will have my firearm taken away from me and this is just a
terrible thing.” I calm them by explaining that confiscation of
firearms will take place only when it can be demonstrated that a
protection order is required. In the case of a woman who has been
beaten up, why should the partner be allowed to maintain his firearm?
More important, why should she have to be the one to make the
decision as to whether the firearm should be taken away from him? The
seizure of firearms should be blamed on the law, and not on the woman
Shifting that issue will enhance very much the environment for the
woman involved, otherwise she could well come under pressure from her
family, her in-laws, or her friends, all of whom might think her
partner is a great bloke, and who might say that they could not
possibly believe he would do such a thing. The shifting of that
responsibility to the police automatically removes from the woman the
guilt of making a decision; the law can now be blamed, not the woman.
That has to make for a far better situation all round.
It seems quite sensible to me that people who have firearms—and
it is a privilege to hold a firearm—should have to demonstrate that
they are fit and proper people. For the life of me I cannot believe
that somebody who can beat up his wife, resulting in a protection
order being put in place, is indeed a fit and proper person.
In conclusion, I think this legislation is a real step forward for
New Zealand society generally today. It demonstrates a maturity in
the House that we can debate Bills of this sort across the House, and
I give credit to all concerned for what is very sensible legislation.
Certainly I think it is the most important legislation that will be
passed this year. I thank all concerned—most importantly, the
chairman of the select committee, who committed so much time to
making sure the legislation was workable—and I thank the House for
the opportunity.

