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Strengthening support for the sexual violence sector

We are looking at ways to strengthen the support at a national level for the sexual violence sector.

A range of Crown agencies, NGOs and private organisations work together to provide services for victims/survivors, perpetrators and their support networks, including families and whānau. These services include prevention initiatives, information services, crisis support, medical/forensic services, victim care and recovery, justice services and perpetrator treatment.

This represents an investment of millions of dollars in sexual violence services and prevention activity each year and the Government wants to work with the sector to ensure that providers are well-supported to respond to the needs of people affected by sexual violence.

The work is being led by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), and is part of the cross-government family violence and sexual violence work programme.

Benefits of strengthening support

A wide range of sector benefits have been identified from strengthened support at a national level. These include:

  • Strengthened capability and capacity of the sector to deliver effective services and prevention activity
  • Collaborative working relationships and dialogue between government and providers, and between providers
  • Supporting the sector to be informed of emerging information and evidence on good practice, developments within the sector and government policy and processes
  • Better understanding of the service needs of victims and of the availability and effectiveness of prevention activity and support services across the country
  • Opportunities to create more efficient and co-ordinated provision of services and contracting processes
  • Well informed public policy and service development.

How the work will be carried out

An independent sector working group has been set up to define what support the sector requires and to design the ideal ways to provide this support.

The working group was set up following an Opportunity for Engagement process which was carried out to ensure wide representation from NGOs, service providers and interested parties.

The working group members represent the full breadth of the sexual violence sector from prevention, medical forensic services and crisis support, through to long term care and recovery services. They bring a wide range of experience, expertise and cultural representation from rural and urban communities throughout New Zealand.

It also includes representatives from sector bodies Te Ohaakii a Hine – National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together (TOAH-NNEST) and Male Survivors Aotearoa.

In addition the working group will consult with representatives from Māori communities, Kaupapa Māori services, the Māori Reference Group, LBGTQI+ community, Pacific community, youth representatives and the disability sector.

The group will seek input and expertise from across the sector as this work progresses.

The design phase being led by the working group is expected to take seven months to complete.

Sector Working Group members

The working group members are:

Anjum Rahman, independent

Lesley Ayland, WellStop

Susanna Kent, Medical Sexual Assault Clinicians Aotearoa

Joy Te Wiata, Korowai Tumanako

Tony Chamberlain, Male Survivors Aotearoa

Angelo Libeau, Rape Crisis Dunedin

Catherine Buckley, Bay of Plenty Sexual Assault Support Service

Anne Bateman, Homecare Medical

Maggy Tai Rakena, START

Rachel Harrison, independent

Giselle Bahr, Te Aro Psychology

Gurmeeta Singh, independent

Lisa Lawrence, Safe Families Motueka

Nici Curtis, Ta Moko Services and the Psychology Centre Ltd

Nicola Paton, New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse

Ezekiel Robson, independent

Kathryn McPhillips, Auckland Sexual Abuse HELP

Christina Faalogo-Lilo, Active+

Letoa Henry Jenkins, Village Collective

Stella Gukibau, Tu Wahine Trust

Gay Puketapu, independent Māori counselling practitioner

Hera Pierce, expert in Kaupapa Māori approach to sexual violence services

Sienna Katene-Hamilton, expert in Kaupapa Māori approach to sexual violence services

Waimaria Veza, Whare Timatatanga Hou Ora Womans Refuge Kaitaia

Working group facilitation

The working group will have an independent facilitator - Meredith Osmond.

Meredith is a co-Director of Thought Partners, a management consulting company based in Wellington. Prior to becoming a consultant Meredith worked for the Department of Social Welfare in the United Kingdom (UK) as a qualified social worker where she had a variety of roles in local and national offices.

Her experience spans foster care, residential care, adoption, child protection, policy, youth justice and national leadership roles both here and in the UK.

Meredith has worked for a wide range of organisations. Her current and recent work includes:

  • New Zealand Parole Board – Director of Education
  • Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet – co-facilitated consultation on a refresh of the Cyber Security Strategy and worked with the CE on the department’s strategic framework and values
  • Coaching and strategic planning with a number of regulatory bodies
  • Te Puni Kōkiri – facilitating a Critical Thinking workshop for all staff
  • Working with small NGO boards including Organics NZ and Young & Hungry – an organisation developing capability within the theatre sector
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade – facilitating consultation meetings with NGOs on new funding models.

Meredith will lead the working group through a process to understand the support that the sector requires, and to design the ideal mechanisms for providing that support. The working group will have the opportunity to hear from others within the sector and those with relevant expertise along the way.

Working Group recommendations

Once the working group has made its recommendations, we will work through the process to put the recommendations into effect, with consultation if required.


If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Further information

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