Hansard – Stage: THIRD READING – 12 DEC 1995
Main speaker – JUDITH TIZARD

JUDITH TIZARD (Panmure): I am very pleased to be speaking on the
third readings of these Bills. It is 1 year and 11 days since this
legislation was introduced in the House. It has been the object of
the Opposition all through the process to make sure that the
legislation was returned in the best possible form and in the
quickest possible time, because it is well past its time. It has been
necessary for many years now, and I believe that it will make a
difference to people in New Zealand.
Looking back over my speeches in the 5 years I have been in
Parliament, I find that I have spoken on this issue more often than I
have on any other. We Labour women members have seen this as one of
the highest priorities of our work in Opposition—that is, trying to
encourage the Government to take action on behalf of New Zealanders.
We believe that the prevention of violence is the first
responsibility of the Government. Education is required to deal with
violence. Assistance is necessary for the victims of violence.
Legislation is required to protect those victims. Punishment is
required for offenders, but also programmes in prisons and in the
community to prevent violence are required. It is the cycle of
violence that we are concerned about, and the prevention of it.
A number of reports have led to this legislation. In 1987 there
was the Roper report. In 1992 the Victims Task Force, which had been
set up by the last Labour Government, issued its report entitled
Protection from Family Violence. The Davison report followed the
appalling case of the violence that caused the death of members of
the Bristol family. Suzanne Snively’s report in 1994 on the economic
cost of family violence in New Zealand stated that in economic terms
alone, violence was costing this country $1.2 billion a year. During
the course of the consideration of this legislation, a report
entitled Hitting Home: Men Speak About Abuse of Women Partners was
commissioned by the Department of Justice. This report stated that
the vast majority of New Zealanders saw violence not only as normal
but as an acceptable way of dealing with disputes or betrayal within
This legislation follows on from those reports, but it is also
following the general framework of the Domestic Protection Act. I
particularly want to pay tribute to my colleagues the member for
Southern Maori and the Leader of the Opposition, who played a major
part in that legislation. For a long time women have thought that
that legislation needed to be updated and expanded. These Bills do
The Domestic Protection Act did much more than had been done in
the past. It provided protection from violence to people who were in
recognised, marital-style relationships. When they were able to get
to the court, they were able to get a non-molestation order. However,
the report of the Victims Task Force pointed out very clearly that
the follow-up was not there and the prevention was not there.
In spite of the protections of that Act, we found that social
attitudes had changed only very slowly. As I have already said, the
report entitled Hitting Home: Men Speak About Abuse of Women Partners
hit home very hard, I think, with members of the select committee,
other members of Parliament, and the community who read it.
I am appalled by the number of New Zealanders who see violence as
normal, and who see it as their right to hit people who are less
powerful than they are, as a way of disciplining them and forcing
them to conform with their expectations or their needs. I think that
until New Zealanders take violence seriously, we will not make much
progress in spite of this Bill. Many New Zealanders see violence not
only as normal, but as acceptable, and that must change.
The 65 submissions that came before the select committee all
agreed with that—no, there were one or two that did not agree.
Those submissions came from people who believe that
hitting—particularly children, but in some cases wives—was
acceptable. I think the two submissions that I recall were heard in
stunned silence. But most submissions were thoughtful, careful, not
emotive, and described the reality of the lives of many New Zealand
families. They talked about what it is like to live with violence,
what it is like to be brought up with violence, and what it is like
to marry into violence, and to accept it throughout one’s life. Some
submissioners talked about what it is like to be old and powerless,
but many of them talked about what it is like to be young and
powerless, or female and powerless.
I thank all the people who made submissions. This legislation is
much better than it was when it was introduced a year ago, because of
the work of those people. I particularly thank the people who were
involved with the Hamilton Abuse Intervention Project. I wish them
well. I hope this Government will take the funding issues as
seriously as it says it is taking the policy issues.
I thank Ruth Busch, Hilary Lapsley, and Neville Robertson. I also
thank all the people who have worked with them, and all the people
who have worked in those programmes. I thank the members of the
Victims Task Force—an organisation that I believe has made a
remarkable difference to attitudes in this country; an organisation
whose work will continue to be heard again and again and again. I
thank all the people who work in the Women’s Refuge movement, Rape
Crisis, the Help Foundation, the National Council of Women of New
Zealand, and the Young Women’s Christian Association. I thank the
people who work in Men for Non Violence New Zealand. In particular, I
thank the thousands of individual men and women throughout New
Zealand who have made a personal decision not to live with violence
any more. I thank the select committee staff who made an invaluable
contribution to this legislation.
I thought it was a most interesting experience watching the
departmental staff—the very good staff of the Department of
Justice, which became the Ministry of Justice part way through this
Bill, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs staff, and the police—who
were prepared to argue the issues very fully in front of the select
committee, and who allowed us to argue the issues very fully and very
freely with them. I think it was the select committee process at its
But I do want to say that one of the problems the select committee
had—and it was referred to in the Committee stage—was that
because of the Government majority, and because certain decisions had
been made—the chairman reported back a number of times that the
Government view was such and such—we were not able, or we did not
think it worth while, to pursue some of the issues that this House
has chosen to remedy.
I do not want to dwell on those firearms issues for too long, but
I do think that the House has made a sensible, rational, and decent
decision. All those people who told the select committee that they
feared firearms can now hope for some protection.
The objective of this legislation is to provide protection for New
Zealanders within their families. The family is the place where we
assume that we are safe. It is the place where we have the right to
assume that we are safe. I think that in New Zealand we are
discussing more and more frankly the fact that many of us are not
safe within our families. This legislation sets basic standards for
how families should behave. It states what is utterly unacceptable
and what should be done.
There are issues that this legislation does not cover. There was
particular concern at the select committee and in the community about
the fact that educational programmes to stop violence are not
provided for within this legislation, and I plead with the Government
to fund and to organise these programmes. I do not want to see any
more Pacific Island women’s refuges in west Auckland being closed. I
do not want to see any more Stop programmes being closed. These are
the programmes that will make families safer in their homes.
This legislation does not deal well enough with programmes for
children, and it does not deal with the issue of stalking. There are
many more matters that this House will want to go on with.
I will finish with a quotation from the preface of the Protection
from Family Violence report by the Victims Task Force. At the end of
that preface the authors stated: “To the women we interviewed who
told their stories and who have been silenced long enough. To the
women who have been hidden and who have come out of hiding to tell
their stories. To the women who have gone back into hiding and who
are still there now. To the women who have paid to tell their stories
in ways they should not have had to; who have paid with their bodies
and their pain. To the women who might still pay when it is known
that they have told their stories. To the silent children listening
to their mothers’ stories—those children who have learnt to be
silent to survive and whose stories are yet to be told. To the women
who have died—one woman nearly every week. To the women who died as
we worked on this report and whose stories we pieced together from
police files, coroners’ reports, and from their families. The days of
your deaths were marked by the system’s trivialisation of the dangers
you faced.”
This legislation says that Parliament no longer trivialises that
Bills read a third time.
Sitting suspended from 5.30 p.m. to
7.30 p.m.
[The Speaker, having raised the question that a quorum was not
present and the bell having been rung, declared that a quorum was

Hansard – Stage: INTRODUCTION – 12 DEC 1995
Main speaker – Rt Hon. DON McKINNON

Rt Hon. DON McKINNON (Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade): I
move, That the Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Bill be introduced. At
the end of this debate I will be moving that it be referred to the
Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee for the obvious transmission
through that. This Bill may frighten some in the first instance in
that it is a rather voluminous one but there are, I can say, 12 pages
of Bill and then 106 pages of United Nations convention attached to
it. But it is really the 12 pages that the House is interested in
now, even though the convention itself is something that members
would wish to address themselves to, especially the select committee,
because the purpose of the Bill will enable New Zealand to give
effect to the United Nations Convention on the Prohibition of the
Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and
on Their Destruction. Once the Bill is passed, of course, New Zealand
will therefore be able to ratify the convention.
This convention, in effect, represents a milestone in global
disarmament efforts. Adopted in 1993 it completely bans a whole
category of weapons of mass destruction. But unlike the biological
weapons convention of 1972 it includes comprehensive mechanisms to
verify compliance with its prohibitions.
Chemical weapons exist in large quantities. The convention
provides for their elimination and contains wide-ranging and
intrusive verification provisions of unprecedented scope aimed at
ensuring these weapons are never manufactured again. The chemical
weapons convention is the product of some 20 years of negotiations in
the United Nations Conference on Disarmament and it was signed on New
Zealand’s behalf in January 1993 by my colleague the Minister for
Disarmament and Arms Control. To date it has been signed by some 160
countries and ratified by 44. When it is ratified by 65 countries it
will come into force.
Although some countries are thought to be waiting for the two
major countries that possess chemical weapons—the United States and
Russia—to ratify the convention, the rate of ratifications is
picking up and there are good prospects of the convention entering
into force next year. Obviously New Zealand can therefore play its
part in helping to bring that about.
I guess everyone would know about the horrors of chemical warfare.
We have seen all the images of poison gas used on the battlefields of
World War I. In that war, 100,000,000 kilograms of chemicals were
used—mainly chlorine, phosgene, and mustard gas. Chemical weapons
killed 100,000 people in that war and injured another 1,000,000 or
so. But even the survivors—and even until probably the last 20
years there were such survivors—continued to endure after-effects
of the use of such chemicals, suffering blindness, tuberculosis, lung
cancer, and bronchitis.
Despite evidence from this war of the inherent cruelty and mass
destructive effect of chemical weapons, even more lethal weapons,
particularly the nerve gases, were developed, and chemical weapons
kept being used. Japan used them against China between 1937 and 1945.
Hitler, of course, gassed millions of Jews in his concentration camps
and, more recently, Iraq used chemical weapons against Kurdish
civilians. Again, we all recall the images of the civilians who were
slaughtered by chemical weapons in the Kurdish town of Halabja in
1988. And even as recently as this year the terrorist bombing of the
Tokyo underground reminded us that the use of chemical weapons is not
confined to situations of armed conflict and that urban centres are
vulnerable to attack. These weapons can be readily manufactured and
spread. It is not surprising, therefore, that chemical weapons have
been described as a poor country’s nuclear weapon.
New Zealand does not produce or stockpile chemical weapons, but
many of the chemicals of interest under the convention also have a
legitimate civilian application. However, we have only a modest
chemical industry in this country and there will not be any major
implications for that industry in this Bill. Last year the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs and Trade contacted and surveyed 127 relevant
companies and other organisations to let them know what would be
involved in the ratification of the convention. The results of the
survey indicated that only three companies held some minute
quantities of the chemicals of greatest concern and 11 companies held
small quantities of other chemicals. None of these chemicals are
actually produced here in New Zealand.
The important point is that this Bill, and New Zealand’s
ratification of the convention, will mark our commitment to the
enhancement of international security the convention will bring when
it enters into force. We have kept our legislation as simple as
possible because we really want the convention—that is, the
document of some 106 pages attached to the Bill—to speak for
The Bill makes it an offence to develop, produce, otherwise
acquire, stockpile, retain, transfer, or use chemical weapons. Such
offences extend, as the convention requires, to acts or omissions by
New Zealanders overseas. It will also be an offence to manufacture,
use, or trade certain chemicals listed in the convention without the
consent of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The convention
will require New Zealand to make annual declarations about the
production and use of the specified chemicals to the Organisation for
the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, a permanent body to be
established in The Hague under the convention. To facilitate such
reports, the Bill requires those involved with such chemicals to
furnish appropriate information to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs
and Trade.
The organisation will include a technical secretariat with
international inspectors charged with carrying out routine and random
on-site monitoring and inspection of relevant chemical facilities.
Pete Hodgson: What will be the cost for us?
Rt Hon. DON McKINNON: It has not been assessed yet but it mentions
that probably a couple of people will be able to handle most of this
required work.
The Bill contains provisions, including enforcement powers, to
ensure co-operation with international inspectors carrying out their
functions in New Zealand. Broad regulation-making powers are also
included to help ensure that New Zealand can comply with its
verification obligations under the convention. Intrusive verification
measures are essential for building confidence in the convention
itself. There cannot, therefore, be any cheats. As mentioned earlier,
this comprehensive verification breaks new ground in global
disarmament and arms control treaties.
Engendering confidence and encouraging participation in the
convention is also at the heart of the confidentiality provisions of
the convention, which will protect information gained in the course
of data collection and inspections—particularly commercially
sensitive information—from improper disclosure. The co-operation of
the chemical industry will be important if the convention is to
succeed in meeting its objectives. A clause has accordingly been
included in the Bill, pursuant to the confidentiality provisions of
the convention. This will be an important provision for the select
committee to scrutinise, because of that very factor. It has been
considered necessary and desirable to include the convention as a
schedule to the Bill. It is, however, a very long and complex treaty.
This year, New Zealand has twice gone to the International Court
of Justice in connection with the testing and use of nuclear weapons.
Today it is no less gratifying to know that in the case of another
weapon of mass destruction—chemical weapons—New Zealand is again
playing its part in the international disarmament and arms control
process. We hope that, with the success of the chemical weapons
convention, the international community will redouble its efforts to
ensure that the remaining weapons of mass destruction—nuclear
weapons—can also be eliminated ultimately by a treaty similar to
the one we are addressing ourselves to at the present time. I commend
this Bill to the House.


  1. If you would like to see the contributions of individual MPs, use the search feature in your web browser, to search down through this page for their surnames.

    To remind you of the names of the MPs alive during this debate:

    Hon. D A M GRAHAM (Minister of Justice):
    Hon. PHIL GOFF (Roskill):
    Hon. KATHERINE O’REGAN (Associate Minister of Women’s Affairs):
    ELIZABETH TENNET (Island Bay):
    JUDITH TIZARD (Panmure):
    LIANNE DALZIEL (Christchurch Central):
    SANDRA LEE (Auckland Central):
    JILL PETTIS (Wanganui):
    JOHN CARTER (Senior Government Whip):
    DIANNE YATES (Hamilton East):
    Hon. Mrs T W M TIRIKATENE-SULLIVAN (Southern Maori):
    Hon JENNY SHIPLEY (Minister of Health)
    Hon BRUCE CLIFFE (Minister for Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance)
    Rt Hon W F BIRCH (Minister of Finance)
    Hon JOHN LUXTON (Minister of Police) replied:
    Hon. PHIL GOFF (Roskill):
    ALEC NEILL (Chairman of the Justice and Law Reform Committee):
    BRIAN NEESON (Waitakere):
    Hon. KATHERINE O’REGAN (Associate Minister of Women’s Affairs):
    JILL WHITE (Manawatu):
    Hon. Dr MICHAEL CULLEN (St Kilda):
    Hon. KATHERINE O’REGAN (Associate Minister of Women’s Affairs)

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Wed 5th March 2014 @ 2:11 pm

  2. Interesting that the same day you post this the proposed ‘Child Protection’ initiative has been put on hold.

    The orders, which would have imposed conditions on people considered high risk for child abuse, had been put forward amongst a raft of reforms aimed at cracking down on child abuse.

    Read more …

    Comment by Downunder — Wed 5th March 2014 @ 3:13 pm

  3. The value of Protection Orders is best shown in this rather old post by Scrap:

    Protection Orders – The Quantitative Figures

    Although the numbers of deaths has not reduced since this legislation came into force, in fact spousal killings have probably increased slightly, also men’s suicides have risen further due to this legislation.

    In total, a lose-lose proposition. Why would we ever want to stop this?

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Wed 5th March 2014 @ 3:50 pm

  4. First I abhor all forms of violence.!

    This reaction was triggered from the Murder/Suicide of Allan Bristol, and his 3 Children at the beginning of the 1990’s Within Wanganui there was (Still is) a level of sympathy for Alan and his children. Unfortunately I have just purchased a new computer and do not have my reference to hand.

    The Government commissioned retired Judge Davidson to prepare a report. Unfortunately he went outside his brief and made recommendations not supported by the facts. I am certain I have a copy among the detritus of my old computer! Mentioned in the committee report is the paper by Neville Robinson/Ruth Busch.

    Have a read and see the background! There is a lot of reasons to see Alan Bristol is not the Ogre he is made out to be!

    Comment by Alastair — Wed 5th March 2014 @ 4:00 pm

  5. Further to #4 I have now found my copy of the davidson Report. Interesting reading and scarcely Neutral! The Report is 44 pages long. – A little large to be posted. John will have my email, I shal be happy to send a copy

    Comment by Alastair — Thu 6th March 2014 @ 12:03 am

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